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Recap: What we did in 2017

We accomplished SO MUCH in 2017!!

January 21, 2017

  • What: Mobile Food Pantry at The Chapel Church, Lake Zurich
  • Where: The Chapel, 330 S. Old Rand Road, Lake Zurich, IL
  • What we did:  Food Truck and Serving Lunch to 200 ‘Friends’!
  • FFF Volunteers:  We had 20 volunteers
  • Time: 9:30am-12:30pm

 

March 11, 2017

  • What: Ewing Annex Hotel Luncheon, Chicago, IL
  • Where: Annex Hotel, 430 South Clark, Chicago Loop.
  • What we did:  We served 130 meals
  • FFF Volunteers:  We had 5 volunteers
  • Time: 9am – 12pm
  • For an example of what we do at these events, see our news article:  March 26, 2016 Easter Serving Event at Ewing Annex Hotel

 

March 18, 2017

  • What: Mobile Food Pantry at The Chapel Church, Lake Zurich
  • Where: The Chapel, 330 S. Old Rand Road, Lake Zurich, IL
  • What we do:  Food Truck and Serving Lunch to 200 ‘Friends’!
  • FFF Volunteers:  We had 20 volunteers
  • Time: 9:30am-12:30pm

 

April 15, 2017

  • What: Easter Dinner at H.E.L.P.S Ministry
  • Where: HELPS Ministry 6N571 Tuscola Avenue in St. Charles, IL.
  • What we did:  We served 80 meals
  • FFF Volunteers:  We had 10 volunteers
  • For an example of what we do at these events, see our news article: March 26, 2016 – H.E.L.P.S. Easter Dinner Serving Event

 

May 20, 2017

  • What: Mobile Food Pantry at The Chapel Church, Lake Zurich
  • Where: The Chapel, 330 S. Old Rand Road, Lake Zurich, IL
  • What we do:  Food Truck and Serving Lunch to 200 ‘Friends’!
  • FFF Volunteers:  We had 20 volunteers
  • Time: 9:30am-12:30pm

 

July 1, 2017 

  • What: Ewing Annex Hotel Luncheon, Chicago, IL
  • Where: Annex Hotel, 430 South Clark, Chicago Loop.
  • What we did:  We will served 130 meals
  • FFF Volunteers:  We need 5 volunteers
  • Time: 9am – 12pm
  • For an example of what we do at these events, see our news article:July 9, 2016 – The Annex Hotel serving event

 

July 14, 2017

  • What: San Miguel Graduation Dinner, Chicago, IL
  • Where: San Miguel Christmas event at St. Michael the Archangel Parish Social Center, 1954 W 48th Street, Chicago, IL.
  • What we will do:  We serve 300+ meals at the Graduation celebration
  • FFF Volunteers:  We need 15 volunteers
  • For an example of what we do at these events, see our news article:  July 15, 2016 – San Miguel graduation serving event

 

July 15, 2017

  • What: The Chapel Church will partner with Food For Friends for a Mobile Food Pantry event
  • Where: Mobile Food Pantry w/Chapel Church, Lake Zurich, IL
  • What we did:  Food Truck and Serving Lunch to 200 ‘Friends’!
  • FFF Volunteers:  We had 35 volunteers.
  • For an example of what we do at these events, see our news article: July 16, 2016 Mobile Food Pantry w/Chapel Church

 

September 12, 2017

  • What:  Food For Friends 14th Annual Golf Outing, Bartlett Hills, IL
  • Event:  Golf, Dinner, and Raffles
  • Shotgun Start:  10am
  • Check out all the fun we had in 2016 via the recap article on our website here.

