Sitting down for a barbecue Thursday, residents will enjoy food and music together while celebrating a day without hunger.
will be hosting it’s fifth annual "Day Without Hunger," which will help raise awareness about hunger in the community while it raises food donations.
The hope is that by the end of the day Thursday, the nonprofit will have received at least 60,000 pounds of food donations, enough for one-week’s worth of groceries at the pantry, said Jody Bender, Loaves & Fishes community relations director.
June is national hunger awareness month and the event began five years ago when Charles McLimans the nonprofit’s executive director thought it would be a good way to tie into the month and raise local awareness that there were those in need here, Bender said. Many people were unaware that there were people in Naperville who were hungry.
“It’s not a requirement to bring food, but it all adds up,” Bender said. “It will definitely help us. We’ve seen more than a 70 percent increase in families at Loaves & Fishes this year.”
The day will include the barbeque, which is made possible through food donations from companies like Hebrew National, which is donating hot dogs and PepsiCo, which is providing beverages, she said.
Along with food, there will be entertainment all day. will have musical act performing throughout the day, including the band Captains of Industry, which has a strong following, Bender said. Closing out the music for the night will be the band Brother John, which has performed with the likes of Eric Clapton, the Black Crowes and .
“It is a great way for the whole community to get together,” she said. “We have a big tent where everyone can eat. Nobody [in attendance] knows if you are a client, a donor, or a volunteer. It’s a great day to get together.”
Children will also be able to enjoy a variety of activities including face painting, fun activities with the Fry Family YMCA, seedling planting with master gardeners and a program from the DuPage Children’s Museum.
“It is a very kid friendly event,” Bender said. “We are hoping people will bring their kids. Between the music and the activity they should be very happy.”
The day will begin with a flag raising ceremony at 7:30 a.m. The Exchange Club of Naperville will present its Proudly We Hail award to the nonprofit. Events will continue until 8:15 p.m.
Parking will be available at the former site of the Key Wester, just west of Loaves & Fishes and shuttles will be available to transport those who attend, Bender said.
To learn more about the event visit Loaves & Fishes Community Pantry.