|May 5|magazine6 min read

CHICAGO, May 5, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Television and radio stations throughout Illinois joined forces in a statewide campaign that raised more than $1.5 million to combat hunger and food bank shortages in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Illinois broadcasters, in partnership with Feeding Illinois and the Illinois Broadcasters Association, encouraged their viewers and listeners to contribute monetary donations to bolster dwindling food supplies at area food banks. ILLINOIS BROADCASTERS UNITING AGAINST HUNGER kicked off on March 26 with news stories about the dramatic rise in food insecurity along with on-air and social media promotion. The first goal for the fundraising effort was set at $250,000. The drive was scheduled to be a month-long effort but was extended to April 30 when the response was so great.

"I want to thank the people of Illinois, many of whom are also hurting, for their overwhelming generosity. Our campaign began with a hopeful $250,000 goal but exceeded every expectation after raising more than $1.5 million dollars to help feed our hungry neighbors. It is a testament to what is possible when TV and radio broadcasters throughout our state stand united in times of crisis," said John Idler, Illinois Broadcasters Association (IBA) Board Chairman and ABC 7 Chicago President and General Manager.

"The outstanding generosity of Illinoisans and local broadcasters as well as the incredible power of local broadcast media never cease to amaze me," remarked Dennis Lyle, president and CEO of IBA. "What a remarkable achievement."

 "The Greater Chicago Food Depository is so grateful to the Illinois Broadcasters Association and everyone who supported this remarkable campaign. Because of you, we can offer food – and hope – to many thousands of families who are facing hunger for the first time. The outpouring of generosity we've seen from people across Illinois inspires us during this challenging time. The need is great, but together we are greater," said Kate Maehr, Executive Director and CEO of Greater Chicago Food Depository.

Julie Yurko, President & CEO, Northern Illinois Food Bank said, "Northern Illinois Food Bank is incredibly thankful for the vision and leadership of the Illinois Broadcasters Association in bringing communities across Illinois together for our neighbors during this unprecedented time. As the need has doubled and even tripled locally in recent weeks, knowing this campaign will help provide millions of dollars in groceries for our neighbors statewide when they need us most is simply incredible—there's never been a more important, impactful time for a campaign like this than right now."

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SOURCE Illinois Broadcasters Association