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CCFB News» April 2021

Food Checkout Day Helps Replenish Area Food Pantries

04/04/2021 @ 1:05 pm

Together with partners, Cook County Farm Bureau® donated much needed food staples and essential non-food items to six Cook County food pantries. Donations were raised in celebration of Food Checkout Day. Food Checkout Day celebrates the healthy and nutritious food local farmers grow and raise by providing food or cash donations to people in need.


In light of the tremendous pressure created by COVID-19, in addition to launching Farm Bureau’s largest community effort to date, Cook County Farm Bureau matched members’ monetary donations. Over $11,000 was donated to local Cook County pantries in celebration of Food Checkout Day this year and the healthy and nutritious food grown and raised by local farmers.


The donations directly benefited the one in seven individuals in Cook County who are hungry. Partner food pantries, Alicia’s House, South Chicago Heights; Lakeview Pantry, Chicago; Orland Township Food Pantry, Orland Park; Schaumburg Township Food Pantry, Hoffman Estates; St. Cletus Food Pantry, LaGrange; and Wheeling Township Food Pantry, Wheeling, were selected by local representatives from COUNTRY Financial®. Representatives were from the following COUNTRY Financial agencies Chicago North, Chicago South, Chicago Northwest, Chicago Northeast, Orland Park, and South Holland COUNTRY Financial offices.


“Cook County and Illinois farmers are committed to growing safe and nutritious food for our families and for others,” said Janet McCabe, President of Cook County Farm Bureau®. “Food Checkout Day allows us to recognize the importance of healthy, nutritious food while supporting local families in need.”


For the past 19 years, Cook County Farm Bureau has partnered with Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana. Through the generosity of partners for nearly two decades, Farm Bureau donated over $145,000 and nearly 100,000 pounds of food. In 2012, Food Checkout Day was named a Summit Award winner by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). The Summit Award recognizes the positive impact that non-profit associations have on their community.



Cook County Farm Bureau® leaders supported Alicia’s House Food Pantry in South Chicago Heights as part of this year’s Food Checkout Day.  Leaders shopped for, purchased, and donated non-perishable food items and personal care items requested by the pantry.

Chicago North COUNTRY® Financial representatives and Farm Bureau leaders delivered food to the Lakeview Pantry in Chicago in celebration of this year’s Food Checkout Day and the healthy and nutritious food grown and raised by local farmers.



House Republican Leader Jim Durkin joined Farm Bureau leaders for food delivery at St. Cletus Food Pantry in Countryside.  In addition to assisting with the delivery, Leader Durkin also financially supported St. Cletus Food Pantry and their efforts in the community.

Illinois Senator Bill Cunningham, pictured center, joined Cook County Farm Bureau and representatives from the Orland Park Country Financial agency for this year’s Food Checkout Day.  Financial representatives from Orland Park selected the Orland Township Food Pantry as their partner pantry.


Cook County Farm Bureau® leaders and volunteers delivered food to the Wheeling Township Food Pantry in celebration of this year’s Food Checkout Day.  In addition to non-perishable food items and cash donations, Farm Bureau also matched member donations to local food pantries, including Wheeling Township Food Pantry.

Cook County Commissioner Kevin Morrison joined Cook County Farm Bureau® leaders and financial representatives from the Chicago Northwest COUNTRY® Financial agency to deliver nearly 700 pounds of non-perishable food to the Schaumburg Township Food Pantry.  Also financial representatives from Chicago Northwest COUNTRY® Financial donated over $1,000 to the pantry in celebration of Food Checkout Day.


Thank you to the following members who donated:


Alicia’s House, South Chicago Heights

Patti Alex

Randall Cox

Jeff Orman


Lakeview Pantry, Chicago

Omar Ariza

Malgorzata Jura

Vicki Nygren

Zoe Sing


Orland Township Food Pantry, Orland Park

Linda and Peter Bosy

Nick Burke

Tom Geraghty

Tim Hartnell

Samantha Hayes

Lynn Heim

Valerie Martin

Terry LeMastus

Liana Mierendorf

Tony Palumbo

Mike Spadoni

Cary Tate

Mike Thauer

Joel Wrzesinski


Schaumburg Township Food Pantry, Hoffman Estates

Barbara Bennett

Irene Burnett

Mark Coon

Kevin Gomes

Marla Miler

Tony Scalzitti

Kevin Snow

Cheryl Winter


St. Cletus Food Pantry, LaGrange

Mary Jane Garrett

James and Linda Kemper

Janet McCabe

Bob and Jayne Rohrer


Wheeling Township Food Pantry, Arlington Heights

Paula Matzek

Sharon Stemke


Donations matched by the Farm Bureau to local food pantries that were not partner pantries:

Edward and Marikay Benes, Together We Cope

George and Geri Boyle, Open Food Pantry (Bethany Lutheran Church)

Ned and Pamela Bruns, Elk Grove Pantry

Angelica Carmen, Mission of our Lady of the Angels

Horton Chiropractic, Self Help Closet and Pantry of Des Plaines


As the county’s largest general farm organization, Cook County Farm Bureau® is dedicated to bridging the gap between farmers and urban consumers. Through education programs targeting youth and their parents and programs designed to connect farmers with potential consumers, Farm Bureau members are actively engaging in conversations about food and the shared values between farmers and consumers.

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