Thanksgiving means food! But if you’re short of food, Thanksgiving can be a terribly stressful holiday.
This year, with food prices high and moving higher, many Chicago and Cook County residents are facing the prospect of a bleak Thanksgiving. If it is a struggle to put food on the table on an ordinary day, buying a turkey and all the trimmings is an even bigger challenge.
In fact, turkey will be harder than ever to get this year, with prices higher than at any time in recent memory.
But with your strong support, the Greater Chicago Food Depository will provide food and hope for families struggling to make ends meet during this holiday season.
Delivering Food, Delivering Hope
Each November and December, special deliveries of traditional holiday items go out to hundreds of community partners. This is on top of the regular orders that go out to the Food Depository’s network nearly every day.
Our dedicated workers will load trucks with enormous quantities of potatoes, corn, green beans—and yes, turkey—along with ham, chicken and other favorites . . . all for Thanksgiving season food distributions across Chicago and Cook County.
It’s an annual outreach to families facing hunger to make sure everyone can enjoy a nutritious holiday meal.
Efrain Reyes knows how critical the food is for neighbors experiencing hunger, and for the food pantry partners who serve them . . . this will be his 16th holiday season as a Food Depository driver.
Reyes’ days start before most Chicagoans. He arrives at the Food Depository warehouse at 4:30 a.m. to get a lead on the long day ahead, filling his truck with thousands of pounds of fresh food. “It’s a long process,” he says.
Among Reyes’ many stops is the Mission of Our Lady of the Angels food pantry, which serves hundreds of families each week on the city’s West Side.
Leading up to Christmas, guests look forward to picking up special items for their families, like hams, pies and bags of potatoes, said Sister Stephanie Baliga. “Everyone is extremely grateful for the quantity and quality of the food we’re giving,” she said.
Reyes enjoys playing such an important “hands on” role in feeding families—not only during the holidays, but year round. Growing up, Reyes was one of nine children, and he remembers his family’s struggles and how he was taught to be a helping hand to others.
That’s what has kept him coming back, during the pandemic and now as inflation continues to drive more families and individuals to seek help putting food on the table. “This is like food for the soul,” he said.
Your generous support for the Greater Chicago Food Depository will help hundreds of thousands across Chicago and Cook County enjoy this Thanksgiving, in spite of soaring food prices. Thank you for giving the gift of hope!