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'Food is real energy'

Food Depository commemorates 30 years of serving the community
Bob Strube, one of the founders of the Greater Chicago Food Depository
Bob Strube of Strube Celery & Vegetable Co., one of the six founders of the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

An organization hatched in the hallway of a dark church basement has evolved into a complex operation that likely will distribute 50 million pounds of food this year.

Thirty years ago, a handful of community-minded citizens met to discuss the formation of a food bank around a table crammed into a subterranean hallway of St. Peter's Church in the Loop.

“It was like the catacombs,” says Helen Strube, whose husband, Bob, attended the meeting.

The Greater Chicago Food Depository is commemorating its 30th anniversary in 2009. Six individuals—Ann Connors, Father Philip Marquard, Tom O'Connell, Gertrude Snodgrass, Ed Sunshine and Bob Strube—are credited with the founding of the organization, which was modeled after a food bank established in Phoenix in 1967. The organization was named “the Greater Chicago Food Depository,” rather than “Greater  Chicago Food Bank” because of an Illinois statute that then prohibited the use of the word “bank” in the name of non-banking entities ...

Read more about Strube and our founding

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Find out how three longtime Food Depository agencies got their start and how they have led the way for other agencies within the network.