Orange truly will be “the new black” on Thursday, when the hue will gain visibility in Naperville to call attention to Hunger Action Month.
Dubbed “Go Orange Day,” the observance will be evident in the wearing of orange by business people and residents, at the request of the Northern Illinois Food Bank and more than 200 of its counterparts nationwide. Hunger Action Month is designed to encourage the public to donate food or money, volunteer and otherwise become involved in solving hunger in their own communities.
In recognition of Go Orange Day, Rosebud Restaurant will donate a portion of its Thursday sales to the food bank.
Orange will predominate through the month in certain Naperville locations. The Dandelion Fountain, on the Riverwalk at Jackson Avenue and Webster Street, and the Millennium Carillon both will be illuminated with orange floodlights during September.
A community-wide food drive also continues through the month. Nonperishable foods can be dropped off at the Municipal Center, the Park District offices, and downtown businesses including Country Curtains, Q’s BBQ, Naperville General Store, Egg Harbor and Launch Media.
The Geneva-based NIFB, which serves 13 area counties, provided the equivalent of 50 million meals during 2013. Among the goals of its newly adopted strategic plan is to increase its distribution to 75 million meals annually by 2020. Advocates estimate that food insecurity — the term used to describe the lack of assurance of three meals daily — puts northern Illinois residents at risk of skipping 70 million meals every year.
In addition to sporting the bright color, people are encouraged to help spread awareness of food insecurity by starting conversations about hunger with colleagues, changing their social media profile photos to orange, or volunteering at one of the NIFB’s three centers. Companies can also get involved by encouraging a food or fund drive for local hunger relief, holding a group volunteer session at the food bank, or lighting their buildings orange.
All are encouraged to post thoughts about the issues of hunger in our community and photos of themselves wearing orange on Northern Illinois Food Bank’s Facebook page and tweet to @ILFoodBank using hashtag #HungerAction.