Cook County’s hunger problem: New study’s surprising findings

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One in six people in Cook County receives food from pantry, soup kitchen or a shelter each year, according to the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

A new study found that 808,610 people turn to the organization’s for emergency food assistance.

WGN’s Tonya Francisco reported on a Produce mobile at Common Pantry on Demen and Grace this morning.  She said in two hours two hundred households were expected to receive food.

“I’m not working, I’m 88,” said Ponciana Lugo. “My sister is 92.”  Lugo said social security is not enough to make ends meet.

Feeding America’s quadrennial Hunger in America 2014 study also underscored  the challenges facing veterans, as 18 percent of respondents reported someone in their household was serving or had served in the U.S. Armed Forces.

In its most recent fiscal year ended June 30,  the Food Depository distributed 67 million pounds of food, including one-third fresh produce. Additionally, the Food Depository is actively fighting veteran hunger with a food pantry at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center and participation in Chicago Stand Down events. Children are served through the summer Lunch Bus, Kids Cafes and Healthy Kids Markets. And, older adults receive groceries at Food Depository markets set up in residence facilities.

As WGN’s Tonya Francisco reports, there is enough food in America to feed the hungry.  The month of September will put a spotlight on what needs to be done to make that happen.


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  • Rory Trausch

    I ain’t one to talk, but, there’s a food pantry on Fridays at the Albany Park Community Center, corner of Kimball and Carmen. Every Friday, you have Lexus SUV’s, Nissan Pathfinder’s, BMW’s and other assorted luxury vehicles, double parked on Carmen, while the driver’s run in for their “free” food.

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