Chicago Anti-Hunger Federation to Initiate Programs to Provide Pet Food to Those in Need and Assist Returning Veterans With Job Training

Holiday donations needed now more than ever

Dec 09, 2010, 07:00 ET from Chicago Anti-Hunger Federation

CHICAGO, Dec. 9, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- The Chicago Anti-Hunger Federation will extend its helping hand further into the community by initiating two new programs in reaction to current economic realities.  One program will assist families in need with keeping and properly feeding their family pets.  The other will assist returning Iraq and AfghanistanWar veterans with job training in order to gain meaningful employment.

While precise numbers are unknown, many pet owners in Chicagoland are surrendering their pets because families effected by the growing economic crunch can no longer afford to feed them.  "The fate of people's pets reflects their own financial reality," according to Dan Gibbons, Executive Director of the Chicago Anti-Hunger Federation.

The Chicago Anti-Hunger Federation hopes to ease some of the financial and emotional burden by making pet food available to those in need.  "For most of us, pets are an integral part of the family. For seniors and others living alone, a pet may be a singular source of companionship," Gibbons continued.  

To ensure those in need can keep and properly feed their pets, the Chicago Anti-Hunger Federation will institute a program making pet food available to its clients with pets by utilizing the traditional distribution channels beginning January 1st. "Additionally, the organization is working to develop an additional network throughout the city and suburbs to provide pet food to those in need," he added.

Also beginning next year, the Chicago Anti-Hunger Federation, in conjunction with St. Augustine College, will provide culinary training to returning Iraq and AfghanistanWar veterans via a program called the Oliver's Kitchen Culinary Compact.  "The Oliver's Kitchen Culinary Compact is designed specifically to provide a marketable job skill for veterans to quickly transition to civilian life," said Gibbons.

The complete 24 credit hour course is compacted into one 16-week semester, and program costs are covered under the Post 9/11 GI Bill.  Course work includes Nutrition, Food Service and Hospitality, Fish, Shell Fish and Poultry, Baking and Pastry and much more.    

"We owe a debt to the young men and women protecting our freedom.  We are confident this program will provide the necessary training and job placement resources to assist our returning soldiers and help them to gain meaningful employment as civilians in the food industry," Gibbons added.

In addition to beginning these new programs, the Chicago Anti-Hunger Federation will continue its core program of feeding those in need.  "While nearly every family has felt the pinch of the economic downturn, those with little to begin with have been squeezed the hardest.  Tragically, those in need are our most vulnerable populations, like children and seniors," Gibbons continued.  

Organizations like the Chicago Anti-Hunger Federation rely more and more on charitable holiday giving to provide the necessary resources that allow them to feed those in need.  "Fundraising events combined with individual holiday donations are critical to our ability to fulfill our mission," Gibbons said.  

"While it is true that hunger is a challenge all year long, the charitable donations around the holidays allow us to bridge the financial gap created by the additional need for assistance throughout the year," he added.     "We are pleased that news anchor Pat Cassidy will be hosting the annual Good Neighbor Radiothon on Friday, December 10th, between 5:00am and midnight.  The event, which will feature special guests throughout the day, will be held at our warehouse at 4345 W. Division Street.  The event will be broadcast on WBBM Newsradio 780.

"The help from those more fortunate is needed now more than ever. We are asking everyone with the capacity to give, to reach down into his or her heart and pocket and assist a family or senior that needs help," Gibbons concluded.

Those interested in contributing can contact the Chicago Anti-Hunger Federation at or 773-252-3663.  Like us on Facebook at Chicago Anti-Hunger Federation.

For More Information Contact:

John Pastuovic

630-782-0795 - office

312-925-9092 - cell

SOURCE Chicago Anti-Hunger Federation