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Our Work at the Intersection of Health and Hunger

Food insecurity is associated with adverse and costly health outcomes. See how we help.

We Believe a Healthy Community Starts With Food

Food insecurity, chronic disease and costly health outcomes are intrinsically linked. The Food Depository partners with healthcare providers and community groups for programs that support the health of our neighbors with nutritious food.

Find Food Get Help with Food & Medical Benefits

Inequity in Food and Health

For many of the people we serve, the stress of food insecurity is coupled with the cost of diabetes, hypertension, obesity and chronic disease. Households experiencing food insecurity often make difficult trade-offs between food and medicine or medical care.

Among local households served by the Food Depository’s network:

35 %
report at least one member with diabetes
60 %
report at least one member with high blood pressure
62 %
chose between paying for food and paying for medicine/medical care

Health Partnerships

Increasing Access to Healthy Food Options to Prevent or Mitigate Diseases

The Food Depository works with community clinics, hospitals and health systems to identify food insecure patients and connect them with fresh food and resources to support their health and well-being. We develop customized strategies with partners including Cook County Health, ACCESS Community Health Network, Chicago Department of Public Health, Lurie Children’s, Advocate Health Care, Humboldt Park Health and more.

Health center staff are trained to screen patients for food insecurity and provide them with information and referrals to nearby programs and benefits outreach services.

Our mobile Fresh Truck markets visit community health centers. Patients redeem vouchers written by their healthcare providers for fresh produce, similar to prescriptions.

Food pantries in hospitals and medical centers offer healthy food, nutrition education and demonstrations from dieticians and other service providers.

The Food Depository collaborates with health partners to prepare and distribute medically-tailored meals for high risk, food insecure patients.


Nutrition Education

The Power of Healthy Food

The Food Depository is expanding nutrition education programming at sites across Chicago and Cook County, including traditional food pantries, community organizations and healthcare partners. Healthy food and knowledge can significantly impact quality of life for an individual, a household and a community.


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 Nourishing 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


Get Help

Find The Support You Need To Thrive

You’re our neighbor, and when you are in need we’re here to find the right solution for you. Discover a variety of programs designed to end hunger, promote healthy living and reduce poverty.

Only a Hunger-Free Community Can Truly Be Healthy

Free healthy food is available for anyone in need. Find a program near you that offers food and resources. Or you can help by volunteering, donating or advocating for a healthy, hunger-free community.