This past holiday season, the Greater Chicago Depository delivered over 16,000 pounds of produce and food to homes within the city and surrounding suburbs. Believe or not, this amount of food was given to around 300 families to spread some holiday cheer to households that are less fortunate.
One volunteer, named Bruce Gaede, highlights the importance of why he and many others continue to help individuals and families in the area. “There’s a lot of hungry people out there and if we can get them healthy food I think that’s a real important thing to do.”
The Greater Chicago Food Depository also partners with The Northern Illinois Food Bank to service families outside of the cook county area throughout the year.
The Northern Illinois Food Bank primarily focuses on feeding programs and help over 71,000 people each week. The goal of this organization is to help people in the 13-county service. The organization also works with a wide array of companies in order to most effectively help the hungry.
In addition to providing residents with food delivery, the Food Depository also trains and helps grow unemployed youth into proficient employees in the food service industry. The program, titled “Chicago Community’s Kitchens,” molds students’ skills in a modern industrial kitchen. Students learn everything from preparing school lunches to understanding how catering businesses operate on a day to day level.
This incredible program has a 90% rate of reducing unemployment for youth and over 1,200 students are leading food service professionals at top restaurants and catering businesses in the Chicago area.
But, the work of the Greater Chicago Depository does not stop there. Along with guiding youth to employment and providing healthy food to children across public schools around the city, the food pantry also works wonders in terms of aiding veterans. The organization opened two pantries in 2013 and 2014 in Jesse Brown VA Medical Center and Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital in Chicago.