 

September 16, 2017

  • What: Ewing Annex Hotel Luncheon, Chicago, IL
  • Where: Annex Hotel, 430 South Clark, Chicago Loop.
  • What we did:  We served 100 meals
  • FFF Volunteers:  We had 3 volunteers
  • Time: 9am – 12pm
  • Read what we did at the 2016 event at:   “Serving Event Recap: Sept. 17th at Ewing Annex Hotel

 

November 11, 2017

  • What: Mobile Food Pantry at The Chapel Church, Lake Zurich
  • Where: The Chapel, 330 S. Old Rand Road, Lake Zurich, IL
  • What we did:  Food Truck and Serving Lunch to 200 ‘Friends’!
  • FFF Volunteers:  We had 20 volunteers
  • Time: 9:30am-12:30pm

 

November 2017 

  • Where:  Various company locations (up to 10 events).  Watch this space and on Facebook in November.  We will list locations and Host Companies.
  • What we do at these events:   We need companies willing to host these events and we need employees and volunteers willing to help us fill our FFF Blue Bags with food items for Thanksgiving meals
  • FFF Volunteers:   To be determined.  Let us know if your company is interested in hosting an event!
  • See some examples of what we have done previously at the following articles:  HELPS and ROOTS and ACS and and Horton Group.   Sign your company up today by sending a note to info@foodforfriends.org

 

November 18, 2017

 

November 22, 2017

  • What:  Pacific Garden Mission Thanksgiving Dinner.
  • Where:  Pacific Garden Mission, 1458 S. Canal Street, Chicago, IL
  • What we will do:  We will serve up to 800-1000 meals
  • FFF Volunteers:  We have all the volunteers we need.  100 volunteers have already signed up
  • Time:  3:30-6:30pm
  • See the following article to get a feel for what we do at this event:  Food For Friends serves hundreds at Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago

 

November 23, 2017

  • What: Elgin Community Thanksgiving Dinner, Elgin, IL
  • Where: First United Methodist Church 216 E. Highland Ave. Elgin, IL 60120
  • What we will do: We will serve up to 1500 meals
  • FFF Volunteers:  We have all the volunteers we need. 50 volunteers have already signed up.  We need no more volunteers.  HOWEVER, you can come and get a free meal.  This is a community meal so feel free to come, eat and spread the Food For Friends love with the Elgin community.
  • Time:  Three shifts: 8-11am11am-1pm1-3pm
  • Check out the news article from the 2016 event at Elgin Community Thanksgiving dinner a total success!

 

November 23, 2017

  • What: H.E.L.P.S. Thanksgiving Dinner, St. Charles, IL
  • Where: HELPS Ministry 6N571 Tuscola Avenue in St. Charles, IL.
  • What we will do:  We will serve up to 150 meals
  • FFF Volunteers:  We have all the volunteers we need.  15 volunteers have signed up.
  • Time: Shift 1 – (Noon-4pm) & Shift 2 (1:30-5:30)
  • For more information about what accomplish at this type of event, see our 2016 article on our website:  Three personal stories from the 2016 HELPS Thanksgiving Dinner

 

November 23, 2017

  • What: Ewing Annex Hotel Thanksgiving Luncheon, Chicago, IL
  • Where: Annex Hotel, 430 South Clark, Chicago Loop.
  • What we will do:  We will serve up to 150 meals.  Leftovers will go to Hopewell Southside Chicago.
  • FFF Volunteers:  We have all the volunteers we need.  We have 10 volunteers.
  • Time: 9am – 12pm
  • For an example of what we do at this event, see a write up on The 2015 Thanksgiving Annex serving event

 

November 23, 2017

  • Where:  West Cook YMCA Thanksgiving luncheon, Oak Park, IL
  • Where:   West Cook YMCA, 255 Marion St., Oak Park, IL.
  • What we will do:  We will serve up to 150 meals
  • FFF Volunteers:  We have all the volunteers we need. We have 20 volunteers signed up already  We need no more volunteers.  HOWEVER, you can come and get a free meal.  This is a community meal so feel free to come, eat and spread the Food For Friends love with the West Cook YMCA community.
  • Time:  11am – 2pm
  • Check out the article from the 2016 event on our website:  Warm food and smiles served at West Cook YMCA for Thanksgiving

 

 December 16, 2017

  • What: Food For Friends Blue Bag Christmas party-Partner with House of Restoration
  • Where:  Vineyard Church, 220 Division St., Elgin, IL
  • Volunteers should contact Mr. Peter and Lucy Olivera- House of Restoration Elgin Ministry (phone 224-856-1214)
  • Time: 2 pm until 4 pm
  • More info:  56 families have signed up and pre-registered.  They will receive toys for children and a FOOD FOR FRIENDS BLUE BAG filled with a Frozen 12 lb TURKEY for Christmas.

