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.
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.
- School breakfast for students in need: Children are better able to focus and learn when they aren’t hungry. A bill that unanimously passed the Illinois state legislature in spring 2016 makes breakfast an official part of the school day in low-income schools, eliminating barriers for children in need.
- Expanded access to SNAP benefits: An Illinois law that took effect on January 1, 2016 expands access to SNAP benefits (formerly known as food stamps) to families earning up to 165 percent of the federal poverty line. The new limit makes it possible for an estimated 40,000 additional families to access these benefits. In 2016, we also advocated to extend a waiver for individuals to keep their SNAP benefits without restrictive time limits. This waiver protects access to food assistance for more than 250,000 people in Illinois.
- Cook County Food Access Plan: This two-year plan aims to strengthen the response to food insecurity throughout Cook County. The plan focuses on three goals: expanding food insecurity screening and referrals in clinics, increased access to meals in schools, and growing the use of SNAP benefits at farm stands and farmers’ markets.
Take Action to Protect Anti-Hunger Programs
Statement on the U.S. House FY18 budget
The U.S House of Representatives’ FY18 Budget Blueprint and Concurrent Resolution, released on July 18, proposes billions in cuts to vital federal nutrition and anti-poverty programs. It abandons a longstanding American commitment to fighting child hunger. Unemployed people, older adults and low-income working families would bear the brunt of budget cuts. The proposed cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) would increase demand on the charitable food system. While food banks and private charities make a significant impact on hunger, we could not meet this increased need.
This budget proposal is the first step in a lengthy process. We are working with a coalition of anti-hunger and anti-poverty organizations, including our partner agencies throughout Cook County, to protect the nutrition safety net.