By Paul Morello, PR Manager, Greater Chicago Food Depository
Each year, 812,000 men, women and children – 1 in 6 in Cook County – turn to the Greater Chicago Food Depository’s network of agencies for assistance. The need is significant, but every holiday season, our community unites to provide a response.
The annual 1 City, 1 Food Drive campaign combines the efforts of more than 500 partner food drives to collect nonperishable food items at 250 public donation locations throughout Chicago and the Cook County suburbs from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31. This year’s goal is to collect the equivalent of 1.5 million meals for our hungry neighbors.
“Our community’s response to hunger through the 1 City, 1 Food Drive effort is inspiring,” said Kate Maehr, Food Depository executive director and CEO. “It’s an incredible example of our community’s generosity and ability to make a difference.”
1 City, 1 Food Drive would not be possible without the support of longtime food drive partners, including the Building Owners and Managers Association of Chicago. Since 2008, the BOMA/Chicago food drive has collected more than 206,000 pounds of food.
This year, Food Depository collection barrels will be in more than 140 BOMA buildings and member businesses from Nov. 12 – Dec. 12. The goal of the BOMA collection is 75,000 pounds of food. Buildings are also encouraged to turn their lights green from Nov. 24 – Dec. 5.
The food collected makes an immediate impact on hunger in our community.
“Honestly, the canned food I get from the pantry is all I have to eat sometimes,” said Magdalena Arroyo.
She’s a client at the Benton House food pantry on the Southwest Side of Chicago. The pantry is just one of many Food Depository agencies that receives shelf-stable food from food drives. She was recently laid off from her waitressing job.
“I use the beans and rice with some canned vegetables and that’s basically an entire meal,” she said.
For Susan Davidson, the canned items she receives at Benton House help feed her family.
“With living expenses rising, we have to stretch so much. This is just a godsend,” she said.
Susan’s husband is working full-time at a factory while she stays home to take care of their two autistic children.
“As long as I’ve got some rice and canned tomato sauce, I can make dinner,” she said.
Anyone can get involved in the 1 City, 1 Food Drive effort and every donation makes a difference in the lives of hungry individuals in our community. Here is a list of most needed food drive items:
- Canned Beans
- Peanut Butter
- Fruit and Vegetables
- Canned Vegetables
- Canned Fruit
- Shelf Stable Grocery Items
- Canned Chili
- Pasta Sauce
Click here for more information about the BOMA/Chicago Food Drive and the 140+ locations throughout Chicagoland to donate through December 12.