CHICAGO (CBS) — The Illinois State Bar Association is raising money for food banks around the state – aimed at helping hundreds of thousands of people.

“Our goal is to collect enough food and funds for a million meals,” says Illinois State Bar Association President John Thies.

The food drive will run from February 18 through March 1 of next year. Thies says a lot of thought went into the dates for the food drive.

“The concern was that the holiday season leads to a lot of support of food banks around the state, but the period right after the holiday season can be lean,” Thies says.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller reports

Pete Schaefer is the president and CEO of the Northern Illinois Food Bank, which feeds 60,000 people a week.

He talked about one family – eight people; the father has been out of work now for three years. A 24-year- old daughter helps care for her siblings.

“They’re having trouble putting food on the table. By the time they pay rent, the car payment, the utilities, the gas bills, the electric bills, some medical stuff – by the time they’re done, on average, they get about 100 bucks left over a month to feed that family of eight,” Schaefer says. “So she comes to one of our pantries. That’s where that money’s going.”

Click here to learn more about the fundraising effort, register a team to collect money, or make a donation.

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