Cook County Farm Bureau® and Partners Raise Cash and Food Donations for Local Food PantriesCook County Farm Bureau® Celebrates its 22nd Annual Food Checkout Day
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, Church of the Holy Spirit Food Pantry, Schaumburg; Elk Grove Townships Food Pantry, Elk Grove Village; Elsie’s Food Pantry, Palos Hills; Hattie B. Williams Food Pantry, Oak Forest; Lakeview Pantry, Chicago; and Share Food Share Love, Brookfield 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.
“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 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 and again in 2021, Farm Bureau’s food pantry efforts were 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.
Thank you to the following members who donated cash:
Church of the Holy Spirit Food Pantry
Elk Grove Township Food Pantry
Pamela and Ned Bruns
Bob and Jayne Rohrer
Same Tuman Zengri
Hattie B. Williams Food Pantry
Ron & Joan Orman
Share Food Share Love
Thank you to all the members, supporters, and COUNTRY Financial representatives who donated non-perishable food items.
Donations matched by the Farm Bureau to local food pantries that were not partner pantries:
George Boyle, Bethany Lutheran Church Open Pantry
Mike Rauch, St. Cletus Food Pantry
Mike Rauch, Together We Cope
Food Checkout Day is possible only through the efforts of volunteers, including Farm Bureau leadership and committee members and Chicago North, Northeast, Northwest, Orland Park, and South Holland COUNTRY Financial representatives and staff members. Volunteers were integral to the success of the shopping spree portion of Food Checkout Day.
Jim Andresen, COUNTRY Financial Orland Park Agency
Jerome Brown, COUNTRY Financial Chicago North Agency
Laura Elkins, COUNTRY Financial Orland Park Agency
Kim Erkenswick, COUNTRY Financial Northeast Agency
Kevin Gomes, COUNTRY Financial Northwest Agency
Kyle Huppe, COUNTRY Financial Orland Park Agency
Matt Huonder, COUNTRY Financial Northwest Agency
Liana Mierendorf, COUNTRY Financial Orland Park Agency
Jeff Orman, COUNTRY Financial South Holland Agency
Sharon Stemke, COUNTRY Financial Northeast Agency
Diane Tom, COUNTRY Financial Northwest Agency
Lisa Zielinski, COUNTRY Financial Orland Park Agency
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.