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Evanston food store opens with soup kitchen donation

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Evanston officals turned out this morning for a ribbon cutting ceremony at the new GFS Marketplace store at 2424 Oakton St.

The store, built on a former factory site, opened for business just over a week ago.

At today's ceremony, GFS officials presented a check for $1,000 to Interfaith Action of Evanston, which operates soup kitchens and provides other services to the hungry and homeless.

Top: Susan Murphy of Interfaith Action shakes hands with GFS District Manager Greg Cantley. Above: Store Manager Brian Wells' daughter Kennah cuts the grand opening ribbon.

Susan Murphy of Interfaith Action said the group, which includes volunteer members of 40 different faith communities, has provided more than 19,000 breakfasts and 22,000 dinners to the needy over the past 12 months.

Alderman Ann Rainey, whose 8th Ward includes the store site, said GFS had helped the city improve its green building ordinance, after the ordinance initially threatened to derail the project.

And, Rainey added, GFS had cleaned up after an earlier failed development at the site that left a stormwater retention pond that "was really a dangerous situation."

The GFS Marketplace store in Evanston is the company's 14th in the Chicago area. The parent company, Gordon Food Service, is a wholesale supplier to to the restaurant industry, and the marketplace stores provide the same product lines to retail customers.

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