Partnering to End Hunger
By Elaine Hegwood Bowen, M.S.J., ACCESS Media Relations Specialist
July 7, 2015
ACCESS is proud to partner with the Greater Chicago Food Depository, a nonprofit food distribution and training center that addresses food insecurity by providing food for hungry people while striving to end hunger in our communities. As a key component of our partnership, ACCESS physicians and clinical staff are trained to provide patients with food insecurity screenings in order to connect them with the proper resources and support they need.
According to the Greater Chicago Food Depository's website, in Cook County:
- Nearly 800,000 individuals do not know where they will find their next meal.
- Approximately 504,000 individuals must choose between paying for food and paying for medical bills.
- Around 593,000 individuals must choose between paying for food and paying for education.
- The number of people in need of emergency and supplemental food is on the rise.
The Food Depository works to combat this sobering reality by providing services throughout Cook County that seek to address the root causes of hunger. The Food Depository has a network of 650 pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, mobile programs, children's programs and adult programs.
During the summer months, when one in five children are at risk for hunger, the Food Depository partners with local organizations to provide free meals for kids. There are nearly 300 summer meal sites throughout Cook County, including the Lunch Bus and Kids Cafe, where children can receive free, nutritious meals during the summer. People in need can visit summermealsillinois.org to search by address.
Last year, the Food Depository distributed 67 million pounds of shelf-stable food, fresh produce, dairy products and meat, the equivalent of 154,000 meals every day.
ACCESS supports the Chicago Food Depository's commitment to fighting hunger until the day that no one goes hungry. If you would like to learn more about available food assistance programs, visit the Food Depository's website. For immediate help, call 773.247.FOOD (3663).