GENEVA – Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns is ready to break out a new orange tie. It's an opportunity for Burns to show support for the Geneva-based Northern Illinois Food Bank as it prepares for activities related to Hunger Action Month.
According to a news release, food banks across the country are urging people to "go orange" to help raise awareness for their cause.
Burns said the city of Geneva will be on board with the campaign. He is encouraging members of the city's council to wear something orange this week. And there will be an orange tint to the lights around city buildings. While the campaign continues throughout the month of September, the food bank encourages everyone to wear orange on Thursday specifically.
Burns said Geneva is proud to partner with the food bank. He said that residents are facing "the aching reality that many of our very own neighbors continue to struggle." The food bank provides food to more than 60,000 people each week.
He said attitudes likely have changed over the years. Where perhaps it once might have been seen as "a shameful thing" that people would need help from a food bank, Burns said it is much more acceptable now. Asked whether he thought people might be surprised to hear that there would be Geneva residents needing such help, he said that's likely no longer the case.
"As a result of the most recent recession and the current struggles that a lot of us are facing, many people no longer are ashamed that they are struggling," he said. "And they are no longer surprised that their neighbors are struggling."
Burns said the city will be displaying "as much orange as possible," but that help is needed beyond September.
"The saddest part of all this is that while we focus our attention on the month of September, the need is year-round," he said, adding it is a "12-month-a-year need."
The Northern Illinois Food Bank is located at 273 Dearborn Court in Geneva. For information, call 630-443-6910 or visit www.solvehungertoday.org.
For information on the Northern Illinois Food Bank, call 630-443-6910 or visit www.solvehungertoday.org.