Within two hours, nearly 300 people and 10,000 pounds of food was handed out by the Shields Township Food Pantry on June 21.
The mobile food pantry was hosted by the township’s foundation, Phoenix Rising, Naval Station Great Lakes and the Northern Illinois Food Bank. The free food giveaway was the third mobile food drive funded by private donations and hosted by these groups.
The turnout was the largest the township has seen, said Shields Township Supervisor Gale Strenger Wayne. With boxes and bags in tow, people braved the hot weather and started lining up at Yeager Elementary School in North Chicago an hour before the 4 p.m. food giveaway was to begin. The line eventually snaked from its back parking lot around to the front entrance of the school.
“The large crowd was evidence of the continued hardship for families to put food on their tables,” said Strenger Wayne. “The need is still great, and typically summer sees the greatest challenge for households because children are not participating in the free breakfast and lunch programs at school. Many hard-working people are still struggling to feed their families."