August 2015 Food For Friends e-News!

Greeting friends!  This is our third version of our e-News communication program, which we hope provides you with an easy way to stay up to date with what’s going on with Food For Friends.  We know some of you don’t have the time to check our Facebook page and website. So this newsletter is another way to reach out to you and let you know what we are doing.

In this e-news we have links to the following articles:

As I write this, our annual golf outing is a little over two weeks away.  The golf committee has been hard at work for months and we are happy to say that we are expecting to have all golfing spots filled.   However, you can still attend our dinner and raffle which is always a fun way to meet new people and perhaps win some nice raffle items.  You can reserve your spot at our dinner via our golf outing registration website.

As we move past our outing and begin to focus on fall activities, I invite you to select a few serving events in the coming months and help serve the needy with us.  Stay tuned to our Facebook page and website for more information.


Dan Herzog
President, Food For Friends
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Serving Event Report: Ewing Annex Hotel on August 15, 2015

Note:  This event report was submitted by Dan Herzog, President – Food For Friends

2015Aug - Ewing Hotel - 09Food For Friends continued its brunch serving at the Ewing Annex Hotel on Clark Street in the Chicago Loop Saturday 8/15/2015.  We have served here a number of times and get a special feeling in our hearts everytime we do.  We can see the impact we have on these men who rarely get a meal like we can provide to them.  We see the thanks in their faces and hear it in their voices.

On this Saturday in August, we served more than 150 guests (men of all ages) a wonderful meal of pasta, mac and cheese, fried chicken, green beans and potatoes.  Desert included jello and fresh baked cookies.  The food was all prepared by Lee and Eddys Catering.  Thanks to owner Dan Veles who attended the event and served alongside us.  Food for Friends volunteers included Barb Gaona, Martin Cervantes, Dan Herzog and Kurt Lannefeld.

Before the meal, Dan Herzog gave the men a short message on respecting others and respecting themselves (based on the bible verse Mark 12:30-31, NIV)   and led everyone in a prayer to bless the food and the event.  Please see the pictures below.

We have a number of serving opportunities for you over the next 4-5 months. Please email Christina at if you would like to join us for a serving opportunity.  Your heart will be glad you did.

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Ken Rasbid joins Food For Friends Board of Directors

Note:  This article was contributed by Dan Herzog, President Food For Friends

The Food For Friends organization is pleased to announce Mr. Ken Rasbid has agreed to join the Board of Directors.  Ken, a local family and business man, comes to Food For Friends with many years of skilled leadership in the business world, a heart for the poor, loves his family, church and God. Recently, I had a chance to pose some questions to Ken.  This article is a record of the questions I asked and the answers he gave to them, helping us to understand who Ken is and why he has joined the Food For Friends Board of Directors.

Ken Rasbid - Board of DirectorsQ.  Ken, can you tell us about your work history and the leadership experience your bringing to Food For Friends?

A.  “I have spent the past 24 years working in various sales and leadership positions with in the ever changing world of healthcare.  Most recently, I am a Vice President for Cardinal Health with responsibilities for managing relationship with Henry Schein. This strategic partnership encompasses many dynamic initiatives across sales, marketing, distribution and sourcing of products between our two companies.”

Q.  How about your home church, THE CHAPEL can you explain your volunteer role and what highlights and accomplishments have been achieved?

A.  “I have been fortunate to head-up a tremendous group of leaders and volunteers with The Chapel Lake Zurich for the past 5 years, focused on performing 6 Mobile Food Pantries each year.  This has been an amazing journey where the love of Jesus has been revealed in so many unexpected ways. Not only through the support that a week’s worth of groceries can provide, but the connection that can be experienced from both our guests and volunteers.”

Q.  Ken, there are many great parallels between Food For Friends and the partnership we have with The Chapel Church.  What kind of benefits do you see joining the Food For Friends Board and continuing the Chapel programs?

A.  “I’ve come to see the small miracles that God performs in the quietest moments of these food pantries.  Life is about the small steps forward we make every day and continuing that development motivates me to find the next opportunity to help.  I am blessed with a devoted and loving partner in my wife, Denise, where we have lived in the Lake Zurich area for the past 7 years.  We have three amazing children, where we gladly spend our free time as their biggest fans.”

I’d like to thank Ken for signing up for this leadership position.  Food For Friends is very blessed to have him join our Board and look forward to continuing to follow the leading of Jesus as we serve and work together following our mutual passion serving those who have less than us.  At Food For Friends, we are always looking for additional volunteers to help us with a leadership roles and committee assignments.  If you are interested in helping us behind the scenes, please let us know via

Why Attend The Annual Golf Outing?

Note:  This guest post was submitted by Ryan Parsons, a Sales Executive for Avatar Corporation and volunteer with Food for Friends

DSC00907It is almost time for the 12th annual Food For Friends golf outing.  The outing is the organization’s largest fundraiser and the proceeds are used to provide food to those in need throughout the year.  The outing is a great way to participate with Food For Friends.  Virtually every aspect of the outing raises the money needed to provide in the hands on opportunities associated with our organization.  Whether you are participate in the outing, volunteering, providing sponsorships, donating prizes, or simply buying raffle tickets, You Are Making A Difference.

