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Hunger Resource Network aims to play vital role combating hunger


One night only. That’s all it takes for the Hunger Resource Network to see the impact of what happens when the community comes together in an effort to put an end to hunger.

More than 250 people were in attendance for the Hunger Resource Network’s second annual fundraiser, Rock ‘N Roll Revisited, Friday, Oct. 16 at Pinstripes in Northbrook, which supported the New Trier Township Food Pantry, among other organizations.

“It all starts with us,” Dan Jariabka, president and founder for the Hunger Resource Network, said. “Soup kitchens and food pantries need help in order to meet and support the people they serve.”

With many nonprofit organizations facing government spending cuts, Jariabka said the Hunger Resource Network strives to play an important role in feeding the community.

Dinner, entertainment and a live silent auction were some of the main draws that evening.

Over the years, the Hunger Resource Network has supported individuals and groups in a number of ways through community outreach days and sidewalk sales. In new developments, the nonprofit sought to reach those on hand for the fundraiser on their level.

“We are going to concentrate more on attendees through smart phones,” Jariabka said, noting that people were given the option of buying cases of chicken at the touch of a button during the live silent auction.

He added that it’s meant to serve as a fun, new way to get people involved.

On average, the nonprofit rescues 100,000 pounds of protein from markets that otherwise wouldn’t have been sold or consumed.

Jariabka said the efforts of the Hunger Resource Network are notable in part because the organization specializes in the rescuing of protein from markets, adding that the frozen chicken they donate will support over a quarter of a million agencies in the coming weeks.

Maiya Lupetow, director of Hillside Food Pantry in Evanston, felt compelled to be in attendance at the event.

“I know Dan (Jariabka) and he connected our food pantry with the Evanston Farmers Market,” she said. “It (the connection) increases what we can give to our patrons.”

Like many local food pantries and food kitchens, they have been appreciative for everything the Hunger Resource Network does for the people in the community.

“There are a lot of pantries that offer nonparishables,” Lupetow said. “What makes us different is we’re able to offer fresh fruits and vegetables.”

Bob Schultz, president of Thunderbird Construction Management, was in attendance that evening and he was enjoying his time spent at the event.

“I was here last year and (this fundraiser) exceeds my expectations of last year,” he said.

On behalf of the family-owned business, he awarded a check valued at $10,000 to the Hunger Resource Network.

“I’ve always worked with Dan (Jariabka) from conception as a volunteer and it developed more into financial assistance rather than physical assistance,” Schultz said.

He added that it makes sense for Thunderbird Construction Management to get involved in the effort to end hunger considering the company’s motto, which is knocking down hunger, building up homes.

Lisa Bartolucci, of Chicago, was there in support of her father who serves on the Hunger Resource Network’s board of directors.

Over the last two and half years, she said she has spent a number of mornings helping out by loading and unloading trucks.

“This is the one time of year we can celebrate,” she said. “It’s inspiring to see how the organization has beat their own goals with very limited resources.”

Bartolucci added that she is looking forwarded to attending another fundraiser should it be held next year.