A Message from the Director

Dear Friends,

It is with great pleasure that I announce my transition into the role of Director of Illini Fighting Hunger following the departure of our Founder, Gregory Damhorst. After many years at the helm of our hunger-fighting efforts, Greg has stepped down in order to pursue his career in medicine. A truly inspiring, dedicated, and caring individual, Dr. Damhorst will continue to help those in need as a medical professional now that our Board of Directors, our student Leadership Team, and I are ready to carry on his mission of combating food insecurity.

As we reflect upon the great accomplishments of the past year, from reaching the one million meal mark, to having engaged over 10,000 volunteers in food-packaging events, including such figures as Governor Bruce Rauner and the Chancellor of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, I would like to take a moment to recognize you. I hope you share the incredible sense of pride and awe that I feel when looking at all that has been achieved in the three short years since our start:

10,275 Volunteers
18,511 Hours of service
1,315,419 Meals packaged
71,977 Pounds of rice
22,700 Pounds of beans
2,930 Pounds of pasta


This work has not been the result of one person or one team’s actions, but rather the collective efforts of a growing community of individuals and organizations standing up to fight hunger in their communities. On behalf of the Illini Fighting Hunger Leadership Team and Board of Directors, and the thousands of people whose lives have been improved through your gifts and service work, I extend my most sincere appreciation for your support of our mission. Together, we can work to make hunger an issue of the past.

In looking ahead, I am very excited to work with the many groups we have scheduled to host packaging projects in the coming months, and I would invite you to consider organizing one of your own! Our rice, bean, and meal projects are always available to be customized to the unique capabilities of your organization.

Thank you for your time and service! We could not make such an incredible impact on the lives of others without your support. As we continue to move forward in the fight against hunger, I aspire to follow in the footsteps of my predecessor in developing strong relationships with partnering organizations in order to further our shared vision. Please feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss opportunities for partnerships, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up-to-date on our latest accomplishments and events!

All the best for the future ahead,

Maxwell E. Colon
Director, Illini Fighting Hunger