Skip to Main Content
Hunger Beat

Ways to give back during the COVID-19 crisis

The coronavirus (COVID-19) has already changed daily life for people across Chicago, the nation, and the world.

As schools and businesses close across our community, the economic impact from this crisis is likely to disproportionately affect lower-income families and hourly workers. The Food Depository expects this pandemic will increase food insecurity in the city and throughout Cook County. In these times of uncertainty, it is more important than ever that our community joins together to ensure no one goes hungry. Here are a few ways you can make a difference right now:
Make a financial donation
All forms of giving are appreciated, but money allows the Food Depository to put resources toward our most urgent needs in the moment. All donations, big or small, will help us nourish our neighbors facing hunger. To make a donation, visit

Virtual food drives allow the Food Depository to directly purchase food that will support families affected by the coronavirus.
(Photo credit: Alyssa Schukar for the Food Depository)

Host or participate in a virtual food drive
Virtual food drives allow generous individuals to feed the community while still practicing social distancing. Set up like an online store, virtual food drive participants can select which of our most needed food items they want to purchase with their donation. One hundred percent of the proceeds go toward buying food. These drives also allow us to best stretch your gifts. Every $1 can help provide food for the equivalent of three meals.  To start or participate, visit
Volunteer (if you are able)
Currently, volunteer sessions at the Food Depository are still running as scheduled. These sessions include the creation of thousands of family food boxes that are being distributed throughout our network. The safety of our staff, volunteers and community remains our highest priority. Because of this, the Food Depository has increased the cleaning and sanitizing of our facility and has reduced the maximum number of volunteers to support social distancing.  We currently recommend that only those between the ages of 18 and 60 volunteer. Anyone who has experienced symptoms of illness or traveled to high-risk areas in the last 14 days should stay home. To find a time to volunteer, visit

Volunteers are helping the Food Depository create thousands of emergency food boxes for families in need.

The majority of our network of more than 700 community partners are still operating – though under modified conditions – to ensure their guests can still put food on the table. But now more than ever, they may be looking for some extra helping hands. If you are able, call your local food pantry, soup kitchen, shelter, or other food assistance program to see if they need volunteers. Find the agency closest to you at

Share This Post

More Recent Stories