illinois Alumni Lift Annual Big Ten Service Event

Illinois alumni turned out in numbers for the annual Big Ten service event held this April, packing thousands of pounds of produce for area food shelves.

Area Big Ten Alumni joined forces to lend a hand at Second Harvest Heartland on April 23. The 79 participants packed 9,710 lbs. of apples and 3,550 lbs. of animal crackers for distribution across the food bank’s network of partner food shelves and programs. The Illini contingent led the way in participation, bringing 17 volunteers to the event.

This year’s community service event saw a jump in participation, nearly doubling in size from previous years’ events, and brought together alumni, friends, and family members.

“Thanks to a late surge in registration B1G Alumni at 2016 service events, we had essentially the maximum turnout that Second Harvest Heartland could accommodate,” Twin Cities Illini Club organizer Paul Lubinski said. “I'm deeply grateful to all who took time from their busy schedules to serve our community in this fun and engaging way. It was great to see familiar and new faces from a substantial majority of our B1G alumni clubs.”

The Twin Cities Illini Club and its community service chair have coordinated the volunteer event for the past three years.

The next Illinois alumni community service event is planned for Sat., Sept. 24 and supports National Public Lands Day and the university’s iHelp initiative. Those interested can contact Paul Lubinski, Community Events Chair, and the Twin Cities Illini Club at

Second Harvest Heartland, one of the nation’s largest food banks, is a member of the food-bank network, Feeding America. In 2015, the food bank reported distributing 77 million meals through 1,000 food shelves across Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Visit to learn more about the organization