Lyric Opera of Chicago

Greater Chicago Food Depository donations

For Immediate Release:
Friday, January 18, 2013

 Generous Lyric Opera of Chicago patrons donated 1,599 pounds of food to the Greater Chicago Food Depository over the holiday season before Hansel and Gretel, Don Pasquale performances

The debut collaboration between Lyric Opera and Chicago and the Greater Chicago Food Depository over the recent holiday season brought in an impressive 1,599 pounds of donated nonperishable foods, the organizations report.

“The Food Depository is responding to record levels of need for food assistance throughout Cook County,” said Kate Maehr, executive director and CEO of the Greater Chicago Food Depository. “At a time when pantry visits are reaching all-time highs, the Lyric Opera has collected enough food to provide more than 1,200 nutritious meals for men, women and children in need. We are grateful to Lyric Opera for hosting a food drive and bringing additional attention to hunger in our community.”

Throughout the holiday season, Lyric Opera encouraged patrons to bring shelf-stable food donations to performances of Hansel and Gretel and Don Pasquale. If the food drive success were to be put in context of feeding Hansel and Gretel – the hungry subjects of the opera being staged at Lyric through Saturday, Jan. 19 – it would provide seven months of meals for the two children.

“Hansel and Gretel is a hauntingly beautiful (and at times darkly funny) opera about a real-life problem–hunger,” said Anthony Freud, Lyric’s general director. “We are gratified that our audiences responded so generously and helped to make a difference for Chicago-area families in need, and commend the Greater Chicago Food Depository for its vital work year-round.”

Lyric Opera’s holiday food drive was part of the Food Depository’s One City, One Food Drive campaign that brought businesses, organizations and individuals together to fight hunger in Cook County.