ClarkLindsey Food Security Work Group 

Author: Karen Blatzer


In the battle against food insecurity, nonprofit organizations are playing a vital role in ensuring that individuals and families have access to nutritious food. ClarkLindsey’s Food Security Work Group is dedicated to combating hunger and making a positive impact on communities in need. In this article, we explore the initiatives of this inspiring group and how they are addressing food insecurity through education, contributions, volunteerism and partnerships.

Educating: A major goal of ClarkLindsey’s Food Security Work Group is to raise awareness about food insecurity in Champaign Urbana.

In July the group will sponsor a Lunch & Learn for ClarkLindsey residents and staff that will include a panel discussion by representatives from the Daily Bread Soup Kitchen, which provides a hot meal daily to over 250 individuals; the Wesley United Methodist Church College Student Food Pantry; and Feeding our Kids, a local program providing nourishing food to Champaign County school-age children on weekends and holidays through local schools. The panel discussions will be followed by a light lunch inspired by the meals served at the Daily Bread Soup Kitchen.

Contributing: Supporting local organizations working to reduce food insecurity in our community is another important goal of the group. Thoughout the year, ClarkLindsey residents and staff are invited to donate food, household items and money to support the efforts of local organizations.

In March, ClarkLindsey residents and staff donated over 400 food items which were given to the Eastern Illinois Food Bank, the primary food source for local food pantries, soup kitchens, and homeless shelters and to two local pantries.

On June 21st, 2023, the longest day of the year, ClarkLindsey residents “Celebrated the Dawn” by donating 70 bottles of Dawn dish soap for the Food and More Partnership Program which provides food and household items to over 65 households each month.

In the first half of 2023, the ClarkLindsey Food Security Work Group raised $28,879 from residents and staff to support food security efforts in our community. These contributions were given to the Eastern Illinois Food Bank; the Food and More Partnership Program; the Family Services Meals on Wheels program, which delivers meals to older adults and others who need help in meeting their nutritional needs; and the Salvation Army Canteen Run, which provides food and clothing to the most vulnerable people living on the streets of Champaign Urbana.

In November, the group will hold a holiday card project with the goal of raising funds for at least two families to receive food and household items each month during 2024 through the Food and More Partnership Program.

Volunteering: Encouraging hands-on opportunities for ClarkLindsey residents and staff to be actively involved in addressing food insecurity is the third goal of the group.

Each month ClarkLindsey residents make more than 100 sandwiches for The Salvation Army Canteen Run. Other residents deliver Meals on Wheels to local seniors. Residents also purchase food, take food orders, and coordinate the delivery of food to over 65 households a month through the Food & More Partnership Program. Still others prepare and serve meals at the Daily Bread Soup Kitchen.

In October the group will co-sponsor a rice packing event at ClarkLindsey with Illini Fighting Hunger, a student organization at the University of Illinois. ClarkLindsey residents and staff will raise money to purchase and will pack 1,600 pounds of rice into individual packets to be provided to local food pantries.

Partnering: Through partnerships with local groups and organizations, ClarkLindsey’s Food Security Work Group works to raise awareness about food insecurity in our community and create a strong network of support to address food insecurity in our community.

Conclusion :
Through their dedicated efforts, the ClarkLindsey Food Security Work Group is fighting hunger and making a significant impact on the community. Through education, contributions, volunteerism, and partnerships they are working towards a future where “all people at all times have access to enough food for an active, healthy life.” With the support of volunteers, donors, and partnerships, their initiatives are helping individuals and families access nutritious food, fostering healthier and more resilient communities.

This article was written by Prem Patel, ClarkLindsey’s Marketing Intern and Chris Todd, a ClarkLindsey resident who is a member of the Food Security Work Group