Every day, employees of the Greater Chicago Food Depository come to work under one mission – provide food for hungry people while striving to end hunger in our community. While the individuals that make up our diverse staff might specialize in Community Network Relations, Fund Development, Transportation, Information Technology, SNAP Outreach, Volunteer Services and more, every task we undertake is to ensure the more than 807,000 men, women and children who are food insecure in Cook County have access to healthy, nutritious food.

Food Depository employees getting ready to distributing food at Truevine MBC in Dixmoor.
Food Depository staff sorting and packing food at McCormick Tribune YMCA on North Lawndale Avenue.

This past Tuesday, 148 Food Depository employees boarded buses and traveled to four partner programs in Dixmoor, West Englewood, Humbolt Park/Logan Square and Greater Grand Crossing to distribute food to individuals and families in need. It was a chance for all Food Depository staff to work one-on-one with the clients we serve.

During these distributions, Food Depository staff met the many faces of hunger in Chicago – mothers and fathers with young children, laborers struggling to find work and older adults with low fixed incomes – including West Englewood resident Vernice.

A Food Depository employee helping Vernice, a West Englewood resident, at a Mobile Pantry distribution at Operation Blessing on West 59th Street.

Vernice, 69, has lived in West Englewood for more than 50 years and has seen many changes in her community – an increase of crime, shootings and poverty. After 27 years of working as a secretary at the same company, Vernice was laid off – a victim of cutbacks – leaving her without a job and without health insurance. For years, Vernice has struggled to make ends meet. Her savings are gone and Social Security is not enough to cover both bills and food. She admits some nights she eats only crackers so she can pay her gas bill. Those nights she prays she falls asleep quickly so she does not have to feel the hunger pangs. With the help of Operation Blessing at Evening Star MBC in West Englewood, a Food Depository partner agency, Vernice is able to get the food she needs.

This is possible thanks to the support of our generous donors, the help of our volunteers and our dedicated staff. We do it for the parents who struggle to put food on the table. We do it for the children who fall behind in school because they went to school hungry. We do it for the older adults who have to make the difficult choice between paying for food or paying for medicine. We do it for the one in six individuals in Cook County who are unaware of where or when their next meal will be. We ‘Do it for Chicago.’

Tell us why you ‘Do it for Chicago’? We want to share your story! Email [email protected] or call 773-843-5498. Post it on our Facebook Wall at facebook.com/fooddepository or connect with us on Twitter at twitter.com/fooddepository.