Founded as the first food bank in Illinois, the Greater Chicago Food Depository works tirelessly to help Cook County residents of all ages, races and backgrounds overcome food insecurity and hunger. In the last 40 years, this nonprofit has grown to meet changing needs, becoming the hub for a network comprised of more than 700 pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and programs that share a common goal: make nourishing food accessible. This year, more older adults, working families, and children in Cook County are facing the dire reality of hunger in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Back in July, we wrote about how the Food Depository’s tireless efforts to help Chicagoans had inspired Better to help, too. We were able to provide a Matching Grant for the Greater Chicago Food Depository’s Covid-19 Response Campaign. Every dollar donated was matched—up to $25,000—to help provide meals and hope throughout Chicago. The Matching Grant campaign inspired over 1,000 gifts, totaling $169,000 in revenue and helping them to surpass their goal of $50,000.
According to the Food Depository, most of these funds will be allocated to partners serving Black and Latino communities throughout Cook County – communities that have been disproportionately affected by both food security and Covid-19. The Food Depository’s partnerships with faith and community groups on the South and West Sides of Chicago has allowed them to create “pop up” food distribution sites in areas of need. Before Covid-19, nearly a third of the population in Washington Heights – a neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side – was at risk of food insecurity. The pandemic has only made that number worse, but the Food Depository is working tirelessly to provide some assurance.
About the Greater Chicago Food Depository
The Greater Chicago Food Depository is Chicago’s food bank. They believe a healthy community starts with food. The Food Depository is part of a united community effort working to bring food, dignity and hope to Cook County neighbors. They act as the hub for a network of more than 700 food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and other programs. These programs provide food where it’s most needed. They also address the root causes of hunger. Public benefits outreach and job training programs offer support for our neighbors to overcome poverty. As the face of hunger in the community changes, the Food Depository has evolved. Their programs address the specific needs of diverse groups, including children, older adults and veterans.
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