 

December 17, 2017

  • What: Elgin Community Christmas Dinner
  • Where:  Hemmens Culture Center, 45 Symphony Way, Elgin IL.
  • What we did:   We served around 600 meals
  • FFF Volunteers:  60 volunteers for the following shifts: 9-11, 11-1, 1-4. 
  • Time: Serving time was from 11-4pm, but please see the shifts above

 

December 23, 2017

  • What: San Miguel Christmas Luncheon, Chicago, IL
  • Where: San Miguel Christmas event at St. Michael the Archangel Parish Social Center, 1954 W 48th Street, Chicago, IL.
  • What we will do:  We will serve up to 200+ meals
  • FFF Volunteers:  We have all the volunteers we need.   We have 25 volunteers plus Santa Claus!
  • Time:  11-1:30pm
  • Review a recap of the 2016 event:  Light of Christmas shines brightly at San Miguel School in Chicago

 

December 23, 2017

  • What: Ewing Annex Hotel Luncheon, Chicago, IL
  • Where: Annex Hotel, 430 South Clark, Chicago Loop.
  • What we will do:  We will serve up to 130 meals
  • FFF Volunteers:  We will need 5 volunteers
  • Time:  9am – 12pm
  • For a recap on our 2016 Christmas serving event at the Annex Hotel, see Serving Up a Special Christmas at the Ewing Annex Hotel

 

For a recap of our 2016 events, check out our article:   2016 Event Recap: It was another fantastic year of serving events!

Event Recap: Serving a Christmas Meal at the Annex Hotel in Chicago

Food For Friends would like to thank Dr. June Lee for submitting the following article.  More photos from this serving event have been posted to this album on our Facebook page.
Food For Friends volunteers served a Christmas Style meal to the men of the Annex Hotel Christmas on Saturday December 23.

We had the privilege of serving at the 2017 Ewing Annex Hotel Christmas event hosted by Food For Friends on Saturday December 23.  The serving team comprised of my family (my husband, our 2 children- Kaitlyn (19) and Noah (15), and I), Colleen, and Brian.

Food For Friends provided a wonderful Christmas meal for the 200 guests staying at the Annex Hotel.  The guests enjoyed the ham, mac and cheese, potatoes, meatballs, and green beans. Many returned for seconds and thirds.

The Annex Hotel is a cubicle-style hotel in the city of Chicago that provides affordable housing for low income men.  Many of the men can only afford to stay there a few days and opt instead to stay at the Pacific Garden Mission during the weekdays when the shelter is open.  There were no vacancies that day as the weather was about 10 degrees outside.

Our Foods For Friends team felt blessed to be able to serve a warm meal to these men.

Dr June Lee
Food For Friends volunteer

Food For Friends Supports the Elgin Community Christmas Dinner

Food For Friends partnered with Jeff Turner and a host of other partners on Sunday, December 17 2017 to provide a holiday meal to those less fortunate in the Elgin Community

Food For Friends partnered with Jeff Turner and a host of other partners on Sunday, December 17 2017 to provide a holiday meal to those less fortunate in the Elgin Community.  The dinner was held at the Hemmens Cultural Center, 45 Symphony Way, Elgin,, IL from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec 18, 2017

Jeff Turner, owner of In The Neighborhood Deli and Catering in Elgin, has been hosting neighborhood dinners in Elgin for years, including the Community Thanksgiving Dinner and the Valentine’s Day Have a Heart dinner.

Traditional Christmas music provided a festive background as people trickled into line, ready to receive roasted pork loin, turkey tetrazzini, baked ham, stuffing, au gratin potatoes, broccoli Dijon, cranberries, salad and rolls.

