CHICAGO, March 25, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Television and radio stations throughout Illinois are uniting in a statewide fundraising drive to combat hunger and food bank shortages in the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Illinois broadcasters, in partnership with Feeding Illinois and the Illinois Broadcasters Association, encourage their viewers and listeners to contribute monetary donations that will go a long way to bolster dwindling food supplies at area food banks. Corporations and individuals looking for a way to make a difference in the lives of neighbors experiencing food hardship can contribute at: www.FeedingIllinois.org/unite and/or text to FEEDIL to 91999.

“Illinois Broadcasters have joined together during these extraordinary times,” said Illinois Broadcasters Association (IBA) Board Chairman John Idler.  “The need to shore up food supplies and help feed the hungry has never been greater.  The IBA has a long tradition of rallying our members in times of crisis.  We have never been prouder to serve the people of Illinois.”

On March 26, TV and radio stations throughout the state of Illinois will broadcast stories underscoring the urgent need for food during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. 

People who never before relied on food banks are now turning to them to feed their families. Prior to COVID-19, 1 in 8 Americans struggled with hunger. As the virus continues to wreak havoc on the economy, and Illinois unemployment rises, the need for food increases.  In recent weeks, one Chicago area food bank estimates a 25-40 percent increase in clients needing help.  Meanwhile, a food pantry located in Rockford, Illinois, served double its normal number of neighbors just last week alone.  The demand for food has never been greater.

“During this challenging time, the eight food banks that serve Illinois are working to ensure that nobody in our great state goes hungry,” said Steve Ericson, executive director for Feeding Illinois. “The need for food assistance is already growing due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic effects. Thanks to the Illinois Broadcasters Association for using their collective voice to drive support for food banks across the state.”

The goal of ILLINOIS BROADCASTERS UNITING AGAINST HUNGER is to raise awareness and dollars so food banks can purchase the food they need to adequately serve the hungry in their local communities. 

“Regardless the crisis, Illinois broadcasters always stand ready to serve, and put the power of broadcasting to its highest and best use,” remarked Dennis Lyle, president and CEO of the Illinois Broadcasters Association. “When early reports came in about the increased demand for food, and the stress it created on community foodbanks in Illinois, the ‘Illinois Broadcasters Uniting Against Hunger’ idea by IBA Chairman of the Board, John Idler, was born.”

There are eight independent food banks serving 102 counties in Illinois, all of which are represented by Feeding Illinois. http://www.feedingillinois.org/index.php/about/about-food-banks

SOURCE Illinois Broadcasters Association

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