Nourish: A Transformational Moment for Hunger Relief
To respond to the changing need in our community, the Food Depository must evolve. Beginning in June 2018, we are launching a project called “Nourish” to renovate our facility. Learn about our vision to make nutritious food accessible to more of our neighbors.
Our neighbors struggling with hunger face much different circumstances now than they did just a few years ago. They are low-income families. They are people living with diet-related health challenges. They have homes, jobs and families. As the need changes, our response is evolving. We must do more to serve vulnerable populations and increase access to nutritious food throughout Chicago and Cook County.
The Food Depository is poised to accept this challenge. Since we moved into our current facility in 2004, operations have more than doubled. We have increased the amount of fresh produce we distribute yearly from five million pounds to more than 25 million pounds, increased our staff size and quadrupled the number of volunteers. We’ve grown our commitment to health and wellness, added SNAP and Medicaid outreach and transitioned to an all-delivery model of distribution to better serve our partner agencies.
In order to continue serving the community today while preparing our response for the future, we will invest in facility upgrades. In June 2018, we’re beginning a renovation of our facility. Called Nourish, and informed by our Strategic Plan of the same name, this renovation project will:
- Expand our cold storage
- Remodel shipping and receiving docks
- Reconfigure our volunteer space
When this work is complete, we will be able to distribute more produce, accept more fresh food donations and deliver food more efficiently. We will enhance our volunteers’ experience, including our youth volunteers. Ultimately, we will move towards a day when no one in our community goes hungry.
Check this page for updates as the Nourish project moves forward. We will share plans and information here.
We are grateful for the generous support of donors who have made it possible for us to begin this work. Our expanded response cannot happen without the support and partnership of many. Contact us to find out how you can support this project.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Food Depository’s programs and expanding response to hunger have outgrown the capacity of our facility as it’s currently configured. Limited cold storage capacity has forced us to turn away as many as six truckloads of fresh food donations monthly. Our new all-delivery model, while beneficial to our partner agencies, is challenged by insufficient shipping and receiving docks.
- Expanding the cold storage space and reconfiguring the warehouse: We will be able to accept more fresh food donations and increase the amount of produce we distribute.
- Remodeling the shipping and receiving docks: These critical changes will enable us to operate our all-delivery model more efficiently. All-delivery has strengthened our network by saving partner agencies time and money while improving food safety. With additional deep-well docks, our operations team can load more trucks simultaneously, getting food to the community more quickly.
- Reconfiguring volunteer space: We can’t serve our neighbors without volunteers. Updates to the volunteer space will enable volunteers to be even more efficient and impactful – improving our response to hunger while also fostering a more fulfilling volunteer experience, including more youth opportunities.
Volunteers will receive regular updates via email about any changes to the building. Construction on the volunteer space is scheduled to begin in fall 2018, but volunteer opportunities will continue to be available throughout the year.