Food For Friends volunteers helped out with three different shifts for the event: Setup and food prep from 8 to 10:30 a.m.; food service from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and service and teardown from 1 to 3 p.m

Jeff Turner’s goal with these community dinners is to not only to serve the homeless, but also the elderly, empty nesters and people with large families who might not necessarily be able to feed everyone.  “It’s the right thing to do,” he said. “I have a real strong love of the community and my goal is to bring everybody together, from all walks of life, to share a meal and fellowship and have fun and volunteer.”  He said any leftover food will be donated to shelters and soup kitchens.

Food For Friends would like to thank the following email we received from Dane Hiteman, who was a Food For Friends serving volunteer at this event.

============================================

The Elgin Community Christmas Dinner at the Hemmens Cultural Center was a delight to serve at. Although geared for higher volumes, I would suspect that we might have served between 250 – 350 meals. The space was brightly lit and had dining tables spaced out throughout. Each table had a white table cloth and was holiday decorated with candy canes, Hershey’s kisses, and peppermints. A definite favorite with the kids. Just outside of the kitchen there were two serving lines that were fully staffed with volunteers and runners to replenish each of the food items. Back in the kitchen more volunteers were busy keeping the oven and foil trays full for the guests. Back out on the floor, in the middle of the space, we had a large area designated for desserts (my specific serving station), lemonade, hot chocolate, water, and coffee.

I was grateful for being at the dessert station because we actually had an opportunity to walk around and talk to the first guests as they were eating. Many are from the community and found out about the meal through Facebook. All were thankful and showed their appreciation through smiles, handshakes, hugs, and kind words. Families of all sizes as well as groups of individuals came through. Towards the end of the event, to-go cartons were distributed to make sure many would have a second good meal later that day.

I really enjoyed my time and look forward to the opportunity to serve again. Thank you for helping light the path for both the volunteers and those in
need.

Dane Hiteman
Food For Friends volunteer

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Food For Friends would also like to thank Dane Duval for taking a bunch of pictures at the event.  We have loaded those pictures into an album on our Facebook page at 2017-Dec – Elgin Christmas Dinner.

 

Blue Bag Event Recap: Champion Logistics Group & Food For Friends partner on 50 Turkeys and Blue Bags for Thanksgiving!

Note:  This article was submitted by CJ Berg  and Dane Hiteman of Champion Logistics Group.  You can see pictures from our Blue Bag distribution for the Champion Logistics event on our Facebook page photo album “2017-Nov Champion Logistics Blue Bag Event“.  Learn more about Champion Logistics at their website: http://www.champlog.com/about

Champion Logistics Group is honored to support Food for Friends and their continued efforts to help less fortunate families in Chicago.  Our two organizations have partnered with the City of Northlake to provide Thanksgiving dinners to dozens of Northlake families.

Champion Logistics Group employees gather for a group photo after packing Food For Friends Blue Bags with hundreds of food items donated by employees.

Champion, with help from their generous employees, collected hundreds of food items over the month of November.  These items include vegetables, fruits, turkey, desserts and more. On Saturday, November 18th, the Champion staff sorted the items and created 50 individual Blue Bags from the donated food.   Food For Friends added a turkey to go along with each blue bag.  A total of 50 turkeys and Blue Bags were then delivered by Food for Friends to needy families in the community.

Food for Friends is an organization that feels compelled to give back to a community that has given them so much. Through the donation of time, money and other resources, Food for Friends has given these people the gifts of hope, faith and love.

Champion is truly grateful to be part of such generosity.

About Champion Logistics Group
Champion Logistics Group is a full-service logistics provider comprised of three separate divisions; domestic transportation, International freight forwarding, and warehouse and fulfillment. Champion has been fortunate enough to assist various charitable organizations over the last three decades, including St. Jude Children’s Hospital, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Operation Gratitude, the Red Cross and many more.

Event Recap: Humble Hearts Foundation distributes 75 Turkeys and Blue Bags!

