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Hunger Beat

Proud to serve our communities

With winter around the corner, it’s time to ring in the season of giving and gratitude.

For weeks now, our Chicago community has been looking forward to sharing a meal and reflecting on what (or who) they are most thankful for.

For some of our neighbors, however, a heart-healthy holiday meal will be a little bit harder to come by. That’s why, whether it’s due to lack of income, family crises, or just simply unforeseen life-changing circumstances, it’s important to know that food assistance is available to anyone that needs it this season.

Our network of partners take pride in giving back and sharing with those who sometimes need a little bit of help. We all turn to friends and our support systems from time to time, so why not turn to us?

This year and every year, we’re grateful to each person who trusts in us to help provide food, hope and comfort during the season. Here are some of the ways we serve those who are looking for some extra support because we believe food is a basic human right.

Volunteer distributes onions and potatoes at a food pantry.

Volunteer distributes onions and potatoes at a food pantry.

How We Serve Our Community with Food Now

It all starts with food sourcing, pure and simple. The Food Depository is the hub: sourcing, inspecting and preparing fresh, nutritious and culturally-relevant foods assessed for quality and safety.

From there, we distribute food to our network of more than 800 food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and other meal programs in the city and Cook County suburbs. We’re truly grateful to have several fantastic partners who are available to serve free food throughout Chicago and Cook County.

The best part is that finding a local pantry is easy and simple! Within our find food map, anyone in need can access detailed pantry information including hours of operation, languages spoken and programs available. It’s never been more convenient to map out and visit a nearby pantry location.

How We’ll Serve Our Community in the Future

Our Nourish Project – an initiative nearing completion in early 2024 – will aim to further address food inequities by increasing the availability of healthy prepared meals.

a volunteer offers a prepared meal to a pantry guest

A prepared meal distribution at a partner food pantry.

Our goal for the Nourish Project is to serve up to 10,000 prepared meals per day, coming out to about 2.5 million prepared meals per year. Those meals will be distributed to pantries, opportunity youth, people experiencing a housing crisis, and individuals taking part in workforce development programs.

A family picking out food in a food pantry

A family picking out food in a food pantry in our network.

With the season of giving upon us, it’s important for us to give the gift of food and serve our neighbors who need it.

Whether you or someone who you know is facing food insecurity, please know we are available and ready to help with free food throughout Chicago and Cook County.

Connecting our neighbors with healthy food isn’t just about the meals themselves. It’s about uplifting everyone in the Chicagoland area and giving them one more reason to celebrate during this season of giving and gratitude. Let us serve you this season and find free food at a pantry near you.

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