Illinois Deputy Governor Cristal Thomas was the keynote speaker at the event. Thomas is also the Co-Chair of the Illinois Commission to End Hunger. She says the commission has found that the face of hunger continues to change.
"We see more people in suburban areas, areas where we hadn't really seen a lot of hunger and a a lot of need before. An it's not just the homeless. It's not just people without jobs. We're seeing more of the working poor actually coming forward that they're struggling with hunger, with being able to provide for their families and needing a little help," says Thomas.
Thomas says the increase in people seeking food donations is putting strain on pantries like the Friendship House. She says the goal of the commission is to increase awareness and encourage people of the importance of donating food.
The Friendship House Stuff a Bus campaign officially kicks off October 26th. People are asked to contribute food or money at local Kroger stores or buy pre-bagged groceries to donate for the not-for-profit organization.