Monday, December 24, 2007

A message from Kate Maehr, Exec Director of GCFD

From Kate Maehr, Exec Director of the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Included in an email message to GCFD supporters...
As 2007 draws to a close, I have been reflecting on what an eventful year it has been for the Greater Chicago Food Depository. In particular, the last few months have reminded me of the importance of a community response to the needs of the hungry men, women and children in Cook County.

By now, you may know that the shelves at the Greater Chicago Food Depository and those of its member pantries are emptier than usual this holiday season. As reported in the Chicago Tribune and elsewhere, a decrease in food commodities from the federal government has made it more difficult for pantries in Chicago—and nationwide—to serve the hungry men, women and children of our community. In addition, donations of salvage products—dented cans and damaged boxes—have dipped by 42 percent since 2004. Meantime, increasing numbers of people are turning to pantries, soup kitchens and shelters in Cook County.

Despite these challenges, the Food Depository is still distributing good quality nutritious food to our neighbors in need. In fact, in the last year we distributed more than 9 million pounds of fruits and vegetables, more than 20,000 packs of food for seniors and more than 430,000 meals for Kids Cafes throughout Cook County. And the food will continue to flow into our community in the coming days, weeks and months—because so many individuals, families, organizations and corporations have responded to our call to action with donations of time, food and money.

Thank you so very much for your ongoing support in the fight against hunger in our community. We look forward to working with the entire community in the new year to ensure that even more hungry men, women and children in our community have the food they need.

Best wishes for a happy holiday season and a wonderful new year,
Kate Maehr
Executive Director
Greater Chicago Food Depository

P.S. There is still time to make a gift that can help the nearly 500,000 men, women and children who turn to the Food Depository’s member agencies for a bag of groceries or a hot meal each year. Donate online at or donate food through our One City, One Food Drive initiative. For a complete list of donation locations, please visit

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