|Marcella Rucker (left) enjoys dinner with her grandchildren at the Food Depository’s Clyde Park Pilot Program.|
Marcella Rucker can’t help but smile as she sits down to a meal with her grandchildren, a meal made possible by the Greater Chicago Food Depository.
Marcella and her family are one of dozens of grandparents and grandchildren who gather Monday through Friday for a free meal at the Clyde Park District of Cicero. The dinner is part of a Food Depository pilot program that provides healthy, nutritious meals for local older adults 60 years and older and children under the age of 18.
“The pilot program was created in response to the growing number of grandparents raising grandchildren or grandparents who play a larger financial role in caring for their grandchildren in Cook County,” said Adam McGriffin, Older Adult Services Coordinator for the Food Depository.
Two recent studies show children and older adults are populations susceptible to hunger and food insecurity in Cook County:
- A Feeding America study released last week found 1 in 5 children in Cook County is food insecure and doesn’t know when or where they will receive their next meal.
- A Food Depository commissioned study released last month, shows 89 percent of federal food assistance for low-income older adults in Chicago and 92 percent in suburban Cook County comes from SNAP (formerly known as Food Stamps).
|Larry Starnes and his grandson attend the Clyde Park District Pilot Porgram nightly.|