March 31, 2021
Our COVID-19 Response
The Food Depository stands ready to respond to increased need for food related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Find the latest information about our response here.
Our response in the news:
3/31: New York Times – How Food Banks Succeeded and What They Need Now
The Food Depository was featured in the New York Times’ The Upshot. Its story highlighted the work – and challenges – food banks are facing amid the pandemic
3/30: WBEZ – ‘Once Their Kids Get Hungry, They Call for Help’: The Pandemic’s Toll On Families
3/20: Chicago Tribune – All CPS families are getting $450 pandemic food benefit cards. Some who don’t need the help are trying to pay it forward.
3/17: State Scoop – Illinois unveils tech-fueled plan to reduce hunger statewide
3/6: ABC 7 – Chicago CHIditarod makes changes amid COVID-19 pandemic to keep cause going
3/6: Univision – Te decimos cómo puedes recibir dinero mensualmente para comprar alimentos para tus hijos en Chicago
3/5: Crain’s – COVID-19 strained food banks. Here’s how Chicago food manufacturers are helping.
3/4: Fox 32 – Illinois expands food pandemic assistance program
3/2: ABC 7 – 1M Illinois schoolchildren to receive loaded debit cards for monthly food assistance through expanded P-EBT program
2/10: Fox 32 – 4 new food pantries coming to Chicago’s South and West sides
2/9: WBBM Radio – Chicago area food pantries get boost from grants
2/8: ABC 7 – Greater Chicago Food Depository announces $2.6M in grants to expand food access
2/8: WBEZ – To Keep Up With Pandemic Demands, Chicago Food Pantries Expand — And Get A Facelift
2/8: Chicago Tribune – Four new food pantries for Chicago’s South and West sides: ‘It is about the power of food to transform a community’ – Chicago Tribune
2/2: Chicago Tribune – Editorial: Random acts of (tamale) kindness in a snowy pandemic
1/29: Univision – Esto es lo que debes saber sobre la ayuda económica para familias con niños en edad escolar en Chicago
1/18: ABC 7 – Martin Luther King Day: Young athletes volunteer at Greater Chicago Food Depository
12/31: The New York Times – 10 Stories of Support in a Year of Obstacles
In partnership with Feeding America, The New York Times’ Neediest Cases Fund shares the stories people in need and those stepping up to help them. In this final story of the 2020 campaign, the Times profiled people from across the U.S. making a difference in their community. One of those stories is of Robert McMahon, a volunteer at the Hines V.A. Hospital food pantry, one of our community partners.
12/30: Fox 32 – Greater Chicago Food Depository in desperate need for donations, volunteers
12/28: ABC 7 – Feed the Love: Local Boys and Girls Club provides e-learning assistance, feed CPS students daily
12/24: CBS Chicago – Community Groups In Chicago Gather Resources For Food Donations Driven By The Pandemic: ‘It Is Heartbreaking’
12/23: Block Club Chicago – Hunger Crisis In Decades Because Of Coronavirus — And The Recovery Could Take Years
12/22: Chicago Tribune – ‘We want them to feel loved’: Hundreds of families receive groceries for Christmas dinner as Chicago area faces largest hunger crisis in four decades
12/15: TODAY – At Chicago food depository, the need is ‘overwhelming this year’
12/15: ABC 7 – Feed the Love: A look into the Greater Chicago Food Depository
12/11: Chicago Tribune – Column: COVID-19 pandemic causes surge in food insecurity. Any relief bill should boost SNAP payments.
12/11: Good Morning America – Deserving food bank volunteers get a big surprise
Our partners at the Chosen Tabernacle food pantry receive recognition for their COVID-19 response. The food pantry, the Food Depository, and Feeding America also receive a sizeable donation to support our efforts.
12/10: Chicago Tribune – Stimulus update: Federal pandemic relief set to expire, but there’s still COVID-19 aid available in Illinois. Here’s how to get help.
Vice president of operations Sheila Creghin speaks about the impact of the USDA’s Farmers to Families Food Boxes program
12/9: ABC 7 – Roseland church spreads joy, feeds community members with hot meal delivery service
Part 2 of ABC 7’s ‘Feed the Love’ series, featuring our partners at Allen Metropolitan C.M.E. Church in Roseland
12/8: WGN – Already facing unprecedented demand, food banks brace for spike when unemployment dries up
12/7: Chicago Sun-Times – Nearly half a million in state will lose unemployment benefits without new federal aid package
12/3: Make it Better Magazine – Forces for Change: Meet 6 Leaders Making Chicago and the Suburbs Better
Executive director and CEO Kate Maehr was recognized as one of Chicago’s 2020 Change Makers
12/1: ABC 7 – Feed the Love: Bronzeville church feeds neighbors in need this holiday season
In partnership with the Food Depository and the Northern Illinois Food Bank, the ‘Feed the Love’ series highlights stories from our food banks and across our networks. This first part in the series showcases the Chosen Tabernacle food pantry in Bronzeville.
