by Natalie Bober
Turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie --- for many, Thanksgiving is a celebration of abundance. But in Lake County, Illinois, residents are going hungry.
Almost 7% of all Lake County residents, including 13% of the children who live in Lake County, don’t have enough to eat, according to Elizabeth Gartman, Communications Manager of the Northern Illinois Food Bank.
“As of September 2018, of the 53,139 residents of Libertyville Township, Lake County, 516 were receiving food from the Libertyville Food Pantry,” Kathleen O’Connor, Supervisor of Libertyville Township said.
The Lake Forest College community can help those in need by donating to the athletic department’s canned food drive and “Foresters $4 A Cause” from October 23 through November 21.
Canned food collected by the Lake Forest College Student-Athlete Advisory Committee will be donated to the Libertyville Food Pantry. Monetary donations are also accepted, according to Head Volleyball Coach & Assistant Athletic Director Heather Noll.
The Forester canned food drive is held in conjunction with the 5th Annual Midwest Conference (MWC) Canned Food Challenge, run by the ten MWC Student-Athlete Advisory Committees.
In its first three years, the MWC Canned Food Challenge has donated 26,584 non-perishable food items to food pantries and raised over $7,000 in donations.
Bins for canned goods will be placed in four locations across the Lake Forest College campus, including the Sports and Recreation Center lobby, the Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse lobby, North Hall, and the Student Center.
“Students, faculty, staff and community members are also encouraged to bring canned food goods to home games during the challenge,” Ashley Wanland, Marketing and Events Director/F.A.N. Club Coordinator said. “All Forester fans who support the cause by bringing a canned good to a home contest will receive free admission.”
Besides collecting canned goods, the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee is also participating in the Foresters $4 A Cause initiative.
“The Lake Forest College Athletic department launched the Foresters $4 A Cause challenge last year and raised over $600 to divide among four different causes,” Noll said.
This year, for every $4 collected, $1 will be donated to the MWC Canned Food Challenge, the Lake Forest College Annual Fund, the American Cancer Society, and the Oscar Mike Foundation.
Last year, the women’s hockey team placed first among the Lake Forest College athletic department’s twenty-three programs in the Foresters $4 A Cause Challenge.
Lake Forest College finished second in last year’s MWC Canned Food Challenge, based on proceeds from the Foresters $4 A Cause and canned goods collected.
“We hope the Lake Forest College community will consider teaming up with our Student-Athlete Advisory Committee to help us end hunger and reach our goal of winning this year’s MWC Canned Food Challenge,” Noll said.