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Hunger Beat

Volunteers harvest corn, squash at local farm

A Greater Chicago Food Depository volunteer harvests corn in Marengo.
The Greater Chicago Food Depository is committed to distributing fresh produce to its member agencies. For the second consecutive fiscal year, one third of the Food Depository’s distribution was fresh produce. That produce comes to the Food Depository in a variety of ways – from distributors, to wholesalers, to growers. While all donation avenues are critical, one is particularly hands on: the annual corn and squash harvest.

Each summer, because of a generous landowner, Food Depository staff and volunteers travel to a farm in Marengo, Illinois, to harvest sweet corn and squash directly from the fields. Once harvested, the corn and squash are placed on a Food Depository truck and are brought back to the warehouse, where they are sorted and distributed just days later via the Producemobile.

This year, more than 100 volunteers harvested approximately 84,500 pounds of corn across 10 acres and thousands of pounds of squash on 3.5 acres. Thank you to all those who volunteered, as you helped bring fresh produce to hungry men, women, and children in Cook County!

If you'd like to get involved in the fight against hunger by volunteering at Food Depository events or in our warehouse, visit

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