12/1: Chicago Tribune – Column: Third annual Insult-A-Columnist Holiday Food Drive begins as coronavirus-driven food insecurity surges – Tribune
11/27: Chicago Tribune – Holiday volunteering will look a lot different this year due to COVID-19. Here are ways you can still help — in person or virtually.
Kelsey Kyle, senior manager of volunteer engagement, shares about the need for volunteers to help meet the rising demand for food assistance
11/25: Washington Post – A growing number of Americans are going hungry
Diane Schanzenbach, a Food Depository board member and director of Northwestern University’s Institute for Policy Research, serves as one of the many expert sources in this Washington Post news package
11/25: ABC 7 – Greater Chicago Food Depository food distribution up 125% from Nov. 2019
11/24: Chicago Defender – The Pandemic Highlights Food Insecurity
11/22: CBS News – The rise in Americans’ food insecurity
Board member Diane Schanzenbach shares about the increase in need for food as a result of the pandemic
11/22: ABC 7 – Chicago-area food insecurity an even larger issue during COVID-19 pandemic; hear from those trying to help
11/20: CBS 2 – Greater Chicago Food Depository Gets Donations Of Food, Vans To Help With Deliveries
11/17: CBS 2 – Tackling Food Insecurity In Chicago Amid The Pandemic; ‘We Definitely Need People To Give If They Can’
11/15: Chicago Sun-Times – Feeding the hungry grows all the more difficult during a pandemic
9/21: WTTW – Food Insecurity On the Rise Across US, Chicago Amid COVID-19
9/18: WBEZ’s Reset – Study: 1 In 6 Chicago Households Can’t Afford Both Bills And Food
9/14: ABC 7 – Northern Illinois Food Bank, Greater Chicago Food Depository working to meet increased demand from COVID-19 pandemic
9/11: Chicago Tribune – Commentary: 3 ways you can help alleviate hunger
Executive director and CEO Kate Maehr shares about how to get involved as COVID-19 increases food insecurity across Cook County
9/8: Chicago Tribune – Six months into the pandemic, CPS has served more than 21 million free meals and won’t let up anytime soon
Kelsie Kliner, associate director of youth programs, speaks about the Food Depository’s efforts to provide children meals during the pandemic.
8/28: Chicago Tribune – As the need for food aid soars, small Chicago grassroots efforts are stepping up. ‘When it was a difficult moment, we made a difference.’
8/25: ABC 7 – Chicago area food banks continue to serve communities record numbers of people seek help amid COVID-19 pandemic
7/24: Crain’s Chicago Business – How six months of pandemic have changed Illinois forever
Vice president of community impact Nicole Robinson speaks about the increase in demand the Food Depository has seen since January and her hopes for our future food systems.
7/14: WBEZ’s Reset – How Two Local Groups Are Tackling Food Insecurity During COVID-19
7/7: Block Club Chicago – Buy Art, Feed Your Neighbor: Prints For Hunger Campaign Raises $20K For Greater Chicago Food Depository
7/3: Chicago Tribune – Column: ‘Boxes of hope’: In Little Village, a food pantry turns the COVID-19 crisis into opportunity
Tribune columnist Mary Schmich visits one of our new community partners, New Life Centers of Chicagoland
6/19: Daily Herald – US Foods to Donate $250,000 of Food to the Greater Chicago Food Depository
6/17: Fox 32 – Free lunch bus delivers meals in suburbs
6/12: Block Club Chicago – Food And Masks To Be Given Away In Rosemoor Parking Lot Friday
5/27: Beyond the Curve – Interview with Kate Maehr of the Greater Chicago Food Depository
5/22: WGN Radio – Greater Chicago Food Depository is serving 76% more people in need than they were in January
5/22: The Hill – Children are going hungry — it’s time to increase food stamp benefits
Food Depository board member Diane Schanzenbach penned this op-ed calling on Congress to increase food assistance benefits during this crisis
5/14: Associated Press – Poll: Virus, econ crisis drive fears of having enough to eat
5/12: Block Club Chicago – Get Free Food Boxes Every Tuesday In Auburn Gresham
5/8: Block Club Chicago – Bronzeville Food Pantry, On Brink Of Closing, Gets Help From University Of Chicago Volunteers
5/7: CBS 2 – Greater Chicago Food Depository Sees 60% Jump In Those Seeking Food Assistance
5/6: New York Times – As Hunger Swells, Food Stamps Become a Partisan Flash Point
Executive director and CEO Kate Maehr and board member Diane Schanzenbach discuss the importance of expanding Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
5/6: Chicago Sun-Times – Pop-up food pantries arrive in areas hardest-hit by COVID-19
5/5: ABC 7 – Greater Chicago Food Depository, faith-based organizations hold pop-up food pantries on south, west sides
5/5: Fox 32 – Pop-up food pantries serving Chicago neighborhoods hard-hit by COVID-19
