Press release submitted by River Bend Foodbank|
Birkey's Farm Store partners with food banks to provide meals for the hungry
"60-Day Hunger Drive" aims to raise $100,000 to alleviate hunger in Illinois and western Indiana
Champaign, Ill. – Birkey's Farm Store, Inc., a full-line Case IH dealer with 13 locations in central Illinois and Indiana, is partnering with the River Bend Foodbank and 6 other local food banks to provide 600,000 meals for the hungry. The 60-Day Hunger Drive fundraiser kicked off on Feb. 3 and runs until April 4 in every Birkey's location. A fully restored 1954 Farmall tractor will travel across the state to encourage donations; individuals who give $10 or more are entered into a drawing to win it.
Customers and community members are invited to an open house at each Birkey's location to talk with food bank representatives and view the restored tractor. Locations supporting the River Bend Foodbank include Macomb on Feb. 25 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., Annawan on Feb. 27 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., Henry on Feb. 28 from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Polo on March 4 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., Prophetstown on March 6 from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Galesburg on March 7 from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
"Instead of asking for food donations, we wanted to take a different approach and leverage the food banks. Using their networks, a dollar donated can be stretched into 6 meals for hungry families," says Mike Hedge, President and CEO of Birkey's.
The food banks in Illinois and western Indiana are pleased to partner with Birkey's in the fight against hunger," says Jim Hires, President of the board of directors of Feeding Illinois. "Their commitment to local communities will make a huge difference in the lives of the individuals we serve."
Customers, residents and store employees can donate at any of the company's 13 locations with cash or check, or by adding a donation to their total purchase. Donations can also be made through Birkey's website. Proceeds from each Birkey's location will be allocated to agencies in that store's local community. More than 550 agencies—food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters—will benefit from the drive.
"Our farm customers are growing crops that help to feed our world. This drive is one way for us to partner with them and carry out this mission on a local level," says Hedge.
In the 47 counties served by Birkey's Farm Stores, Inc., more than 286,000 people are not able to access a nutritious meal when they want it, and one in five children are food insecure. Food banks selected to benefit from the drive are all part of the Feeding Illinois or Feeding Indiana's Hungry (FIsH) networks.
Champaign-based Birkey's has locations throughout central and northern Illinois, and in western Indiana. The event is part of the company's 60th anniversary celebration.
River Bend Foodbank is the largest hunger relief organization in the Quad Cities and surrounding communities, distributing more than 8 million lbs of food annually to more than 300 charitable feeding programs throughout a 22 county service area in Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois. Childhood hunger programs include the Backpack Program which provides up to 1700 Quad City children with nourishing food to take home on the weekends during the school year, the Kids Café Program providing evening meals to children at three sites, and the Mobile Food Pantry which directly feeds thousands of families each month.
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