Greater Chicago Food Depository

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1 About Us The, Chicago s food bank, is a nonprofit food distribution and training center providing food for hungry people while striving to end hunger in our community. The Food Depository, founded in 1979, makes a daily impact across Cook County with a network of 650 pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, mobile programs, children s programs, older adult programs and innovative responses that address the root causes of hunger. Last year, the Food Depository distributed 67 million pounds of shelf-stable food, fresh produce, dairy products and meat, the equivalent of 154,000 meals every day. The Food Depository has a range of targeted distribution strategies designed to meet the range of needs for children, families and older adults in Cook County. The Food Depository s children s programs ensure that youth in Cook County have access to nutritious food year-round through market-style distributions in schools, and through weekend, after-school and summer meal programs. The Food Depository serves the needs of older adults, a growing and vulnerable population, by providing a meal service and market-style distribution of healthy foods that meet the dietary needs of this population. In order to address the root causes of hunger, the Food Depository offers a 14-week program that enables adults to break the cycle of poverty through training and career development in the foodservice industry. With over 18,000 veterans in Cook County living below the poverty line, the Food Depository s pantry at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center provides assistance at a time of pressing need. The Food Depository also distributes hot meals to veterans at Stand Downs and has expanded veterans SNAP Outreach efforts. The Need in Our Community 812,000 39% 18% 812,000 of our neighbors receive food from the Food Depository s member agency grocery or meal programs annually. 39% of client households include at least one child under the age of % of client households include at least one person who has served or is currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. 5,500,000 67,000, ,100 Last year, the Food Depository saw 5.5 million pantry visits; a 70% increase over the past six years. 67 million pounds of food were distributed in to those in need all across Cook County. 232,100 households are served by the Food Depository annually.

2 Child Nutrition Programs Our Response The Food Depository responds to this need with our Kids Cafe and Lunch Bus sites across Cook County where children can receive free, nutritious meals during the summer. We are a partner in Share Our Strength's Illinois No Kid Hungry campaign and the statewide Summer Meals Illinois campaign to raise awareness of, and participation in, summer meal programs. Summer meals are funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Healthy Kids Market Healthy Kids Markets began as a partnership between the Greater Chicago Food Depository and Chicago Public Schools in Healthy Kids Markets are market-style food distributions located in schools that provide nutritious food to students and their families who may not be able to visit a traditional food pantry due to work hours or location. In fiscal year , 10 Healthy Kids Markets distributed nearly 1.5 million pounds of healthful food, serving more than 3,400 families annually. The Food Depository provides a variety of healthy foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables and shelf-stable items like pasta, peanut butter, rice and beans. Volunteers and staff from the school unload, set up and operate the market. Kids Cafe Kids Cafe is a national initiative of Feeding America administered locally by the. Since 1993, the Food Depository s Kids Cafes have partnered with after-school and summer programs to provide healthy meals for children in a safe, nurturing environment. Today, 74 Kids Cafes serve children each day across Cook County. Children received 741,000 Kids Cafe meals in fiscal year Meals are prepared by students in Chicago s Community Kitchens, the Food Depository s foodservice training program for unemployed and underemployed adults. Each Kids Cafe provides healthful, appealing meals for children for many the only wholesome meal they may have all day. All Kids Cafes provide nutrition education, mentoring and homework assistance. Kids Cafe meals are reimbursed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Summer Meals and the Lunch Bus Partnering with the City of Chicago to expand summer feeding, the Greater Chicago Food Depository launched a mobile meal program in June 2010 to distribute nutritious lunches to children under 18 years old in priority communities in Cook County during the summer months. Now in its third year, the Lunch Bus travels to 21 sites on three routes throughout Chicago and the South Suburbs every weekday. The Lunch Bus serves 5,000 meals every week. Lunch Bus meals are reimbursed by the Illinois State Board of Education. Rise and Shine Illinois 449,000 low-income children eligible for school breakfast are not receiving it. The Food Depository in partnership with No Kid Hungry Illinois, is part of the Rise & Shine Illinois campaign which is working to bring awareness to school breakfast and alternative breakfast models, including Grab N Go and Breakfast in the Classroom. Rise & Shine Illinois is also working to increase participation in Illinois school breakfast. More information can be found at riseandshineillinois.org.