5/5: Daily Herald – Amazon Donates $200,000 to Greater Chicago Food Depository
5/4: Block Club Chicago – Pop-Up Food Pantries Coming To South And West Sides: ‘The Need Is Astronomical’
5/4: Chicago Tribune – Food distribution pop-up sites start on South, West sides to fill gap during COVID-19 pandemic
5/4: WBEZ – Chicago Food Bank Expands Operations To Areas Hit Hardest By COVID-19: South And West Sides
5/1: NBC 5 – Former President Obama Surprises Food Depository Staff
4/30: ABC 7 – Illinois Broadcasters Uniting Against Hunger virtual food drive raises more than $1.5M
4/28: Hyde Park Herald – Photographer brings good work into focus
4/24: WBBM Radio – Chicago Launches Emergency Food Coordination Center For Those In Need Of Food During COVID-19 Pandemic
4/24: CBS 2 – Coronavirus Pandemic Forces Food Banks To Increase Spending 40% Because Of Fewer Donations
4/24: TIME – Food Banks Struggle to Keep Up With Skyrocketing Demand
4/23: Crain’s Chicago Business – This COVID hero is stepping up to feed Chicagoans in need
For its Local Heroes series, Crain’s featured Food Depository warehouse manager Jose DeSantiago
4/19: CBS 2 – Buena Park’s St. Mary Of The Lake Parish Opens Food Pantry Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
4/11: Wall Street Journal – How the Head of a Chicago Food Bank Is Relieving Stress During the Coronavirus Crisis
For WSJ’s “How I Cope” series, executive director and CEO Kate Maehr shared her tips for getting through these unprecedented times
4/9: ABC 7 – Chicago-area food banks report ‘dramatic increase’ in demand as many seek assistance for 1st time
4/9: ABC 7 – Ravenswood food pantry continues to serve neighborhood
ABC 7 reporter Jalyn Henderson visits Ravenswood Community Services, a partner in the Food Depository’s network, highlighting some changes that pantries and meal programs are making to serve food safely.
4/9: Chicago Sun-Times – United Center packed with 774,840 pounds of food destined for Chicago food pantries
4/8: WGN Radio – Foxtrot and Greater Chicago Food Depository Partnership: “Some people will experience food insecurity for the first time”
4/8: Chicago Tribune – Greater Chicago Food Depository launches coronavirus crisis grant program, suspends charges to pantries for food, seeking volunteers
4/8: Chicago Tribune — Shoppers are buying groceries online to stay safe during the pandemic, but Illinois’ 1.8 million food stamp recipients — who advocates say are at greater risk — can’t, thanks to red tape
4/7: Block Club Chicago – Movie Studio Becomes Food Bank Warehouse Serving Families Impacted By Coronavirus
4/6: Chicago Tribune – Commentary: Food insecurity adds to COVID-19 vulnerability for too many
Op-ed by Dr. Monica Peek, a Food Depository board member
4/6: Daily Southtown – Column: South suburban food pantries change procedures while serving more people during coronavirus pandemic
4/3: Chicago Tribune – In Chicago-area food deserts, it’s getting even harder for residents to find fresh, healthy groceries because of the coronavirus
4/1: Coverage of our partnership with the United Center, which provided the Food Depository with storage space for more than 460,000 pounds of food boxes.
3/31: WGN Radio – How COVID-19 is increasing food insecurity in our community and what we can do to help
3/28: Chicago Tribune – Food-assistance agencies are gearing up for a wave of demand amid closings because of coronavirus
3/25: Good Morning America – Ways to volunteer from home and how to help food banks during coronavirus
Executive director and CEO Kate Maehr was featured on GMA as part of a report highlighting how food banks across the country are stepping up to serve the growing number of people in need.
3/25: Chicago Tribune – Commentary: Food pantries aren’t just about the food, especially during this pandemic
3/24: WGN – During tough times, Greater Chicago Food Depository continues to pack thousands of boxes
3/21: Chicago Tribune – Illinois’ stay-at-home order — aimed at curtailing spread of coronavirus — is now in effect; Pritzker asks former medical personnel to return and ‘join the fight’
Executive director and CEO Kate Maehr joined Mayor Lori Lightfoot and other local nonprofit leaders to inform community members about how to find food and ways they can help.
3/18: Fox 32 – Greater Chicago Food Despository rises to help those going hungry during coronavirus outbreak
3/17: WBEZ’s Reset
Greg Trotter, senior manager of public relations, spoke with White about the increased risk for food insecurity caused by COVID-19 and how people can help.
3/17: ABC 7 – Emergency food boxes prepared by Greater Chicago Food Depository as food insecurity grows during COVID-19 outbreak
3/13: Chicago Tribune – Column: Closing all Illinois schools, including CPS, means a lot of kids will need food. Meet some of the people stepping in to help.