Friday, February 15, 2013
Today is the last day Chicago Auto Show attendees can earn half-off admission with a donation of three canned goods. All donations benefit A Safe Haven Foundation, a non-profit organization that serves homeless and food insecure Chicagoans. The Chicago Auto Show, the new-car dealers of the Chicago Automobile Trade Association, Chevy Drives Chicagoland, and Alan Josephsen Co. Inc. are sponsoring the food drive that is expected to raise 10 tons of food. Last year, the food drive helped prepare over 497,000 meals for residents at A Safe Haven's 28 Chicagoland locations.
"The high level of participation and enthusiasm among donors is inspiring," said Neli Vazquez-Rowland, President of A Safe Haven Foundation. "It's reassuring to know that fellow Chicagoans care for one another. I'm so grateful for our sponsors, the Chicago Auto Show, the new-car dealers of the Chicago Automobile Trade Association, and Chevy Drives Chicagoland, Alan Josephsen Co. for the opportunity to be the beneficiary of this food drive to help curb hunger in Chicago. I'd like to also thank our volunteers; most of them are participants in our programs. It's such a great opportunity for them to come out and share their experiences."
Over 350,000 residents are living in Chicago food deserts and over 100,000 food desert residents are children, according to Mari Gallagher's "The Chicago Food Desert Progress Report." A Safe Haven Foundation's community food pantry distributes groceries to over 24,000 people a year living in food deserts.
In Cook County, 1 in 6 individuals are food insecure, not knowing where or when their next meal will be. A Safe Haven's holistic model helps individuals achieve self-sufficiency through a continuum of housing, recovery management services, and job skills training and placement.
"We are so pleased to watch the generosity of the Chicago area new car dealers be matched by attendees of the show," said David E. Sloan, President of Chicago Automobile Trade Association and General Manager of the Chicago Auto Show. "To think we can gather so much food in such a short period of time is wonderful. We know the needs of many hungry families will be met by the Food Drive."