Research and Studies
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 – 1 in 6 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.
Additional Data and Studies
- The 2012 Hunger Among Seniors in Cook County study highlights the importance of federal programs for older adults, 65 years or older, in Cook County. Download full study (PDF) | Download press release (PDF) | Read more on blog
- The 2010 U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey revealed that 16.7 percent of Cook County residents lived in poverty, up from 15.9 percent in 2009, and surpassing the national poverty rate of 15.3 percent. More than one in every ten people was unemployed in Cook County with an unemployment rate of 13.1 percent. Within city-limits poverty rates were even worse at 22.5 percent or 596,975 people, compared to 21.6 percent in 2009. With an unemployment rate of 14.8 percent, nearly one in every six people was experiencing unemployment. Children were particularly hard hit. In Cook County, 24.5 percent—or 299,123 children—lived in poverty in last year. In Chicago one-third of all children lived in poverty in 2010, totaling 206,456 children. For older adults in Cook County (above the age of 65 years old), 11.3 percent experienced poverty; in Chicago, 16.4 percent of older adults lived below the poverty line.
- Hunger in America 2010: This landmark study revealed an unprecedented number in Chicago and Cook County seeking emergency food assistance. Read more | Executive Summary (PDF) | Fact sheet (PDF)
- Running on Empty: Nutritional Access for Children in Cook County: Identification of Gaps in Meals, Nutrition, and Food Delivery Systems in Cook County. Executive Summary (PDF) | Fact sheet (PDF)
Working Poor Study: Fact sheet (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)
2009 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.