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Robbie Gould’s new charity raising funds for food bank

Children receive their filled weekend backpacks supported by Northern Illinois Food Bank.  |  Submitted

Children receive their filled weekend backpacks supported by the Northern Illinois Food Bank. | Submitted

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To donate to the virtual food drive, visit

For more information about the Northern Illinois Food Bank, visit or call 630-443-6190.

For more information about The Goulden Touch Charity, visit

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Updated: October 21, 2012 2:44PM

Pro athletes don’t have to start their own charities. But for Robbie Gould, the kicker for the Chicago Bears, starting one was an obvious segue to what he plans to do after playing professional football.

“I have always been involved in charity work,” Gould said, “but I was tired of doing work under the umbrella of others. This was my opportunity to start a charity to become my legacy after football.”

The Goulden Touch was created eight months ago and focuses on four pillars: education, medical services, overall wellness and youth.

This month, Goulden Touch partnered with Humana to focus on Kicking Hunger in conjunction with the Geneva-based Northern Illinois Food Bank (NIFB). That focus takes on meaning for most people who don’t realize that even in DuPage County, one in five children go hungry.

“Overall, DuPage and Kane counties are pretty affluent, but there’s what I call a thin veneer,” said Pete Schaefer, food bank CEO. “You scratch that veneer, and see your neighbors in Naperville are hurting.”

The goal of this food drive is to help provide weekend meal backpacks for kids in schools. Each backpack, filled weekly, gives children three meals for them and two for a sibling. About 1,200 children in 13 counties receive food each weekend. The backpacks are provided by NIFB and aren’t identified in any way as food support.

Backpacks include cereal, whole grain pastas and other shelf-stable foods.

“We’ve had positive feedback from the kids,” Schaefer said about the kids who get the backpacks. “They know their family is hurting, and this is a way they feel like they are helping the family. It’s the opposite of what one might expect.”

Gould’s role in the food drive — partnering Humana with Edward Hospital in Naperville, Rockford Health System, DuPage Medical Group and Aurora-based Indian Prairie School District 204 — is to be a motivator. He will make appearances at all three high schools in District 204.

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