The National Restaurant Association (NRA) announced that exhibiting companies at its 2009 Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show—held May 16-19 at McCormick Place in Chicago —donated more than 66,000 pounds of top-quality food to the Greater Chicago Food Depository (GCFD) after the event. The donated food provided 49,500 meals to the men, women, and children who rely on the 600 GCFD member soup kitchens to provide emergency and supplemental meals. The NRA and GCFD have partnered to facilitate food donations from the NRA Show for more than 20 years.

“Exemplifying the National Restaurant Association’s vision to enhance the quality of life for all [whom] we serve is the generosity of the restaurants, vendors, suppliers, and manufacturers who exhibited at NRA Show 2009 and collectively donated tens of thousands of pounds of food to those in need,” says Dawn Sweeney, president and CEO of the NRA. “As the largest restaurant and hospitality industry trade show in the U.S., we are committed to giving back to the local community and helping to feed the hungry.”

“We are so grateful for the National Restaurant Association’s longtime support of our hunger-relief efforts,” says Kate Maehr, executive director of the GCFD. “This substantial food donation is critical as we face a 35 percent increase in the number of people turning to pantries. Thousands of individuals and families in Cook County will receive food as a result.”

The donated food was distributed through a network of more than 600 qualified GCFD member agencies, which include pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, day care centers, and senior living facilities.

Charitable Giving, News