Melisa and I are so pleased to announce the 2013 charity for LTYM Chicago! Every LTYM show donates a minimum of 10% of all ticket proceeds to a local charity that focuses on the needs of women and/or children. One of the best moments of 2012 was when we were finalizing the paperwork and details post-show. Writing out the check to Bright Pink felt INCREDIBLE! Knowing that our theater of choice for 2013 (which we’re still not releasing just yet! Ooohh!! The mystery! The Drama!) has over 3 TIMES as many seats to fill for our second show means that we could potentially donate 3 times as much to our next charity!!
We considered many but were drawn immediately to the Greater Chicago Food Depository to be the charity for the 2013 LTYM Chicago show. It’s a well-known foundation with deep roots, but I had never truly experienced the hunger needs of the city of Chicago until I worked with ConAgra Foods and The GCFD on a blogging outreach program this summer. On a tour of their facilities, I was astounded at the massive amounts of food that is distributed. The GCFD distributes donated and purchased food through 650 programs with a network of 400 food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters to 678,000 adults and children every year. A heart-breaking fact: Out of all of the hungry in Chicago, 34% of the people served are children…
Programs like the Kids Cafe, Nourish for Knowledge, Healthy Kids Market, and the Lunch Bus work to alleviate the stress that hunger can bring to a child and to their family. When children are hungry, they cannot focus on education or their future. The healthy meals that the GCFD passed out on the Lunch Bus that day fed not only hungry children, but also the mothers who came with them. These programs provide more than nourishment for the children’s and mother’s bodies; They nourish the entire family with hope.
A unique quality of the GCFD is their employees. Each person I met there was genuinely proud of their work and motivated to always reach higher and further. I urge you to check out the Greater Chicago Food Depository Blog to see the experiences that the employees wrote about when they took the challenge to live on $35 a week for food (the average weekly benefit of an individual living on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-SNAP- formerly known as Food Stamps).
To find out more about the Greater Chicago Food Depository and other ways you can help with the hunger crisis in Chicago, you can visit their website www.chicagosfoodbank.org