So, join us Tuesday September 8th and help us continue to help those who need it most.  We cannot do it without you.

Before you say you don’t golf  or that you don’t have time, please read on…and consider what you would be missing by not coming to the outing.

Just think:   We live in a world where you can connect with someone with the click of a button.  It is as easy as pressing send.  People seem to be so assessable.  Yet, in this world of convenience when was the last time you had a real connection with someone?   When was the last time you were able to make a difference in someone’s life?

I sat down and pondered these questions.  I thought to myself “sure I have connected with others recently, ” but I continued to think about it and other questions popped into my head.  Questions like:  How often do we send an email or text message instead of picking up the phone and making a call?  How often are we too busy or uninterested to make time for others?  We are quick to make excuses instead of time.  My answers to these questions were less than that which I desire.

The Food for Friends annual golf outing and dinner is a simple way to both make connections with others and help those in need.  It gets you away from the electronic world for awhile and gives you an opportunity to meet others who enjoy giving back to ‘our friends’.   And you don’t have to be a golfer to participate.  Come have dinner with us and enjoy the fun of networking with others and having fun trying to secure a raffle item!

So…..How will you participate?   Explore the options available to you at

Serving Event Report: Mobile Food Pantry July 18, 2015

Note:  This report was filed by Ken Rasbid, our newest Food For Friends Board Member

2015 August Mobile Food Pantry - IMG_5601Food for Friends partnered with the Northern Illinois Food Bank for a mobile food pantry and sit down meal serving event located at the CHAPEL Church of Lake Zurich on Saturday, July 18, 2015.

It was an amazing day filled with so many wonderful outcomes. In summary, here are a few highlights:

  • A total 194 households were served with groceries.  Those households contain 525 people, of which 177 are children.
  • Close to 100 volunteers from Food for Friends, Northern Illinois Food Bank and the Chapel Church generously donated their time and talents to work various portions of the morning/afternoon.
  • Our friends from Rosalind University Mobile Health Clinic provided screenings for 27 patients, two of which were referred to the Emergency Room for necessary care that same day.

2015 August Mobile Food Pantry - IMG_5607Through feedback from many volunteers and some guests, it was very evident that Jesus was present through the love and attitude on display.  I am so honored to have served alongside many of you as introductions were started, relationships were built, and people’s hearts were attended to.  What a wonderful day to see so many people opening their heart and embracing friends in need.

2015 August Mobile Food Pantry - IMG_5605Special thanks to all the volunteers that showed up.  If you have not had a chance to serve at a Food for Friends event, please consider doing so.  Your heart will be rewarded many times over. Please email Christina at  if you would like more information on how to be a volunteer server.

HELP! Volunteers needed for Saturday July 18 at Mobile Food Pantry in Lake Zurich

FOOD FOR FRIENDS is once again sponsoring a Northern Illinois Food Bank Mobile Food Pantry & Serving a Sit Down Meal with The CHAPEL Church of Lake Zurich on Saturday, July 18, 2015.

We are partnering with the CHAPEL CHURCH and their volunteers for this event and it will be held at their Lake Zurich Campus. ??We will be distributing two weeks of groceries to 200-300 families in need and anticipate up to 750 people for the sit down meal.  This event will take place at the Chapel, 330 S Old Rand Road, Lake Zurich, IL  60047.

We need about 50 Food For Friends volunteers to make this event successful.  With the date fast approaching, we don’t yet have enough volunteers.  Please see below for volunteer hours, you don’t need to stay for the entire shift time.  A couple of hours will make a difference!

07/18, Saturday (50 Volunteers) 7am-1pm

    Shift 1 (7-10am)

•   7 – 9am Kitchen & Food Prep

•   9:30am Begin Serving breakfast


   Shift 2 (10-1pm)

•   10am-12pm Mobile Food Pantry Distribution

•   12-1pm Cleanup


Please email Christina at  if you would like to join us for this wonderful serving opportunity.

Letting Go Of The Past In Order To Move Forward

Ewing Annex HotelOn the morning of May 16, 2015 I was on my way to a Food For Friends serving event at the Ewing Annex men’s hotel in the Chicago loop.  As the FFF leader of this event I was really looking forward to serving the homeless men at Ewing Annix and providing them with a good experience.

It was a Saturday morning and I was expecting a quick drive downtown.  However, I eventually found myself stuck in traffic on the 290 Eisenhower expressway….something I had not planned for.

I began to experience both frustration and anxiety because I feared that I was going to be late.   But this emotion peaked and I finally let it go…. there was nothing I could do about the traffic.  Releasing the anxiety was a good feeling and it allowed me then to think of that days serving event, warmly embrace that day, and know that we were fulfilling God’s purpose to serve those with less than me.

