Every day, the Greater Chicago Food Depository’s fleet of 40 vehicles is on the road, delivering food to our hungry neighbors. And, the challenges of a Chicago winter strengthen our resolve.
“Our drivers make sure that food gets where it needs to be, regardless of the weather,” said Joe Rodriguez, the Food Depository’s Transportation Director.
Winter weather poses unique challenges for the Food Depository’s transportation team, which consists of staff and numerous dedicated volunteers. One of the biggest concerns becomes making sure member agencies are still accessible for deliveries.
“We often make food deliveries in alleys, or using sidewalks,” Joe said. “But in a storm, those areas might not be plowed right away, so our drivers bring shovels and help the agencies clear out the snow so they can receive the food.”
Safety is a top priority year-round for the Food Depository’s transportation team, but during the winter months, it becomes especially important.
“The transportation team meets at six every morning, so when it’s snowing we’re able to communicate what the best routes are going to be before we leave the warehouse and keep everyone updated on road conditions,” Joe said.
For Joe and his team, the bottom line is simple: the need doesn’t stop during the winter, so neither can they.
“No matter if it’s snowing, raining, hot or cold, we’re making sure to get food out into the community, because people are counting on us,” he said.