KENOSHA-- Gov. Pat Quinn traveled to a Wisconsin food bank Tuesday to hold up his end of a losing bet that the Bears would defeat the Green Bay Packers in last January's NFC Championship game.
Quinn wore a Packers jersey while stocking shelves with dried fruit, stuffing, chicken broth and Wisconsin-friendly macaroni and cheese. The food was donated by Walgreens, Kraft Foods and other Illinois companies.
"I've been a Bears fan all my life, and this is not easy," Quinn said during his appearance at the Shalom Center Food Pantry. "I've never worn a Packers jersey and I hope I never have to wear one again."
Quinn sported a No. 75 jersey, the number worn by offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga, who was born in Illinois. Not to be outdone, he layered it over a Gale Sayers jersey, joking the former Bear and Hall of Fame member was "closer to my heart."
Quinn made the wager seven months ago with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican. But it took the Chicago Democrat a while to make good, acknowledging he stayed away in part because of unrest over labor issues in the state.
Despite having to wear the "uncomfortable" jersey, Quinn said he was happy to make the bet that ultimately benefited people in need. If Quinn had won, Walker would have volunteered and made donations to a Chicago food bank.
Kate Maehr, executive director of the Greater Chicago Food Depository, was on hand for the event, and said donations are greatly needed as demand for food is up 60 percent compared to three years ago, with no signs of leveling off soon.
"I think it's very important that we bring attention to the need that there are a lot of good people in Illinois and Wisconsin and across America that need a helping hand when it comes to getting decent food," Quinn said.
The governor added that he hopes the situation inspires the Bears to perform better this season, though Walker said he's ready to host Quinn up north again soon.
“I look forward to having him back when the Green Bay Packers repeat as Super Bowl champions," Walker said in a statement.
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