New Food Resources for Chicago-Area Residents

September 27, 2011

Two food venues opened in the Chicago area on Tuesday, one to help those find the necessary staple and another to help some manage it.

The Northern Illinois Food Bank officially opened its new, custom-designed distribution center in Geneva, Illinois.

According to the food bank, the amount of hungry people is at its highest level in a half a century. Locally, almost one in four Northern Illinois children live in a household that is having difficulty putting meals on the table.

Last year, the Northern Illinois Food Bank provided food to more than 60,000 people a week. This year, the need has grown as much as 50 percent.

On Tuesday, the Food Bank officially opened the Community Nutrition and Food Distribution Center at 273 Dearborn Court, Geneva.

The new center was designed to provide the equivalent of up to 4 million meals per month and includes:

*Triple the freezer capacity.

*Double the dry storage capacity.

*Increased dock space, which improves logistical efficiences.

*A dual-control refrigerator to keep dairy and produce at appropriate temperatures to prolong freshness.

Northern Illinois Food Bank is a nonprofit organization that helps residents in 13 Illinois counties: Boone, DuPage, DeKalb, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, Ogle, Stephenson, Will and Winnebago.

* * *

Now, for those who have access to food but who struggle with weight issues, a new weight-loss center with a famous name has opened on Chicago’s South Side.

"I never thought I would make it to have my own center," said Hudson at the opening. "I'm so honored to be here and see this day." - AP Photo/M. Spencer Green

Chicago native Jennifer Hudson unveiled the Weight Watchers Jennifer Hudson Center in Hyde Park.

The Grammy and Oscar-winning singer and actress lost 80 pounds through the program and is a Weight Watchers spokeswoman.

The company announced that it will donate 10 percent of the center’s revenues to the Julian D. King Gift Foundation in honor of Hudson’s 7-year-old nephew, who was tragically murdered, along with Hudson’s mother and brother, in 2008 in Chicago.

The foundation donates toys and school supplies to needy children in the Chicago neighborhood where Hudson grew up.

Hudson cut the ribbon at the grand opening ceremony with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel by her side.

“While this center is focused on weight loss,” Emanuel said, “it’s also about healthy living, not just about weight loss.”

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