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The original item was published from 3/2/2021 10:13:00 AM to 3/2/2021 10:13:25 AM.

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Posted on: February 9, 2021

[ARCHIVED] River of Light -- Help for People in Need

River Light

River of Light is a non-profit organization dedicated to picking-up and delivering donated items to needy individuals and various organizations.  The majority of these items consist of various food stuffs, breads and pastry products, together with clothing and household items.

Serving the needs of the Chicago community.  Please visit

Join the River of Light Junior Board on February 27, from 7-9 pm for a Virtual Trivia Night.  Additional information is available here (PDF)

River of Light was founded in 1989, after a chance meeting between Russ Pratali, President and founder, and Mother Theresa of Calcutta. Shortly thereafter, a friend asked Russ to pick up a pallet of cookies and bring it to the local food bank. While always active in local community service and volunteering, this particular day he witnessed firsthand the challenges that food agencies face to best meet the needs of the homeless by providing emergency food, household items and clothing.

Russ realized that there was a great need for retrieving healthy edible food that would otherwise go to waste and distributing it to those that provide assistance to the poor, the needy and the homeless. Now in its 30th year of food rescue service, River of Light feeds approximately 300,000 individuals nearly 900,000 meals per year. The healthy food that is recovered (bread & pastries, fruit, vegetables, milk products, etc.) is picked up from donating supermarkets and bread companies and is perfectly edible, but not sellable. This food, along with household items, is delivered to food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, veteran centers and needy families throughout Chicago and suburbs.

Six days a week, volunteers deliver healthy food products — as well as coats, hats, gloves and blankets in the colder weather — to approximately 25-30 stops in the Chicagoland area. No child or veteran should go to sleep hungry!

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