|Iglesia De Dios Peniel||12/31/11||280||$14,000|
|Niles Family Services Center||Mid-December||1,520||$76,000|
|People's Resource Center (City of Wheaton Pantry)||4/01/12||2,000||$100,000|
|Harris Temple A.O.H. Church||4/6/12||390||$19,500|
Recently, many newspaper articles have brought attention to the widespread food insecurity throughout Cook County, which has only been exacerbated by the severe economic downturn. In response, we at the Clean Air Counts Energy Savings Program have decided to help address this challenge by working to reduce monthly expenses (i.e. electricity bills) for families struggling to make ends meet, thereby leaving them more of their disposable income for necessities, such as food.
To do this, we have started expanding our energy efficiency efforts by distributing CFLs at food pantries around Chicago to families who will benefit greatly from reduced electricity costs. Since December, we have been rolling out our CFL-Food Pantry program, in which we hand out to families visiting food pantries one pack of four CFLs -- with information about how best to use and dispose of them--for every customer who signs up for the ESP. These four light bulbs will save a family in need $200 and help them begin a good 2012 year. New ESP customers can also choose to donate the complimentary CFLs they are offered when enrolling in ESP to our CFL-Food Pantry program to further help families who rely on food pantries.
To the right is a chart detailing our progress in the program so far. In total, the CFLs we've distributed since starting this program have the potential to save Chicagoland families in need more than $400,000 in averted electricity costs over the lifetime of the light bulbs -- approximately 5 years. We are very excited about continuing and expanding this program with the help of participating communities and their residents and small businesses. Please check back with our Twitter News Feed or on our Facebook page for more updates about our food pantry visits. And please tell your friends, family and co-workers about this program.