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CHICAGO -- Lakeview Pantry, one of Chicago's oldest food pantries, was chosen as the December grand-prize winner in CITGO Petroleum Corp.'s Fueling Good program. The organization will receive a year's supply of fuel to continue its mission of providing food, clothing and case management services to needy Chicago residents.
Through two locations in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago, the charity distributes more than 1.3 million pounds of food and household items to more than 7,500 low income, elderly, sick and homeless people each year. That is one food distribution every 17 minutes, according to the company. Regardless of age, race or religion, needy people from across the area are invited to receive two weeks' worth of food every month, and can collect fresh bread and produce each week. Lakeview Pantry also provides ready-to-eat meals to the homeless and goes out into the community to deliver food to elderly and homebound families and individuals. The majority of its clients are elderly, families with young children or individuals suffering from mental illness, CITGO stated.
"Lakeview Pantry is dedicated to eliminating hunger and giving hope to needy individuals across our community," said Gary Garland, the charity's executive director. "In addition to providing ample amounts of nutritious food to more than 2,500 families each month, we are one of only a few organizations to reach homebound and homeless people who are the most vulnerable. Beyond food donations, we also work individually with our clients to increase their independence through self-help and counseling."
Launched in June 2009, CITGO's Fueling Good program is designed to recognize and reward the efforts of people who go above and beyond to provide a positive impact on the lives of others. Based on the underlying principals of solidarity and social development held by CITGO and its shareholder, Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. -- the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela -- the Fueling Good contest invites local heroes to submit their stories of doing good in their communities. From July through December, five finalists were awarded a year's supply of fuel.
"Receiving a year's supply of gas from CITGO means that we can allocate more money to feeding our community, raising awareness of hunger and poverty, and educating Lakeview Pantry's clients on ways to live healthier, more prosperous lives," Garland stated. "We are truly grateful to CITGO and all our supporters."
Four other Fueling Good finalists were recognized as local heroes for their contributions to communities across the country. The finalists, who receive a $50 CITGO gift card and were eligible for a second chance contest for a year's supply of gasoline, include:
-- Hunger Busters: A Dallas-based organization that provides evening meals to needy school children across the community. Through its "Feed the Need" after school program, the charity ensures that more than 2,000 children each week have the sustenance they need to improve grades and live healthier lives.
-- MargaretAnn's Place: This Milwaukee charity provides unique support and counseling to children suffering with the loss of a parent or family member. Through peer support and education, they help children overcome the loss and manage their grief.
-- Volunteer Rachel Kelley: This Chicago resident dedicates thousands of hours each year to supporting sick children across the city. Through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, work with inpatients at the Children's Memorial Hospital, support of homeless children with StandUp for Kids, and a local pediatric cancer charity, Rachel Kelley spirits and fights for funding to help those in need.
-- PatriotPAWS: Based in Rockwall, Texas, PatriotPAWS adopts, trains and donates service dogs to sick and injured veterans of the United States military. Since 2006, the charity has provided hope and companionship to hundreds of veterans.
CITGO, based in Houston, is a refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products.
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