3 Hunger in America 2014: Cook County Profile The conducted extensive research from October 2012 through September 2013 in conjunction with Feeding America for the quadrennial Hunger in America study, which captures detailed information about who is in need of emergency food assistance in Cook County, the circumstances those individuals face and the s response. Locally, the data was collected by the Food Depository, member agencies, clients and volunteers at more than 100 sites across Cook County. Below are key findings from the study. The need in Cook County remains high Every year, 1 in 6 of our neighbors (812,100) receives food from one of the Food Depository s member agency grocery or meal programs. The Food Depository serves more than 232,100 households annually. 69 percent of client households have incomes that fall at or below the federal poverty line. 54 percent of client households have annual incomes of $10,000 or less. 58 percent of households served through the Food Depository network are currently receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Clients must make difficult choices 62 percent of clients chose between paying for food and paying medical bills. 73 percent of clients chose between paying for food and paying their utility bills. 59 percent of clients chose between paying for food and paying their rent or mortgage. 67 percent of clients chose between paying for food and paying for transportation. 38 percent of clients chose between paying for food and paying for education. Health and hunger often intersect 44 percent of client survey respondents said they were in fair or poor health. 60 percent of client households include someone who has high blood pressure. 58 percent of client households include someone who has unpaid medical bills. 35 percent of client households include someone with diabetes. Veterans, children and older adults continue to be at risk of hunger 18 percent of households receiving food assistance from the Food Depository network include at least one member who has served or who is currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. 39 percent of households receiving food assistance from the Food Depository network include at least one child under the age of percent of households receiving food assistance from the Food Depository network include at least one person over the age of 60. The face of hunger 91 percent of clients have a roof over their head. 57 percent of client households include at least one person who has been employed in the last 12 months. 25 percent of clients have some college experience beyond a high school degree or two year college.

4 Veteran Programs Veterans and Food Insecurity There are over 18,000 veterans in Cook County living below the poverty line, and 18 percent of households receiving food assistance from the Food Depository s network include at least one person who has served or who is currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. Veterans are a priority for the. We are committed to providing food and support for Cook County s veterans, through a variety of innovative programs and partnerships. VA Food Pantries The Food Depository responds to veterans struggling with hunger by providing them and their families with the nutritious food and connecting them to additional resources. On Veterans Day 2013, the Food Depository opened a food pantry at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center in Chicago. The pantry is a collaboration between the Department of Veterans Affairs, AmeriCorps and the Food Depository. It is the first food pantry for veterans at a VA facility in Illinois and one of the only VA food pantries in the country. In November, 2014, the Food Depository again collaborated with the VA and AmeriCorps to open Cook County s second veterans food pantry at Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital. The pantries are the first of their kind in Illinois and distribute fresh produce, meat and nonperishable items to approximately 2,800 individuals every month. VETERANS IN COOK COUNTY 18% 18% of client households include at least one person who has served or is currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. 18,000 18,000 veterans in Cook County are living below the poverty line. 2 In collaboration with Jesse Brown VA Medical Center and Edward Hines VA, Jr. Hospital, the Food Depository has opened two innovative food pantries to provide assistance to veterans at a time of pressing need. Veterans Stand Downs Semi-annual veterans Stand Downs are multi-day events that provide homeless veterans with food, overnight shelter, clothing, medical care and more. The Food Depository serves hot meals prepared by Chicago s Community Kitchens at Stand Downs, in addition to providing veterans with bags of shelf stable food and fresh produce before they leave. Each Stand Down event serves more than 700 homeless veterans. Veterans SNAP Outreach The Food Depository is committed to connecting veterans to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. With over 49,000 veterans in Illinois receiving SNAP benefits, SNAP Outreach coordinators regularly visit Jesse Brown VA and Edward Hines, Jr. VA to provide information, application assistance and follow-up to veterans.

