WE WILL WORK UNTIL NO 1 GOES HUNGRY
Here’s how we get 70 million pounds of food per year to the people who need it most.
WE CAN’T DO IT WITHOUT THE HELP OF MANY
Most of our product donations come from more than 350 local and national food companies, grocers, foodservice organizations, produce markets and growers that find a convenient, safe and reliable way to channel food to us that might otherwise go to waste.
Roughly 700 food drives are sponsored each year by local business, professional and community organizations, schools and churches.
All food donations are inspected, sorted, repacked and labeled for distribution to agencies by volunteers and employees who operate out of our food bank and training center.
Member agencies arrive at the Food Depository every weekday to pick up food they have ordered. In addition, we employ a fleet of climate-controlled vehicles that help pick up and distribute food throughout Cook County.
GET TO KNOW US BETTER
Learn about our history.
GROWING THE FIELD — OUR 2010-2015 STRATEGIC PLAN
We are at a time of unprecedented need in our community as the number of people who need emergency and supplemental food assistance continues to rise. Against this sobering backdrop, our senior staff and volunteer leadership embarked on an effort to create a new plan to guide us during the next five years.
The planning process was conducted in three phases:
Phase I: An in-depth assessment that included research into the field of hunger relief, including long-range planning efforts, interviews with a broad range of stakeholders and analyses based on these data. This resulted in a report on the Food Depository’s programs, mission and critical issues for the future.
Phase II: Participatory planning activities, based on the assessment that led to a set of goals, strategies, objectives and metrics.
Phase III: Consultations with Food Depository leaders for the completion and adoption of the new strategic plan.
FIVE YEARS, FIVE GOALS
Please click a goal to learn more about what is involved with each.
GOAL 1: Ensure the adequate supply, delivery and access to healthy food options for all people in need.
- Increase proportion of fresh produce to 30 percent of overall distribution.
- Increase availability of whole grain, trans fat-free and reduced-sodium food.
- Leverage urban agriculture as a fresh food source.
- Connect families with SNAP benefits and other resources.
GOAL 2: Strengthen and encourage community-based responses to ending hunger.
- Build capacity at the community level through new and existing partnerships.
- Invest in communities and networks that address food needs of priority populations.
- Foster collaborations that offer “no-wrong-door” services.
- Establish community dashboards and implement action plans.
GOAL 3: Mobilize the public to end hunger.
- Deepen the public’s understanding of our mission.
- Raise awareness among constituents in low-recognition demographics.
- Broaden our donor, advocacy and volunteer base through digital engagement.
- Support efforts to establish a statewide Commission to End Hunger.
- Enable all member partners to utilize online tools by 2015.
GOAL 4: Establish measurements beyond pounds that reflect our impact.
- Design and implement a measurement framework.
- Establish benchmarks and conduct “missing meals” analysis.
- Create community impact scorecards.
- Ensure all initiatives have corresponding impact measurements.
GOAL 5: Invest in people, technology and infrastructure critical to achieving our mission.
- Enhance recruitment, retention and professional development of staff.
- Meet or exceed Winning Workplace™ benchmarks by 2015.
- Expand mobile access to technology and information.
- Implement environmentally sustainable practices across the organization.
For more information, or to request a copy of the Strategic Plan, call 773-247-3663. You can also download a PDF copy of the strategic plan: Growing the Field.
WE’VE BEEN COMMITTED FOR MORE THAN 35 YEARS
We opened our doors in 1978 and have been committed to Chicago ever since. From supplying food to a growing population of those in need, to establishing programs that address important issues in our community, we will continue to fight until no 1 goes hungry.
Tom O’Connell, Robert W. Strube, Sr., Father Philip Marquard, Gertrude Snodgrass, Ann Connors and Ed Sunshine set up a food bank called the Greater Chicago Food Depository.
The Greater Chicago Food Despository opens at Robert Strube’s produce stall in the South Water Market and operations begin.
Supply grew when Illinois legislators passed a Good Samaritan law. Within a year food donors increased to 111, distribution to 6.1 million pounds and agencies to 375.
The growing Food Depository settled in a 91,000-square-foot facility at 4501 South Tripp Avenue.
Established a Perishable Food Program, now known as Food Rescue, with a grant from Chicago Community Trust.
The Produce People Share Program addressed the need for fresh fruits and vegetables in the community, and the first Kids Cafe® began serving after-school hot meals for low-income children.
Distribution topped 25 million pounds. Chicago’s Community Kitchens, a free, 12-week culinary training program for unemployed and underemployed adults was founded.
The first Producemobile, a farmers’ market on wheels, began distributing fresh produce to low-income communities.
Opened a new 268,000-square-foot warehouse and training center that brought all programs under one roof and became an international model for food banks. Pantry University, a training program for staff and volunteers from member agencies, opened its doors.
A second Producemobile began operation.
Nourish for Knowledge Children’s Program and a Senior Program launched.
Responding to the need on nights and weekends, the Mobile Pantry Program began operating.
SNAP Outreach services began to assist eligible individuals in applying for federal nutrition benefits.
Children's programs expanded with Healthy Kids Markets in schools and summer Lunch Bus meal distributions at community sites.
Chicago's Community Kitchens reached a milestone of 1,000 graduates. Fresh produce increased to 33 percent of all food distributed.
Outreach to food insecure veterans expands with the opening of a weekly food pantry at Jesse Brown VA Medical Center.
A second food pantry for veterans opens, distributing food once a week at Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital.
Distribute 68 million pounds of food, including nearly 24 million pounds of produce, to 650 pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and programs in Cook County.
HELP 1 BECOME NONE
Interested in actively fighting hunger in Chicago?