As it turned out, the traffic subsided and I was on time to the event.   As I kicked off the event, I incorporated the story of my anxiety of being stuck in traffic into my message and prayer before the meal.  I explained to the men we were serving the importance of letting go of the less important past, including the circumstances that may have been the reason they were homeless and here.  I encouraged the men to embrace today and look forward to the future.   I told them there is a God in heaven who loves them and that choosing this gift of grace is available for their asking.

We discussed taking one step today, just one baby step in planning a better life for their future.  I explained that one of these small steps could include receiving God in their lives and that with God by their side, they can begin their journey with a partner.

So how about you?  How does this story fit into your life and serving with Food For Friends?  Are you ready to let go of something in the past, embrace the gift of today and take one step to plan for tomorrow?

Our leadership team encourages you to let go of reasons preventing you to come out and serve the poor with Food For Friends and embrace the many serving opportunities we have all around Chicagoland to get involved in helping the men, women and children with less that you.

Finally, we also ask you to help us do more by asking for your financial donations.  When we serve others beyond ourselves we grow and receive the gift of a fulfilled life and purpose.


Report: May 16th Ewing Annex Hotel Serving Event

Ewing Annex HotelFor this event Food For Friends and Lee N Eddies catering joined together as sponsors.  A small group of volunteers served over 135 plates of a delicious brunch meal on Saturday May 16th 2015 at the Ewing Annex Hotel on Clarke street in the loop, Chicago.

This facility is a low income Men’s only hotel for mostly homeless men with little or no money, or jobs.  Food For friends had six volunteers serving up friendly smiles, conversation, a warm meal, and a lot of love to these men.  We all received smiles and thank you’s in return!

We also had the opportunity to be the church to these lost souls.  Pastor Moore from ATTCOM ministries blessed the meal, and Dan Herzog gave a short message to the men, who listened keenly before lining up for the meal.

The meal included fried chicken, honey Hawaiian meatballs, pasta marinara, macaroni and cheese, red skin potatoes, almond green beans, gourmet cookies, jello and fresh baked bread and butter.   These men were hungry!! Almost all the food was consumed within an hour!

See some pictures from the event below.

Thank you for your generous donations to provide funding for this series of serving events.   We are planning to serve a total of five meals at the Ewing Annex Hotel in 2015.  The next serving event at this hotel to bless the men will be in August.  You can sign up to serve as a Food For Friends volunteer by sending us an email at

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Check It Out, We’ve Gone Live!

2015 Birdease Golf Registration siteAfter 11 years of golf outings that came with a variety of options for registration, we finally came across a new website specifically designed for Golf Outing events.  After a number of discussions and hours of set up we are very excited for our Food For Friends golf outing sponsors and golfers to check out our slick new golf registration website.

This new registration website will make the process easier than ever for you to register for our annual golf outing.

As you will see once you are on the website, there are both the traditional sponsorships and golf registrations, and some new, creative items. These are intended to further enhance the event, as well as raise additional funds to “feed those in need.”

We want to stress that Food For Friends could not do any of this without your loyal support.  It may sound cliché but we hope to make this our best year yet!

Soooooo……. please check it out our new registration site as soon as possible. And while you are there, why not get signed up early?  All golf registrations paid on or before Friday, July 31 will receive 10 free raffle tickets for each golfer, a $20 value.  As always we will have several great prizes to give away!

If you have any questions on the golf outing or how to register, please send an email to John or Ben Opsahl at

Now….head on over to and check it out!!

What I Learned While Volunteering At This Year’s H.E.L.P.S. Easter Dinner

Note:  The following article was contributed by FFF volunteer Mark Gilbert

2015 June article Mark GilbertMy wife and I served at the Food for Friends/HELPS Ministry Easter dinner in St. Charles earlier this past April.    It was such a great event that I thought I’d write about my experience.

This is a smaller event than many that Food for Friends does, but having served at the Thanksgiving version of this a year and a half ago, I was anticipating a nice, quality event.  I was not disappointed.  The two organizations involved in this event, Food for Friends and HELPS, work well together.  There were volunteers from both organizations and honestly I couldn’t tell who was who.

The Easter dinner was a billed as a “sit down with some new friends” event.  As a volunteer at this event you spend your time not only serving, but sitting down and having meaningful interactions with the folks you are serving.  Biblically, this event parallels the Mary and Martha story:  it’s not about the prep and how spotless the place is, it’s about people interacting with each other.  The ideal experience is that no one can tell who is serving or being served, and I think we came pretty close.

HELPS Ministry St CharlesA couple years ago, when I first found out about Food for Friends, I thought of the ‘Friends’ in Food for Friends as folks that have challenges very different than mine.  After volunteering at a couple of these events, I have come away realizing that while the challenges of the folks we are serving are slightly different than mine, the real differences between us are very small.   Indeed, the folks at that Easter Dinner I served at have so much to offer us.  They just need a little help from us to get them on the right track again.

Truth is, my wife and I got more out of volunteering at the Easter event than we put into it. Trying to sum things up, I think maybe it’s best to say that people are people, and we’re here to help each other. You don’t have to make it any more complicated than that.

Thanks again for a well-run event!

Mark Gilbert

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