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Racial justice and food access go hand in hand

In recent days, the Greater Chicago Food Depository team has experienced a range of emotions in the wake of George Floyd’s killing at the hands of Minneapolis police. We feel outrage, pain and sadness in response to the persistence of racism throughout communities across America, including our own. As an organization, we are committed to ending hunger and its root causes, including racial inequity. Black lives matter. The events of recent days underscore how vital our work is. Food justice and racial justice cannot be addressed as separate issues. The health and economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have disproportionally affected communities of color. The need for food is immense and growing at a record pace. We encourage you to read the words shared by four of the many Black community leaders that we are proud to partner with. In response to the need caused by COVID-19, the Food Depository has made additional investments in neighborhoods of color on the South and West Sides of Chicago. In April, we launched a $1 million community equity grant program to ensure our partners remain open during this challenging time. In early May, we joined with faith-based organizations for new pop-up food distributions to feed thousands of families in Chicago’s most affected neighborhoods. The service we provide is more essential than ever before. In the coming days and weeks, more of our neighbors will be in desperate need of food. As the needs of our community evolve, we will continue to stay nimble and respond in partnership with our incredible network of food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters across Chicago and Cook County. This is an incredibly difficult and emotional time for us all. We are more grateful than ever to have friends and supporters like you. We all play a role in helping the community heal, recover and emerge stronger than before. And we will continue working toward the day when all our neighbors have equitable access to food. Sincerely, Kate Maehr Executive Director & CEO

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