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Earl and Kay Harbaugh help the Food Bank plan for future generations

Earl and Kay Harbaugh

"We were on the edge, too," Earl Harbaugh says, remembering growing up in a rural area of Pennsylvania. "Everybody helps everybody in a farming community."

He and his wife, Kay, have brought that philosophy of caring to their own community here in Northern Illinois. The couple moved here more than 40 years ago, and now their family owns and operates several construction equipment businesses in the area.

Earl and Kay met in Pennsylvania when Earl was working at Penn State's Agriculture Extension and Kay was teaching obstetrics at a nearby nursing college. With Kay's knowledge of public health and Earl's work in the food-growing industry, as well as their personal experiences of being at risk of hunger as children, supporting the Food Bank seemed like a natural fit.

The couple's employees, three children and seven grandkids volunteer regularly at our West Suburban distribution center in Geneva, participate in our Foodie 5ks and make financial gifts. Earl and Kay know that being at risk of hunger begins with a lack of resources, and working to meet others' needs is the best way to build a better community.

"When you're hungry, you don't have good health and you don't have happiness," Earl says. He and Kay choose to lead by example in the hopes that others will follow their commitment to hunger relief. They decided to join our Tomorrow's Harvest society by naming Northern Illinois Food Bank as a beneficiary of their trust. They know this investment in our community's future will be used to fight hunger for years to come.

"Our legacy gift will be working to solve hunger beyond our lives," Earl says of their motivation.

As long as there are people facing hunger in our community, Northern Illinois Food Bank will be here to feed them. Thank you, Earl and Kay, for being a part of this important work!

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