Food Bank Celebrates Honor of Charity Navigator “Top 10 Slam Dunk Charities” Recognition

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Northern Illinois Food Bank continues to add more successes to their already impressive list of honors. In addition to the recent recognition as the “Food Bank of the Year” by Feeding America, the nation’s network of food banks, NIFB is honored to announce that for the seventh consecutive year they have achieved a four-star rating from Charity Navigator. Fewer than 2% of charities nationwide have achieved such a high distinction. Charity Navigator is America’s largest charity evaluator. The four-star rating is based on the organizations’ ability to efficiently manage its finances and grow its programs.

We are invested in not only the communities that we serve but each one of our clients

Northern Illinois Food Bank continues to add more successes to their already impressive list of honors. In addition to the recent recognition as the “Food Bank of the Year” by Feeding America, the nation’s network of food banks, NIFB is honored to announce that for the seventh consecutive year they have achieved a four-star rating from Charity Navigator. Fewer than 2% of charities nationwide have achieved such a high distinction. Charity Navigator is America’s largest charity evaluator. The four-star rating is based on the organizations’ ability to efficiently manage its finances and grow its programs.

NIFB recognizes that donors are becoming more attentive to how their contributions are being used by non-profits of their choice. Over 96.5% of every dollar goes towards the Food Bank’s mission to provide nutritious food to all those in need through their own efforts and those of their non-profit partners. NIFB CEO and President, H. Dennis Smith explained, “We understand that donors want their donations to be used efficiently and provide the greatest amount of help possible to people in need. NIFB is proud to deliver both.”

“Given the increased scrutiny and pressure charities are under in these tough economic times, we are extremely pleased to achieve this high distinction. We are currently in the midst of a capital campaign to address the growing need for hunger relief in the communities we serve, and we realize that donors want to know that we are using their gifts judiciously” Smith continued. In addition to providing much needed food handling and distribution space, the new building will foster better health within the 13 counties served by the Northern Illinois Food Bank by instructing and encouraging better use of food and financial resources.

The Food Bank has seen exceptional growth despite the dire state of the economy. In FY10 they distributed 35 million pounds of food which is an 8 million pound increase over the last year. This is at a time when record numbers of people find themselves in need of food assistance. In addition to stepping up their general efforts to address the exploding need by people across northern Illinois, the Food Bank has also provided over 1.1 million meals to children in need in FY10. That represents an increase of more than 20%, year over year, to help combat the severe and long term effects child hunger has on individuals, families and communities. “We are invested in not only the communities that we serve but each one of our clients,” said Smith.

About Northern Illinois Food Bank:
Feeding America’s Food Bank of the Year, Northern Illinois Food Bank (NIFB) is a non-profit organization that provides food to all those in need through its 520 partner agencies in 13 counties including- Boone, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, Ogle, Stephenson, Will and Winnebago. Northern Illinois Food Bank acquires, gathers, handles, and distributes donated, government, and purchased food to more than 61,000 different people each week through local food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, youth activity centers and other food assistance sites. In Fiscal Year 2010 NIFB distributed over 36.5 million pounds of food. The Food Bank has recently launched a Capital Campaign to build a new Food Distribution and Community Nutrition Center to enable them to handle more food more efficiently to meet the increasing demand.

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Sarah Slavenas
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