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This year, the support of people like you has affected neighbors across Chicago and Cook County. Here are a few of their stories, which we hope will encourage and inspire you. Thank you for being a part of helping those facing hunger.
An Oasis of Hope
Hector’s children were his first concern when he lost his job as a water jet operator. “They’re going to be hungry . . . I’ve got to feed them.”
Not long after, he saw people standing in line on West Diversey Avenue. He looked again and saw that they were lined up in front of the Onward Neighborhood House Food Pantry.
Inside, Hector found the healthy food his children needed—fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy, frozen meats, bread, grains and breakfast foods.
During a difficult and stressful time, support from friends like you lessened the worries of this loving father and nourished his children.
Throughout 2022, Lupe’s smile greeted countless neighbors who visited the food pantry at Onward Neighborhood House, a social services organization in Belmont Cragin and one of the Greater Chicago Food Depository’s oldest community partners.
She knows how important access to healthy food is for people in her community, and she wants them to know they are welcome. As a child, she frequented food pantries with her parents—both to pick up food and to serve as a volunteer.
Giving back holds a special joy for Lupe, and it shows in her kindness toward every neighbor who comes through the food pantry doors. “I’m happy to give out food . . . especially to my neighbors, my own community,” she said. “Here, it’s like giving to my family members.”
In addition to volunteering at the food pantry, Lupe offers help at Onward’s after-school program, which enriches local children academically, physically and socially while also ensuring they receive nutritious food and snacks.
In addition to traditional community partners that serve people of all ages, your support helped the Food Depository operate more than 180 older adult food distributions to support those in need.
Older adults can be greatly affected by food insecurity. Barriers like living on fixed incomes due to retirement, physical limitations or even medical conditions can make it difficult to balance affording groceries with other needs.
Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood has been Hursell’s home for almost 40 years. In partnership with the Greater Chicago Food Depository, his apartment building runs a food pantry for older adults.
“It’s a big help,” Hursell said, especially as inflation causes gas prices and other bills to rise. “In this day and time, every little bit helps.”