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.
NOURISH — OUR 2016 -2020 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.
FOOD, COMMUNITY, VOICE
Our goals and strategies will enable the Food Depository to grow its response to hunger through 2020.
NOURISH FOOD: Expand access to nutritious food
- Increase the supply of nutritious food through our distribution channels.
- Connect eligible neighbors to the nutrition safety net.
NOURISH COMMUNITY: Partner with and strengthen community-based responses to hunger and its root causes
- Collaborate with a broad coalition of community partners to more effectively meet the food and nutrition needs of the men, women and children we serve.
- Build and implement a nutrition education strategy to support healthy food choices.
- Link food-insecure neighbors to tools for economic stability.
NOURISH VOICE: Inspire and engage our community to lift its collective voice to end hunger
- Raise awareness and engage stakeholders on the issue of hunger in our community.
- Advance an advocacy agenda to increase food access and protect the nutrition safety net and other programs critical for low-income individuals and families.
- Increase our impact in the community by being THE volunteer program of choice.
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: Nourish Strategic Plan.
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 Depository 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?