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Hunger Beat

52 Stories, 52 Weeks: Supporting veterans

Michael attended a Veterans Stand Down at the General Jones Armory last summer.
Michael White, 57, served in the military overseas for nine years and is now homeless. 

He has been in and out of the hospital, and went to a Veterans Stand Down event on the South Side of Chicago to get a healthy meal, provided by the Greater Chicago Food Depository’s Chicago’s Community Kitchens program.

“Events like this make (veterans) feel appreciated,” Michael says. “I’m hungry, but this meal makes it better.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are nearly 18,000 veterans in Cook County living below the poverty level. The Greater Chicago Food Depository is expanding its veterans outreach in order to meet the increased need. 

In fiscal year 2013-2014, the Food Depository aims to provide hot meals to 800 Veterans and distribute 2,000 takeaway food bags at Stand Down events. Further, the Food Depository is partnering with the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center and AmeriCorps to open a choice-model food pantry for Veterans on Veterans Day.

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