Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Kerry Wood is now on board with AutoTrader.com and Chicagoland and NW Indiana Chevrolet dealerships to lend a hand in the fight against hunger their communities. The Hunger is a big issue,, as many as 142,000 people receive assistance from the Greater Chicago Food Depository every week. The Cubs have partnered with AutoTrader.com for the Drive Away Hunger program in an effort to drastically reduce this problem. Chicago Cubs fans can also lend a hand by simply donating canned goods and test-driving new Chevrolets.

The program runs until September 17th. Anyone wishing to participate in Drive Away Hunger can make a donation of canned food or test drive a new Chevrolet at any participating Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana Chevrolet dealership. Fans who donate 10 canned food items will receive a voucher for a free ticket to the Cubs vs. Brewers game on September 20th. While fans are at the dealership to donate their canned goods, they should take a test-drive as well. For every new Chevrolet vehicle test drive, Autotrader.com will donate $10 to the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

The program will culminate on September 20th at the Cubs game, where the team will have large bins for one final collection. Everyone who takes atest drive will have the opportunity to register for a chance to win a VIP experience at the game.

Chicago is the second city to participate in Drive Away Hunger, following Atlanta. The program was such a success in Atlanta in 2010 that it was extended this year to four weeks. Last year, Georgians helped collect over 11,500 pounds of food for the Atlanta Community Food Bank and raise tens of thousands of dollars to help fight hunger.

The Greater Chicago Food Depository hopes the program will be as successful in Illinois and Indiana as it was in Atlanta last year. "The need for food assistance is growing, and times continue to be challenging for the people in our community," said Kate Maehr, executive director and CEO of the Food Depository. "We're grateful to AutoTrader.com, our local Chevrolet dealerships, the Chicago Cubs and Kerry Wood for their support and look forward to the impact that the Drive Away Hunger program will have on generating additional awareness of the issue and raising donations to help us meet the needs of those who face hunger in our community."

Kerry Wood is confident that fans in Chicago will lend a hand. He is not only a great pitcher, but is well versed in philanthropy. He founded the Wood Family Foundation with his wife Sarah earlier this year to help underprivileged children in Chicago. Drive Away Hunger will certainly help Wood further his goals. "I have always believed that Chicago has a big heart, and I have no doubt that we can stand together with AutoTrader.com, local Chevy dealers and the Chicago Cubs to help bring hunger relief to the individuals and families who need it most in our community," said Wood. "On behalf of The Wood Family Foundation, I look forward to seeing the residents in the city of Chicago help us in this effort to drive away hunger."

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Cliff Turner has been an automotive enthusiast ever since high school, where he developed a passion for cars while working for the local Saturn/Hummer dealership. When he isn't writing, he is busy earning his Juris Doctorate at John Marshall Law School in Atlanta.

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