Gary Garland, Executive Director of Lakeview Pantry, is taking a different approach to ending hunger and poverty this summer. Mr. Garland will walk 50 miles from his home in Kenosha, Wisconsin, to Lakeview Pantry in Chicago, Illinois, from June 21 through June 23 in an effort to increase awareness about hunger and poverty in Lakeview. Mr. Garland’s one-man march, dubbed 50 for Food, is set to raise $50,000 for Lakeview Pantry and its emergency food distribution and case management programs.
Mr. Garland explains, “There about 110,000 Chicagoans who live in Lakeview and 10,000 of them—including children, veterans, and families—are food insecure. This walk will take me through three counties in two states. In those counties many people are struggling in poverty. Our goal with 50 for Food is to raise more awareness about this alarming statistic and ask Chicagoans to support Lakeview Pantry by sponsoring my walk. This walk isn’t about me. It’s about the thousands of neighbors who don’t know where their next meal is coming from on any given day. Lakeview Pantry’s tagline is Food for Today, Hope for Tomorrow. And the walk is more about solutions, over problems. Hope over hoplessness (Despair?) One hundred percent of the event proceeds will fund our programs and operations.”
Community members can support 50 for Food by becoming a $50 Supporter or $100 Mile Sponsor. By supporting 50 for Food, community members will have a positive and direct impact on the 12,000 individuals Lakeview Pantry serves each year. For every $1 that is donated, Lakeview Pantry is able to buy 10 pounds of food to help the community. Garland says, “For over four decades now, Lakeview has been a community where residents say ‘ I will help my neighbor in need’ , Lakeview Pantry is simply a conduit for that compassion”
At a time when Lakeview Pantry is serving a record number of clients, 50 for Food is an innovative approach to raising awareness and financial support for the organization. The need in the community continues to grow, and Lakeview Pantry now serves 1,200 individuals each month and 12,000 individuals each year. Over the past three years, the number of client visits has increased by 25 percent, and Lakeview Pantry now has over 3,400 client visits each month. In the past year, Lakeview Pantry distributed 1.5 million pounds of food, up from 1.3 million pounds of food two years ago.
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