In conjunction with Kids Against Hunger – Fox Valley, the Winnetka/Northfield Rotary Club, the Volunteer Center in Winnetka, and the Winnetka Community House, over 400 volunteers packed an astounding 100,000 meals for needy children in Nicaragua.

The Winnetka Community House provided the space for this annual food packing event, which has been chaired for the last six years by Heidi Sibert, Landscape Architect and Senior Vice President at James Martin Associates (JMA), a Vernon Hills landscape management company. As a Rotary member, she chairs the committee dedicated to this event, ensuring that all tasks are carried out in the year leading up to the event.

Sibert became involved in Rotary seven years ago when she learned about the mission of Rotary International and their efforts to help those in need throughout the world. “We’re very involved in the Winnetka and North Shore communities, and we saw this as a great opportunity to help out with the local chapter,” said Sibert. “The culture at James Martin Associates definitely encourages us to give back.”

Funds were raised through local Winnetka businesses, Rotarians, and the volunteers. James Martin Associates sponsored a table that was staffed by employees and clients, including Sibert. It was a “wonderful team building experience and the day was full of fun and laughter,” Sibert said.

Volunteers ranged from children and teenagers to adults. They worked in 2-hour shifts, packaging foods such as rice, soy, and dried vegetables. At the end of the day, 14 sealed pallets were loaded onto a truck headed to North Carolina where the food was shipped to Nicaragua to feed those in need.

“I can’t say enough about Heidi’s Herculean efforts and attention to every detail to ensure this event provides the volunteers an efficient yet meaningful experience that achieves our ultimate goal of feeding over 100,000 starving individuals,” said Barbara Tubekis, Executive Director at the Volunteer Center. “We sincerely appreciate her and James Martin Associates’ support.”

To get involved in next year’s event, contact [email protected].