Updated: February 8, 2014 6:16AM
ELGIN — As part of Elgin’s 28th Annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, the MLK Celebration Committee is hosting its third annual community-wide food drive.
Food that is collected between now and Jan. 19 will be distributed to local pantries to provide much needed food through the winter months, when the pantries frequently have severe shortages. Shortages are expected to increase this year due to recent cutbacks on food stamps, a release from the city said.
All Elgin fire stations and other city facilities serve as drop-off sites for food collection. Fire Chief John Fahy said he hopes his fire stations are brimming with food for the hungry this year.
“Especially in the winter months, the need for food is great in our community,” he said in the release. “Our stations are located in every neighborhood, making it easy for everyone to drop off a bag of canned goods.”
Resident can drop off their donations at the location most convenient to them:
Fire Station One — 550 Summit St.
Fire Station Five — 801 Villa St.
City hall — 150 Dexter Court
Fire Station Two — 650 Big Timber Road
Fire Station Three — 2455 Royal Blvd.
Fire Station Four — 599 S. McLean Blvd.
Fire Station Six — 707 W. Chicago St.
Fire Station Seven — 3270 Longcommon Pkwy.
Food also can be donated at all local Elgin and South Elgin Jewel Stores, Elgin Fresh Markets, Butera Food Stores and Walgreen Drug stores, as well as at many local churches.
Sponsored by Elgin’s Human Relations Commission and coordinated by the Dr. King Celebration Committee, the effort’s goal this year is to exceed 6 tons (12,000 pounds) of collected canned goods and household staples.
During the first two years of the event, the food drive collected more than 22,000 pounds of food. All collected items will be sorted and delivered by volunteers to six local food pantries and Senior Services Associates on Monday, Jan. 20, the King holiday.
Joe Wars, MLK Committee member organizing the food drive, said he is hopeful that the community will rally behind the cause.
“We hope to see even bigger response than last year, as we know the need for food is growing,” he said in the release.
For more information on the food drive, including how to volunteer, contact Wars at 847-742-2228 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. weekend of events is sponsored by the city of Elgin’s Human Relations Commission along with the yearlong efforts of the Martin Luther King Jr. Planning Committee.
Community members of the MLK Planning Committee include Rose Reinert, Danise Habun, Joe Wars, Janice Hare, Andre Allen, Angela Causey, Angela Banks, Deborah Spates, Rene Neal, Aloun Khotisene, June Wooten, Dianha Ortega-Ehreth and Brandi Benjamin.
For more information on all of the events, visit www.cityofelgin.org/mlk or call the city at 847-931-5667.