City of Chicago and Food Depository Launch Roadmap to Reduce Food Insecurity
Officials from the City of Chicago and the Greater Chicago Food Depository announced the launch of Forward Together: A Roadmap to Reduce Food Insecurity across the City of Chicago. The roadmap builds upon existing resources to increase access to nutritious food for households in need while exploring new solutions to reduce hunger and underlying poverty. The plan was unveiled at the Chicago Public Library Douglass Branch in North Lawndale – the site of the Food Depository’s newest program collaboration with the City of Chicago. Using its proven Healthy Student Market program model, the Food Depository supplies semi-monthly distributions of fresh produce and nutritious groceries for families with children enrolled in city-supported Chicago Early Learning and Head Start funded programming in North Lawndale.
A Plan for Chicago’s Future
“Meeting the basic needs of Chicago’s youngest children is vital to ensuring that they are ready to learn and be successful in school,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “We applaud this partnership and innovative approach to addressing food insecurity in neighborhoods across the City.”
While the initial steps in the plan focus on families and children, a committee of City agencies will explore additional actions to address barriers to food access for other priority populations. Priority populations for these actions include youth, older adults, people with disabilities, and unemployed and low-income working families.
“Too often families across Chicago make tradeoffs between paying for nutritious food, a utility bill, medicine or rent,” said Kate Maehr, Food Depository Executive Director and CEO. “This ambitious plan builds upon four decades of partnership between the City of Chicago and the Greater Chicago Food Depository, but more importantly it leverages the power of community and it aims toward a future when every Chicagoan, in every neighborhood, has the food they need to thrive.”