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With 8% Of Chicago Households Being Food Insecure, Members At Andersonville Gym Crush Donation Goals To Help

The time of year has arrived when there is a special focus on people who may be in need during the Holiday season. To help build on that giving spirit, members at a local Andersonville gym have been working together to donate an amazing amount of items to select charities.

For the past three years, members at Andersonville Fit Body Boot Camp (5430 N Clark St) have been collecting food before Thanksgiving and toys prior to Christmas for Chicagoans in need. This year the members responded to the drives as a challenge to exceed their past performance. In fact, the fund raising goals needed to be raised several times as their competitive nature turned the drive into something the business has never experienced before.

“It’s easy to set out a collection bin, but when we set a tangible donation goal our members really take it to heart and show us they can crush it,” said Andersonville Fit Body Boot Camp owner David Bostik (who also owns the Fit Body Bootcamps in North Center and Lakeveiw). “With the recent food drive, we had to keep raising the goal and nearly ran out of room to store all the items. Our members are always pushing themselves physically but they also take pride in showing they can exceed goals in all aspects of their lives. Everyone here builds on each other’s momentum.”

The gym is regularly finding ways to help charities. One such program gives 20 cents to a designated non-profit of the month every time a member checks into the gym on Facebook. According to Bostik, this has helped causes including Disabled American Veterans, Breast Cancer Awareness and the recent hurricanes.

“About four years ago, I learned that in 1 in 4 children in Chicago does not know where their next meal is coming from and was blown away,” Bostik added. “Coming from a secure middle-class family I couldn’t even fathom that and it kind of made me sick to my stomach thinking about it. So, every year for the past four years we have done a food drive in November. It has slowly grown every year until this past year when it exploded.”

The 2017 Thanksgiving food drive at the Andersonville Fit Body Boot Camp benefited the Greater Chicago Food Depository after learning about statistics around Chicago’s food shortage. The members decided to take action as they rounded up more than 2,000 food items between a couple dozen people. Now they are also pushing to go beyond their goals for the annual Toy Drive that will benefit Toys For Tots. They have already collected more than 200 toys and expect to reach their goal of 300 soon.

According to the Greater Chicago Food Depository, An estimated  8% of Chicago metropolitan area households are food insecure. That number jumps to an estimated 31% of households that include a working-age adult with a disability. Every year, 1 in 6 Cook County residents —or 812,100 people— receives food from one of the Food Depository’s member agency grocery or meal programs. The Food Depository serves more than 232,100 households annually.

“We now are on a mission to make it so no child in Chicago ever has to worry about their next meal,” explained Bostik. “Our community here is inclusive, encouraging and there’s a camaraderie that drives everyone in to support each other and our collective goals.”

Andersonville Fit Body Boot Camp will be collecting toys until December 22. Residents who wish to add to the donations can bring unwrapped, new toys to the Andersonville location at 5430 N Clark St.

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