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Northern Illinois Food Bank's Take 50 Foods to Encourage (F2E) Fund

Northern Illinois Food Bank's Take 50 Foods to Encourage (F2E) Fund

Recipients of Community Needs Grants from the Foundation are required to submit final reports within one year describing the impact of the funding they received. This is a summary of a final report.

Northern Illinois Food Bank was awarded a $20,000 grant in 2016 to support the Take 50 Foods to Encourage (F2E) Fund, giving DuPage network members a 50% credit when selecting highly nutritious foods to purchase and distribute to clients. The grant helped increased access to highly nutritious food at 43 food pantries and other non-profits providing food assistance in DuPage County. F2E items are selected for their low fat, sodium and sugar content and inclusion of essential vitamins and minerals. Items include fresh produce, whole grain pasta, low-sodium beans, dry beans, brown rice, 100% juices, canned meats, shelf stable milk, whole wheat cereals, fat-free and low-sodium soups and carnation instant breakfasts.

DuPage food pantries acquired 36,521 pounds of nutritious foods to distribute to their clients. These pantries serve approximately 46,000 individuals each month. Keeping their shelves stocked with nutritious food can be challenging for some smaller pantries with limited resources and no paid staff. The F2E Fund helps them ensure highly nutritious foods are always available. Many food pantry clients have health issues that require a special diet, usually including fresh produce, protein and low-sodium and low-fat foods. These are sometimes too expensive and being able to acquire them at the food pantry is beneficial to a healthy diet.

Below are some comments from food pantries that benefited from the Take 50 Foods to Encourage Fund:

“The grant enables our food pantry to stretch our budget and give our guests that little "extra" that is so very needed, especially during that non-holiday time (Sept. & Oct.) when our shelves can be somewhat lacking. One guest in particular commented that the amount and variety of food she receives from our food pantry is what is making the difference in the health of her children. The F2E grant helps to make that possible. Thanks so much!”
- Resurrection Food Pantry, Wayne

“50% off anything is great, 50% off F2E stuff is even better! I loved being able to use it for everything from F2E canned goods, to sweet potatoes and fresh eggs. In particular, it enabled me to order tuna, which is very popular with our guests, but a little pricey at the regular rate.”
- Lutheran Church of the Master, Carol Stream