The following article was submitted by Carol Boyd, who is President & Founder a unique organization called the “Humble Hearts Foundation”

 

Humble Hearts distributed 75 Turkeys and Blue Bags to needy families in the days before Thanksgiving

When TURKEYS show up – I shout out !!!

Thank you to Food For Friends & Hyatt Regency O’Hare for blessing Humble Hearts with sponsoring turkeys to help me bless those in need.

75 homes were able to receive a Turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, corn bread, stuffing and corn to sit down and have a Happy Thanksgiving dinner with their family and friends.

I give thanks to God for with out him I would not be blessed nor able to do what I do As he sends me generous compassionate people to help me continue to be his foot soldier doing what I love doing … Helping People.

From my home to yours May it be filled with food, warmth, love and peace. May we pray for those with out , & not take any morsel for granted… Amen

Love

Carol Boyd
President/ Founder
Humble Hearts Foundation
www.humbleheartsfoundation.org
humblehearts@email.com

Event Recap: Church of God Holiness Distributes 50 Thanksgiving Blue Bags

The following article was received from Willie Carter, Church of God Holiness

 

 

In the days before Thanksgiving, volunteers for the Church of God Holiness distributed 50 Turkeys and Blue Bags filled with Thanksgiving food staples

Dear Mr. Dan Herzog / Food for Friends:

Thanks again for the 3rd year of your generous donation of 50 turkeys to support the Church of God Holiness Thanksgiving Food Drive.

We are so grateful for your partnership in helping 50 plus of our neighbors in need of food to gather around their tables to enjoy a wholesome Thanksgiving meal.

We can’t thank you enough for your support, but please know how much you’ve helped those families and how appreciative we are for your kindness.

May God Forever Bless You.

Missionary Willie Carter
Church of God Holiness
Mission Department

Elgin Community Thanksgiving Dinner Event Recap: Over 1,000 Served!

Note:  Thanks to Food For Friends volunteer Rich LeBron (Rich@thefranchiseconsultingcompany.com) who coordinated our serving volunteers and provided content for the following article:
On Thanksgiving day, the Elgin community came together for a Thanksgiving Dinner at the First Methodist Church in Elgin. Food For Friends donated the Turkeys and we had over 50 volunteers helping to serve.

Thanksgiving would not be the same if you were not able to share the experience with over 1000 fellow community members.

Every year various partners across the Elgin area and a bunch of community volunteers come together to offer a free Thanksgiving Dinner to anyone in the Elgin area.   The event hopes to serve anyone in the community that may need a little help, food and love around this time of the year.  This year, the Thanksgiving dinner was held 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Nov. 23 in the basement of First United Methodist Church, 216 E. Highland Ave., Elgin.

The event is organized by Jeff Turner of In the Neighborhood Deli.  Volunteers from throughout the community gather to cook and serve a hot turkey dinner with all the fixings to over 1000 of our neighbors.

Food For Friends was a significant partner for this event, donating over 1,000 pounds of turkey.   The staff at the Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin cooked and carved the meat.  Other partners included the Salvation Army of Elgin, In the Neighborhood Deli and the First United Methodist Church.

An event this big requires many serving volunteers.  There were 40 volunteers from Food For Friends.  There were also volunteer groups from local churches, high school girls sports teams. Volunteers at First United Methodist Church served the main dish along with plenty of trimmings and several dessert options.

This was truly a community event and is designed that way in an effort to bring everyone together.  Kids were treated to a table filled with fun games, crafts and smiling faces.  Both the guests and volunteers all commented how this was the highlight of their holiday and were filled with a thankful heart.

Jeff Turner the founder of the event announced his vision to eventually hold up to 12 events throughout the year to help meet the needs of those in the community.  He already has community dinners around Christmas and Valentine’s Day and is looking to start up a summertime event, likely a cookout at a park in the June timeframe.

Looking for more pictures from this event?  We have over 100 pictures from this Thanksgiving Dinner over on our Facebook album

Video captures the magic of serving Thanksgiving Dinner at Pacific Garden Mission

Food For Friends volunteer John McKenzie produced a 2 minute video from footage he took during this year’s Thanksgiving serving event at the Pacific Garden Mission.

