Broadcasters statewide band together to raise cash for food banks

Illinois Broadcasters Uniting Against Hunger

Television and radio stations throughout Illinois are teaming up to relieve shortages at food banks in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Starting with a daylong public-service marathon Thursday, Illinois Broadcasters Association in partnership with Feeding Illinois will seek online donations from viewers and listeners at (or text FEEDIL to 91999).

Illinois Broadcasters Uniting Against Hunger will benefit the Greater Chicago Food Depository, Northern Illinois Food Bank and six other regional agencies affiliated with Feeding Illinois.

John Idler

“Illinois Broadcasters have joined together during these extraordinary times,” said John Idler, board chairman of the IBA, and president and general manager of ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7. “The need to shore up food supplies and help feed the hungry has never been greater. The IBA has a long tradition of rallying our members in times of crisis. We have never been prouder to serve the people of Illinois.”

The Greater Chicago Food Depository supplies more than 700 food pantries and shelters in Chicago, serving about 800,000 people. Northern Illinois Food Bank covers 13 counties (including suburban Chicago) and serves about 500,000 people.

“We are already seeing an influx of neighbors in need coming to our programs and to our member food pantries for food assistance,” said Julie Yurko, president and CEO of Northern Illinois Food Bank. “Our greatest priority right now is ensuring we have the resources to not only feed our neighbors today, but that we can continue to do so in the weeks and months to come as the economy and our neighbors recover from this crisis.”