The Hunger Challenge Fund was established in 2011 for the purpose of fighting hunger within the community. It began with five $1,000 donations to the foundation and has continued to grow to $187,000 to date. Each year the foundation makes charitable grants to nonprofit organizations that work to fight hunger locally.
Grants given out in the past have helped support organizations such as the Northern Illinois Food Bank and bolstered local projects such as a backpack drive where children in need receive backpacks full of food.
“This year, the grant covered the cost of three mobile food pantries for the community,” said Kim Montgomery, executive director of the Rochelle Area Community Foundation.
Grants may be awarded to any non-profit organization that helps fight hunger in the community.
While raising and donating funds is a major contribution, Rochelle Foods officials and staff do much more throughout the year by hosting their own events and giving back in other ways.
“We do Hope for the Holidays, where we contact the Hope House and get a list of all the kids in the Hope system and what is on their wish list and then we go out and purchase those things, wrap them up and take them over to the Hope House,” explained Rochelle Foods plant controller Dave Burrows.
Other things include the summer lunch program and the Focus House annual golf outing.
Rochelle Foods and its employees are always finding ways to help out the community, while also setting an example for other businesses located in Rochelle.
“Employees at Rochelle Foods are the most generous employees you have ever been around and I am very proud to be a part of that family,” added Cal Jacobs, former plant manager and RACF board member.
The Rochelle Area Community Foundation says that it has been a pleasure to work with Rochelle Foods and these annual donations help show that there is a business in the community that really cares about investing in the future.
“We would love to see this replicated with other business that have a similar interest in charitable acts in the community. This is such a great success story and we are so pleased to be able to work with Rochelle Foods,” said Montgomery.