5 Programs and Services Food Rescue Since 1986, the s Food Rescue program has been recovering prepared and perishable foods, such as meat, dairy products, baked goods and produce that might otherwise have been wasted. Using refrigerated trucks, Food Rescue drivers, who are state-certified in food handling and sanitation, collect surplus food at local grocery stores and deliver it the same day to pantries, soup kitchens and shelters. In fiscal year , more than 12 million pounds of food was distributed through Food Rescue. Mobile Programs The Mobile Pantry program, launched in 2007, distributes nonperishable and perishable food to 21 sites each month. The Mobile Pantry brings food to communities that have a high concentration of need but relatively low levels of pantry assistance. The program aims to serve working people by delivering food on nights and weekends when food assistance typically is not available. In fiscal year , the Mobile Pantry delivered more than 2.5 million pounds of food to those in need. The Food Depository s Producemobiles are farmer s markets on wheels that deliver fresh fruit and vegetables to low-income areas each weekday. The Producemobiles visit approximately 50 locations every month, including member agencies, neighborhoods and other community sites. In fiscal year , the Producemobiles distributed nearly 5 million pounds of fruit and vegetables. Older Adult Programs The Food Depository began delivering boxes of nonperishable food to Chicago Housing Authority and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development residences in Chicago in This program helps stretch tight grocery budgets while providing older adults with food to prepare in their homes. During fiscal year more than 37,500 boxes were delivered at more than 46 housing sites. In addition to boxes, the Food Depository provides food for 13 Older Adult Markets throughout Cook County. Older adults choose an assortment of fresh fruit, vegetables and nonperishable items. Chicago s Community Kitchens Founded in 1998, Chicago s Community Kitchens is a 14-week program for unemployed and underemployed adults in Cook County that prepares students for a productive career in foodservice. The program, located at the Food Depository s state-of-the-art industrial kitchen, prepares students to break their personal cycles of poverty through workforce training providing them with a solid foundation in food preparation. Students gain experience while preparing thousands of meals a day for children and older adults served by Food Depository programs. SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) Outreach The Food Depository s SNAP Outreach initiatives help connect individuals with federal benefits by providing information, answering questions about the program and conducting visits to member agencies. During outreach visits, Food Depository staff and volunteers screen individuals for program eligibility and assist in completing the SNAP application. During fiscal year , Food Depository SNAP Outreach provided assistance to 4,366 households.

6 History of the Food Depository During the 1960s, the number of people living in poverty in Chicago increased dramatically, and many adults and children were unable to obtain adequate food. Through efforts such as the CBS documentary Hunger in America and Michael Harrington s book The Other America, the nation became aware of the broad scope and severity of hunger in this most prosperous of countries. In 1967, John Van Hengel founded the first food bank, a warehouse which received donated food and distributed it to soup kitchens in Phoenix. In 1978, Tom O Connell collaborated with Robert W. Strube, Sr., Father Philip Marquard, Gertrude Snodgrass, Ann Connors and Ed Sunshine to set up a food bank similar to the Phoenix model, called the. The City of Chicago provided a start-up grant, and Strube Celery and Vegetable Company donated warehouse space. The Food Depository distributed 471,000 pounds of food from 22 food donors to 85 agencies in its first year of operation. The food bank s supply grew when Illinois legislators passed a Good Samaritan law in The legislation protected food contributors from legal liabilities (Congress passed national legislation in 1996). Within a year food donors increased to 111, distribution to 6.1 million pounds and agencies to 375, and the Food Depository leased a more spacious warehouse. The growing food bank settled in a 91,000 square foot facility at 4501 South Tripp Avenue in In 1986, the Food Depository established a Perishable Food Program, now known as Food Rescue, with a grant from Chicago Community Trust, to ferry unused food from grocers to food pantries and soup kitchens. The Food Depository further broadened its distribution in 1993, addressing the need for fresh fruit and vegetables in the community, and the first Kids Cafe began serving after-school hot meals for lowincome children. By 1998, the Food Depository s distribution topped 25 million pounds. In that same year, the food bank founded Chicago s Community Kitchens, a 14-week culinary training program for unemployed and underemployed adults. In 2001, the first Producemobile, a farmer s market on wheels, began distributing fresh produce to low-income communities. The Food Depository culminated a $30 million capital campaign with the opening of a new 268,000 square foot warehouse and training center in The state-of-the-art facility enhanced efficiency while offering increased capacity and program expansion to respond to a rising need. Pantry University, a training program for staff and volunteers from member agencies, opened its doors in 2004, and Producemobile distribution expanded in A second program for children, Nourish for Knowledge, and an Older Adult Program launched in Responding to the need on nights and weekends, the Mobile Pantry Program began operating in A partnership with Chicago Public Schools launched Healthy Kids Markets in 2010, which sends children home from school with nutritious food selected in a market-style distribution. In 2009, the Food Depository began providing SNAP Outreach services to assist eligible individuals in applying for federal nutrition benefits. With these services, Food Depository staff and volunteers help thousands of clients determine if they are potentially eligible for SNAP and then helps them throughout the application process. Today, the Food Depository distributes more than 67 million pounds of food, including 22 million pounds of produce, to a network of 650 pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, mobile programs, children s programs, older adult programs and innovative responses that address the root causes of hunger in Cook County. The Food Depository s network serves more than 232,100 households and 812,100 individuals annually.

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