Quality food is essential for youth to learn, grow, and play. Unfortunately, one in six Cook County children are at risk of hunger. We partner with schools and community organizations all year to ensure that youth in our community have the healthy food they need.
Our Year-Round Programs for Youth
Use our map to find a site giving away free diapers. Click the “More” filter, select “Diaper distribution” and then “Done” to find a site near you.
Healthy Student Market
Healthy Student Markets (formerly Healthy Kids Markets) are market-style food distributions located in schools. They provide nutritious food to students and families who may not be able to visit a traditional food pantry. The Food Depository provides a variety of healthy foods to stock the market, including fresh fruits and vegetables and shelf-stable items like pasta, peanut butter, rice and beans. Volunteers and staff from the school unload, set up and operate the market.
Since 2016, the Food Depository has partnered with the City Colleges of Chicago and other colleges to provide access to nutritious food at pantries located on campus. These distributions reach the increasing number of students who are at risk of food insecurity.
Rise & Shine Illinois
Rise & Shine Illinois is a partnership of Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign and the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Rise & Shine Illinois is a public-private coalition working to end childhood hunger in Illinois by ensuring kids get the food they need.
The Rise & Shine Illinois campaign works to raise awareness for the importance of school and community meals by increasing participation in school-based meal programming and educating policymakers and the public about its crucial role in youths’ health and academic success. Beyond the 2016 passing of the Breakfast After the Bell bill, this work has broadened to champion and advocate for schools as integral nutrition hubs for communities across the State. Alternative feeding models such as Grab and Go, Second Chance, and Meals in the Classroom reduce the barriers that children face to meal participation. Learn more about school breakfast, lunch, snacks and supper at the Rise & Shine Illinois site.
Our Seasonal Programs
Kids Cafe® is a national initiative of Feeding America administered locally by the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Since 1993, the Food Depository’s Kids Cafes have partnered with after-school programs to provide healthy meals for children in a safe, nurturing environment. For many, it may be the only wholesome meal they have all day. All Kids Cafes provide enrichment programming in addition to healthful, appealing meals. Kids Cafe meals are reimbursed by the Child and Adult Care Food Program of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Learn more about school year programs for youth.
Summer Meals/Lunch Bus
Youth who receive free and reduced-price meals at school often lack access to nutritious food during the summer. Summer meal sites and our mobile Lunch Bus program aim to reach these children and teens in convenient neighborhood locations. Learn more about summer meal programs.