Sometimes, the measure of government service isn’t just in the quality of its roadways, the conviction rates of its judicial system or even the ability to hold the line on property-tax increases.
Sometimes government service is measured in more individual and human terms — in the day-to-day efforts of real people to make life just a little bit better for the folks who are their friends and neighbors.
In the later category comes news that Kane County’s 1,300-plus employees are taking part in a food drive that’s both the eighth in a long line of service initiatives and the first of its kind. It’s been dubbed — and we’re almost blushing at this — Kane County Connects Employees With the Community.
The primary and initial impact is a food drive that will begin Monday, June 1, and end Friday, June 19. The food drive is a continuation of the “Holiday Helping Hands” program that raises awareness that hunger affects our Kane County communities every day of the year — not just during the holidays. During the past seven years, the donations from county employees have totaled $73,038 and 16,880 pounds of food.
The donations raised this year will benefit 29 area food pantries and will help subsidize a mobile food pantry. Food and monetary donations will be presented to the Northern Illinois Food Bank at 3 p.m. Tuesday, June 23, immediately prior to the County Board’s Committee of the Whole meeting.
As part of the fun, the IT Department has put a “virtual food drive” up on the employee intranet, so that employees from any of the county buildings (and there are a lot of Kane County buildings, not just on the Government Center and Judicial Center campuses) and easily contribute. In addition to that, the county’s HR Department has put up boxes throughout those county buildings, where people can drop off food item.
This is where you come in. If you’re in the neighborhood and would like to drop off some items for the food drive, feel free. Here are some food donation guidelines, as provided on the Feeding Amerca website, but the “most needed items,” according to the Northern Illinois Food Bank, include the following. (And no glass jars, please.)
MOST NEEDED ITEMS
- Peanut Butter Canned Tuna/Chicken
- Whole Grain Pasta and Rice Cereal
- Dried Beans Canned Fruits (in own juice)
- Canned Vegetables Reduced-Sodium Soup
- Pasta Sauce
We know many of you will be dropping by the Government Center on Monday to pay your property-tax bills, so why not make it a little more fun and meaningful by dropping off some food items for the food drive, as well?
On Aug. 6, county employees will volunteer, as the mobile food pantry comes to the Kane County Government Center in Geneva to feed an additional 300 families. County employees will handle the organization and help with setup, food distribution, carrying groceries to vehicles and cleanup.
Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen put it this way in his memo to county employees:
“Regardless of how you participate, our contributions of food, money or time will help our neighbors and strengthen us.”