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Barb Food Mart thanks community

To the Editor:

This is a good time of year to take stock and offer thanks. Barb Food Mart would like to thank the many kind people who have responded to the growing food insecurity in our community by donating money, time and goods over the past year.

Barb Food Mart is a food pantry for families in DeKalb School District 428. It was founded five years ago by retired teachers who had seen children coming to school hungry. Today more than six in 10 DeKalb students qualify for free and reduced lunch. About 70 people visit the pantry each week and we estimate as many as 400 siblings, parents and grandparents benefit from that visit.

People donate to the pantry in many ways. An 8-year-old asked the kids she invited to her birthday party to bring items for the pantry or cash instead of gifts. A woman knitted and donated 50 warm hats. A family donated 50 Halloween costumes. Some groups organize food and paper drives. Many people donate money and volunteer their time.

A big thank-you to the following:

• The 170 teachers and staff of the DeKalb School District who donate a portion of each paycheck;

• The many individuals who gave money during Give DeKalb and throughout the year;

• The many volunteers who help stock the pantry and who work during the hours it is open;

• The school groups: Cortland PTO, DeKalb 428 Early Learning Development Center, DeKalb 428 PE Department, DHS Class of 1968, DHS Cross Country team, DHS Future Farmers of America, DHS Key Club, DHS 18-21 Transitions Team, St. Mary School Garden;

• The churches: Christ Community’s EPIC Youth Group, First Congregational, Geneva Lutheran, Hillcrest Covenant, Immanuel Lutheran, St. George Greek Orthodox, Unitarian Universalist, Westminster Presbyterian;

• The organizations and businesses: Aaron’s Furniture, CME Group Chicago, DeKalb American Legion Auxiliary 66, DeKalb County Community Foundation, DeKalb County Community Gardens, DeKalb Hurricanes Softball Team, DeKalb Leadership Academy, DeKalb Park District, DeKalb Township, Heartland Bank, Ideal Industries Foundation, Kishwaukee Kiwanis, Kishwaukee United Way, Maddie’s Mittens, NIU dietician students, Northwestern Medicine, National Christian Foundation Chicago, Resource Bank, Suter Company, Tapa La Luna, U of I Extension, Yaeger’s Farm Market, YMCA.

Barb Food Mart is located at Huntley Middle School, 1515 S. Fourth St. (door 28), and is open Thursdays year round from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Those who use the pantry must verify they have a child enrolled in a DeKalb school. For more information about volunteering and donating, email or visit the Facebook page and website.

Thank you to everyone who sees the need and gives generously.

Deborah Booth

Donations Director

Barb Food Mart

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