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Byline Bank is proud to champion the efforts of Suburban Unity Alliance to reduce food insecurity in the Oak Park community by sponsoring the new Community Fridge located at the Euclid Avenue United Methodist Church, 405 S. Euclid. Suburban Unity Alliance (or S.U.A.) is a grassroots organization dedicated to bringing entire communities together based on empathy, collaboration, and equitable philanthropic endeavors since 2016.

On Sunday, September 12, Byline Bank’s Susie Goldschmidt, Oak Park market president, joined S.U.A and community leaders for a ribbon-cutting of the community fridge in the church parking lot.

“No one in our community should have to worry about how they can feed themselves or their families,” said Susie Goldschmidt, Byline Bank Oak Park Market President. “Byline Bank is honored to support efforts to improve access to nutritious meals in the Oak Park community and throughout the Chicago area.”

This is the third community fridge in Oak Park, joining one outside the Carnival Grocery on Oak Park Avenue. The community fridges are open to anyone 24 hours / 7 days a week and operate on a “Take what you need, leave what you can” cooperative approach. The fridges are stocked and maintained by community volunteers and accept contributions of both monetary and food donations.

“These fridges are open to everyone, anytime, reducing the stigma of food insecurity, because anyone from any background or socioeconomic group can suddenly need help to provide food for themselves and their families,” said Anthony Clark, Oak Park activist and founder of S.U.A. “It also brings the community together to share what we can to keep these refrigerators stocked and improve equitable access in our neighborhoods.”

In addition to its support of Suburban Unity Alliance, Byline Bank has contributed to Beyond Hunger in Oak Park, the Connections for the Homeless meal delivery program in Evanston and has contributed to Elsie’s Pantry in Hickory Hills – underscoring Byline’s commitment to lifting up neighbors across Chicagoland.