Anna Donegan visits the Union Avenue UMC food pantry in Canaryville.
On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, Anna Donegan was not preparing a meal for the upcoming holiday. She was not baking cookies, or peeling potatoes, or roasting a turkey. Instead, she was waiting in line at a food pantry on Chicago’s South Side.
Anna, 29, was recently laid off from her full-time waitressing job in the city. She used to receive $450 per month in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, but recently her benefits dropped to $300.
“$150 per month less might not seem like a lot, but it adds up quickly,” she said.
To support her family of four, especially during the holidays, Anna gets food from the Union Avenue UMC Church food pantry, a Greater Chicago Food Depository member agency in Canaryville.
“I don’t have enough money or food stamps to afford much for Thanksgiving, so anything that I get today is going to go a long way towards making tomorrow better,” she said.
At the pantry, Anna receives fresh produce, bread, meat, and canned goods. After she is done choosing her groceries, she bundles up, preparing to head out into a frigid November morning. She smiles.

“This food is just a huge help,” she said. “It helps make Thanksgiving bright.”
1 in 6 men, women, and children in Cook County don’t know where their next meal is coming from. Be the 1 to help, and tell Chicago that #No1ShouldGoHungry.