Take a Stand Against Hunger
A strong nutrition safety net is essential to a future where no one goes hungry. We advocate for policies that protect individuals and families from hunger. Raise your voice and let your elected officials know that you support hunger relief programs.
Annual Lobby Day
Registration is now available for the annual Illinois End Hunger Now Lobby Day event in Springfield. On May 15, advocates from the Chicago area will travel from the Food Depository to the State Capitol for a rally and meeting with legislators. Sign up now to attend Lobby Day.
Learn more about our Lobby Day priorities:
- Support public benefits for immigrant survivors of human trafficking: HB 2118 Fact Sheet
- Make our SNAP Employment & Training Program more effective: SB 1791 Fact Sheet
- Notify college students when they are eligible for SNAP benefits: SB 1641 Fact Sheet
- Enable SNAP recipients who are elderly, disabled or experiencing homelessness to purchase prepared meals with their benefits: HB 3343 Fact Sheet
Our Policy Priorities
The Food Depository mobilizes the public to help end hunger. At the federal, state, and local level, our policy priorities include:
- Maintaining and strengthening hunger relief programs for individuals and families
- Increasing the amount of healthy food that is available and affordable to all
- Ensuring that healthy meals are available in schools for children in need
Our Advocacy Success Stories
Thanks to the combined efforts of our advocates, we have advanced policies that support food access for all. Here are a few recent highlights of our advocacy.
- College Students Hunger Relief (SB 351): Low-income students who are pursuing career or technical education programs at community colleges will be eligible for benefits to help them afford nutritious food. Over 40,000 economically-disadvantaged students at 49 community colleges could become eligible for SNAP benefits as a result of this law.
- Hunger Relief Tax Check-Off (SB 2868): Illinois taxpayers will have the opportunity to contribute to the Hunger Relief Fund when they file individual income tax forms. This law will aid Illinois food banks in providing vital support to individuals and families struggling with hunger.
- Healthy Local Food Incentives Fund (HB 4568): The Healthy Local Food Incentives Program provides double-value coupon incentives to SNAP participants to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at farmers markets and farm stands. The new law also calls for a $500,000 investment in this program, strengthening local economies while increasing access to nutritious food.
- The Breakfast After the Bell law is working for kids: Beginning with the 2017-18 school year, schools in which 70 percent or more of the student population is eligible for free or reduced-price meals are required to offer Breakfast After the Bell in Illinois. The law makes breakfast part of the school day and increases access to the nutrition all students require each morning to learn and succeed in the classroom. Early data shows that Illinois saw an increase of more than 20,000 students receiving breakfast in the 2017-18 school year! Read about the impact of Breakfast After the Bell in one local school.
- Secured a waiver of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) time limit for calendar years 2018 and 2019: The SNAP time limit waiver protects access to SNAP benefits for more than 260,000 Illinoisans by waiving a federal requirement that would result in many only being able to receive SNAP benefits for 3 months in a 3-year period. Learn more about the importance of this waiver, and see the Food Depository’s official statement on the waiver.
Take Action to Protect Anti-Hunger Programs
Statement on the Proposed SNAP time limit rule Change
On December 20, the White House announced a proposal to impose strict limits on states’ ability to request and receive waivers from existing work requirements within SNAP for able-bodied adults without dependents. This harmful proposal comes after Congress negotiated and passed a bipartisan Farm Bill that protects SNAP. The Food Depository opposes this proposed change and urges the White House to rescind it. Read the full statement.