The National Restaurant Association has announced that exhibiting companies at its 2012 Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show – held May 5-8 at Chicago's McCormick Place – donated more than 41,710 meals to the Greater Chicago Food Depository (GCFD).

"Donating surplus food from the National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show is a long-time tradition we are proud to uphold," said Jack Crawford, Convention Chair for NRA Show 2012 and president and CEO of Ground Round Independent Owners Cooperative LLC. "The generosity of our exhibiting companies this year is amazing, as the number of meals donated this year exceeded the number of meals donated last year by nearly 5,000."

Kate Maehr, executive director and CEO of the GCFD, said these donations are "especially important" as the hunger organization is serving 77 percent more people than it did just four years ago.

NRA Show 2012 exhibitors donated a total of 55,614 pounds of food products, which provided nearly 42,000 meals benefiting men, women and children in need throughout the Chicago area.

The donated food was distributed through a network of more than 600 qualified GCFD member agencies, which include pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, daycare centers and senior living facilities.

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