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Our Mission is to End Hunger

Because we believe a healthy community starts with food.

Offering Food, Resources and Hope

For our Chicago and Cook County Neighbors.

The Greater Chicago Food Depository, Chicago’s food bank, started with one purpose – to nourish our neighbors at risk of hunger. And as the needs of our neighbors have evolved, so have we. Our work against hunger has expanded to address the issues that cause food insecurity and poverty.

Our mission is to end hunger. To achieve our mission, we work in partnership with a network of community-based organizations and individuals. Together, we connect our neighbors with healthy food, lift our voices and advance solutions that address the root causes of hunger – poverty, systemic inequity and structural racism. Together, we are greater. Together, we can end hunger.

Our mission is to end hunger
Our mission is to end hunger
Our mission is to end hunger


Nourishing Chicago and Cook County Communities

For more than 40 years, the Food Depository has been driven by a mission that puts the needs of our neighbors first. We believe that food is a basic need and work together to advance solutions that end hunger and its root causes.

We center our work on our neighbors who face hunger.
We work for justice.
We are inclusive.
We are courageous.

The Difference Is You

When you support the Food Depository, Chicago’s food bank, you’re making an immediate difference in the lives of children, older adults and families in communities that need it most.

Donate VolunteerJOIN OUR TEAM


Our History

Over 40 Years and Millions of Meals Later

In 1979, six people came together and opened the first food bank in Illinois with a mission to bring hope and end hunger in our community. The Food Depository has since grown to support a local network of 800 pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and programs that help us advance our mission to end hunger.

Learn more about our history

Gertrude Snodgrass, second from left, and other volunteers pack food to be given away in her West Side neighborhood
Gertrude Snodgrass
one of our founders

“I got involved in the fight against hunger years ago before there were any pantries handing out food day to day.”

Read about one of the inspirational founders who helped us grow from grassroots

Gertrude Snodgrass
one of our founders

Purpose-Driven People Committed To Ending Hunger

How do we end hunger? Bringing passionate, knowledgeable, and strong minds together to get to the root causes. Join a team of purpose-driven leaders who use every day as an opportunity to create change.

The Nourish Project

Nourishing Community, Health and Hope

Serving our neighbors in need starts with understanding what those needs are. As communities continue to face hunger, the need for resources to address food insecurity is higher than ever.

The Nourish Project will meet that need by increasing the availability of healthy, prepared meals and addressing the root causes of hunger across Chicago and Cook County.

Learn about the Nourish Project



FAQs about the Food Depository


No. We are an independent, non-governmental organization. Like many nonprofits, we receive some funding from the government. However, rest assured that we NEVER share any personal information with government agencies. This includes the police and immigration departments. The only information we share is statistics about the number of meals provided and the number of people we serve.

We proudly serve anyone in need of food. The Food Depository and our partners do not discriminate on the basis of religion, sexual orientation, race, age or ability.

No. We have many Spanish-speaking and bilingual employees, volunteers and community partners across our network.


Learn About Our Mission and Our Network Working to End Food Insecurity

Read how we’re working to end hunger and its root causes.

Read more stories

Support Change. End Hunger.

When you support the Food Depository, you ensure our neighbors have food for today and our community has hope for tomorrow. Whether you donate, volunteer or advocate, you are bringing us closer to achieving our mission.