It does a great job of capturing the magic of serving at this annual event. Have a look at it!!  Just double click on the picture or head over to the following URL  https://vimeo.com/244698851

A big thanks to John for producing the video!

 

Thanksgiving Dinner Recap: HELPS Ministry in St. Charles

Note:  This article was submitted by long-time HELPS Ministry volunteer Terina Erb 
On Thanksgiving Day, Food For Friends partnered with the HELPS Ministry in St. Charles to host a dinner for about 120 needy families and individuals.

We had such a beautiful Thanksgiving Day to hold a special dinner at the HELPS Ministry in St. Charles for area families and individuals in need and without the resources or connections to have a dinner of their own.   On this Thanksgiving, HELPS Ministry filled that void, with help from Food For Friends.

A few hours prior to the event, over 20 volunteers arrived energetically to the ministry to set up and get the gym ready for Thanksgiving dinner.   The set up consisted of tables and chairs, decorations throughout the gym, and food set up in preparation for the meal.  The gym looked amazing and the volunteers were all smiles and full of anticipation for the serving event.

About 2:00 p.m., families aind individuals started to arrive.  Our volunteers greeted them with choruses of “Happy Thanksgiving” and were treated in return with smiles and “Happy Thanksgiving’ greetings.
After our guests were all sitting, a prayer was given and communion was offered to all.  The volunteers then served the meal family style and a whole turkey was actually carved at each table.  All the guests enjoyed digging into the turkey, mashed potatoes, dressing, pasta, veggies and dessert.    Music was playing and the place was lively.
A family of ten showed up a bit late and was hesitant to walk in at first, but they were soon greeted with smiles and more choruses of “Happy Thanksgiving!”.  So they walked in and the volunteers made them feel very welcomed.  They too were served family style and you could just see the warm feelings of love and happiness fill the table.
In all, about 120 people were served and everyone was smiling and stomaches were satisfied.  After the meal few guests even got up and danced to the music!
As we went around to the tables, we talked to many of our guests.  Some of the homeless that we talked to said they were impressed that their food was not served on paper plates.  That made the meal even that more special.   We heard a number of guests ask when the next event would be and how they could become more involved with the HELPS Ministry and programs.  Finally, our hearts were touched when at one table a homeless child said “This is the best Thanksgiving I’ve ever had.”
So, we can truly say that this event was a complete success.
For more pictures of the event, see our photo album on our Facebook page

Blue Bag Event Recap: HELPS Ministry in St. Charles

Note:  This article was submitted by long-time HELPS Ministry volunteer Terina Erb 
HELPS Ministry and Food For Friends partnered up to provide 25 Turkeys and Blue Bags to needy St. Charles area families

What’s a Thanksgiving without a turkey and the other goodies?  Just another day.  However this Thanksgiving some St. Charles area families received that special Thanksgiving dinner thanks to a partnership between Food For Friends and the HELPS Ministry.

On Saturday, Nov. 18, Food For Friends provided HELPS Ministry in St. Charles, 25 blue bags filled with a frozen turkey and all the trimmings.  This HELPS Ministry, a Christ centered ministry, has been serving homeless and needy individuals since 2000.
The Food For Friends Blue Bag were all distributed within the St. Charles area to families in need.  Some of the families were single parent homes and other homes were just down on their luck because of job loss or illnesses that caused financial hardships.
One family, new to the area, didn’t know where to turn for help, but the HELPS ministry heard about them and showed up with a Food For Friends Blue Bag.   They were provided a turkey and all the trimmings.  Talk about big smiles!
These meals provide families a reminder of all they have to be thankful for in their lives. It gives them a special time to sit down and reflect on the things they are thankful for in their lives instead of all their hardships.   Food For Friends and the HELPS Ministry is proud of our partnership and look forward to many more years of working to make an impact in peoples lives within the St. Charles community and surrounding area.
For more pictures taken during this Blue Bag distribution event, see our photo album on our Facebook page