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Northern Illinois Food Bank’s Pop-Up Market comes to College of Lake County

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Oct 20, 2020

It’s a need permeating through every corner of Lake County. The need for food.

“It’s a cross section of society,” describes Northern Illinois Food Bank Pop-Up Market manager Mike Keane. “There’s no trend of a certain gender, race, creed or color that comes to mind when I look out at all the cars lined-up.” 

According to Feeding America, the level of food insecurity across the 13 counties served by Northern Illinois Food Bank could increase by 70 percent through December. The Food Bank is trying to address the growing need with their Pop-Up Markets and partnership with College of Lake County. Similar to its mobile pantry program but on a larger scale, the Pop-Up Markets bring those vital resources out into the communities the Food Bank serves.  No identification is needed, no proof of need is required, and a new location is coming. Northern Illinois Food Bank’s Pop-Up Market comes to College of Lake County

“We’re here to help them stretch their dollars,” said Keane. “If they don’t have to spend money at a grocery store, maybe now they can buy prescriptions, help their kid get school supplies or pay an electric bill.”

CLC Vice President of Community and Workforce Partnerships Ali O’Brien describes how happy the college is to help. “This is a really unique opportunity for us to help our residents who may not be students but are still important to us because they contribute to the local economy. They’re working and living in Lake County and we’re here to help support those needs as well.”

Beginning Tuesday, October 20, College of Lake County will serve as a second Lake County location to host a biweekly Pop-Up Market. Each family that comes through during the 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. distribution will receive approximately 50 lbs. of food, including protein, produce, dairy and milk (when available). This can be considered a godsend for students at the college who previously took advantage of the school’s SHARE Market, an on-campus food pantry which has been closed since March.

“We know our students have immediate needs in terms of food security,” said O’Brien. “By hosting this event at one of our campuses, even though most of our students are not attending in an in-person capacity right now, we’re still a known location.  We’re convenient for many of them who had already worked their lives around coming to campus.”  

The Pop-Up Market will take place in Parking Lot 5 on the southeast side of the college, accessible off Lancer Lane. Though Tuesday will be the first Pop-Up at College of Lake County, it won’t be the last. The partnership will run at least through the end of 2020 and provide food to approximately 1,500 families each week.

“One of the great things about the college is we focus on the needs of our students, staff and faculty and we also consider ourselves in the larger context of the entire community of Lake County. This partnership with the food bank really helps address needs of all of those stakeholders,” says O’Brien.

Volunteers are still needed to staff this and future pop-up markets. To sign up for a shift, visit www.SolveHungerToday.org/Volunteer, or call (630) 443-6910.

Who: Anyone in need of food assistance; no identification required

What: Northern Illinois Food Bank’s Pop-Up Market

Where: College of Lake County, Parking Lot 3 – entrance off of Lancer Lane

When: Tuesday Oct. 20 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., and every two weeks thereafter, through December 2020

Why: To provide approximately 50 lbs. of food to approximately 1,500 families each week

About College of Lake County

College of Lake County is a comprehensive community college committed to equitable high-quality education, cultural enrichment and partnerships to advance the diverse communities it serves in northeastern Illinois. Offered at three campuses in Grayslake, Vernon Hills and Waukegan or online, college classes are affordable and accessible to help each student achieve academic, career and personal goals. More than 70,000 students graduated with degrees and certificates since the college opened in 1969. The College of Lake County is the only higher-education institution ranked among the top 15 best places to work in Illinois by Forbes and is a national leader in many areas, including sustainability and conservation. Learn more at www.clcillinois.edu or call (847) 543-2000.

About Northern Illinois Food Bank

Northern Illinois Food Bank, Illinois’s largest food bank by distribution and the food bank for the suburbs of Chicago, is a non-profit organization that has engaged the community in creating access to nutritious groceries for neighbors in need since 1983. Through its Centers in Geneva, Park City, Rockford and Joliet, and through its network of more than 900 member food pantries and feeding sites, the Food Bank distributed more than 80 million meals last year—the equivalent of 220,000 meals daily—across its 13-county service area. Learn how to give help or get help today at www.SolveHungerToday.org, or call (630) 443-6910. Northern Illinois Food Bank is a proud member of Feeding America.