Research and Studies

Food Insecurity

In 2012, Feeding America released updated data that details food insecurity across the nation by state, congressional district and food bank service area. In the Greater Chicago Food Depository’s service area – Cook County – nearly 800,000 individuals are food insecure, not knowing when or where their next meal will be.

The Greater Chicago Food Depository and Feeding America worked together to detail this food insecurity data by Cook County municipalities and Chicago neighborhoods. This level of data provides a highly nuanced view of hunger throughout Cook County and helps identify priority areas for hunger relief.



While people struggle with food insecurity all over Chicago and the Cook County suburbs, the data points to high concentrations of need in neighborhoods west and south of downtown Chicago, as well as Cook County’s South Suburbs.

For example, in the West Side neighborhoods of West Garfield Park, North Lawndale and Austin, one in three people is food insecure. Auburn Gresham, West Englewood, South Shore and Roseland on Chicago’s South Side each have more than 15,000 individuals who are food insecure. In the south suburbs, food insecurity rates include 34 percent in Harvey, 39 percent in Robbins and 48 percent in Ford Heights.

This level of information is a valuable asset as the Food Depository and its partners work to end hunger across Cook County. Thank you to Feeding America for its assistance with this data collection and analysis.

Food Insecurity Rates Map (PDF) | Food Insecure Individuals Map (PDF) | Download community data (PDF)

Additional Data and Studies

Past Studies

Working Poor Study: Fact sheet (PDF)

Cook County Unmet Need Study: Fact sheet (PDF) | Booklet (PDF)

University of Chicago Senior Study: Fact sheet (PDF)

Other useful information

Hunger in Illinois—Feeding Illinois (formerly known as the Illinois Food Bank Association)

Report on Illinois Poverty—Heartland Alliance & the Mid-America Institute on Poverty (MAIP)

National and State Program Data—Food Research and Action Center (FRAC)

Child Food Insecurity Statistics 2006-2008—In partnership with the ConAgra Foods Foundation, Feeding America determined just how many children are vulnerable to the debilitating effects of hunger in every state.

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