Hunger in Chicago–Help with a comment.

By J.D. Piland
The Greater Chicago Food Depository

The Greater Chicago Food Depository is experiencing a “new normal” in hunger relief. Two years after the economic downturn, member pantries are still facing near-record levels of demand for food. Last year, the Food Depository distributed 66 million pounds of nonperishable food and fresh produce, dairy products and meat—the equivalent of 135,000 meals every day—through a network of 650 pantries, soup kitchens and shelters.

The Food Depository now serves 678,000 people annually, a 36 percent increase over three years ago. That’s one in eight people in Cook County.

Although food assistance helps make ends meet, hard choices lead to hunger:

  • 47 percent of households say they have to choose between paying for food and utilities
  • 44 percent report choosing between paying for food and rent or mortgage
  • 28 percent of clients say they have to choose between food and paying for medicine or healthcare

“I come here for my family,’’ says a young man at St. Cyprian’s Food Pantry. “I work, but it’s not enough. I come here. Here they help me.”

In 2009, St. Cyprian’s Food Pantry served 1,891 families and 7,293 individuals; in 2001, the pantry served 416 families and 1,607 individuals.

“We may have had to give out smaller bags of food, but we never turned anybody down,” says Rev. Jo Carole Bundy of St. Cyprian.

The Food Depository has been able to keep up with the demand because of the strong support of individuals in Chicagoland. You also can help the Food Depository keep up with the increased demand. Here’s how:

  • Make a comment below: For each comments, Tyson will add 100 pounds of chicken to a truck headed for the Food Depository—up to 30,000 pounds. (We promise we will not use your e-mail address for marketing purposes.)
  • Donate to the Food Depository: Your gift will immediately fight hunger in Cook County.
  • Volunteer at the Food Depository: Help us repack, load or distribute food into the community.
  • Host a food drive: Holding a food drive is an easy and fun way to help fight hunger.
  • Advocate for hunger relief: Take a stand against hunger. Let elected officials know that you support hunger-relief programs.

274 Replies to “Hunger in Chicago–Help with a comment.”

  1. valerie brown

    I was told to stay in the budget of the food pantry it kinda bother me but i do realize it tight.Hunger has no buget when people are hungry,every saturday we see new people.when you have to make a choice to pay bill or to feed your family.Together we can end hunger

  2. Arum Han

    Proud to be working for a company that is helping help others fight hunger. Something that we should be able to eliminate if everybody contributes.

  3. Pingback: Tyson Food Announces Launch of ‘Know Hunger’ Campaign | The Cardinal

  4. todd kaiser

    Stumbled across your website today. I had no idea what a great thing you are doing! I will spread the word. Thank you, people of Tyson!!

  5. Den Czurylo

    Good work Tyson. My wife and I enjoy your products and will support you as you have supported the GCFD and Hungry Chicagoans!

  6. Kay

    So sad to know of increase in families in great need, but encoraging to know that Tyson really cares and is helping hungry families.

  7. staci

    AWESOME! What a fantastic thing for you guys to do – and I also like the aspect that we can contribute merely by leaving a comment. I live many states away and couldn’t afford to donate cash myself, so thank you for this opportunity!

  8. Holly

    It’s so heartbreaking to think that so many children living in our own community go to bed hungry at night. Thanks for helping!

  9. Sandra

    The Greater Chicago Food Depository is a great organization doing an important job. Thank you Tyson for your help.

  10. Henry Becker

    This comment is worth ten pounds of food per word.

    Awesome! (That’s just an extra word for good measure.)

  11. Tracy Winchell

    Thank you, Tyson, for your commitment to not only feeding the hungry but also for helping all of us understand how many Americans go to bed without benefit of a nutritious meal.

  12. Kim Doyle Wille

    I think Tyson Foods is doing AWESOME work towards hunger relief in America! Your website, personal attention to social media accounts, getting people engaged, everything you are doing, is amazing and appreciated! Thank you!

  13. Kristen

    No one in this country should have to be hungry. It is all of our responsibility to make sure our neighbors do not have to decide whether to pay their bills or put food on the table. Thanks Tyson!

  14. Abbie

    I’m thrilled to be able to help contribute to such an outstanding cause so easily! Thank you, Tyson! Chicago appreciates your generosity!

  15. Leslie Kelly

    I’m on the board of the U-District Food Bank in Seattle and we’ve also seen a dramatic increase in need. It’s encouraging to see corporations step up on this front. In Seattle, we’re fortunate to receive significant amount of help from our local farmers market, as well. Visitors to the U-District Food Bank can take as much produce as they want.
    Thanks to Tyson for making a donation.

  16. Christine

    Thank you for helping the needy. Large corporations, the government, families, religious groups, civic groups, and individuals can all pull together to help with the problem of ending hunger.

  17. Cherish Keller

    Thanks to Chicago Food Depository for filling such a vital need, and thanks to Tyson for helping them out.

  18. Maryellen

    I am proud to work for a company that encourages its employees to give back to the community and sets the example in own deeds. Thanks to Tyson for their support of the GCFD and food pantries in towns across America.

  19. Timothy Zuverink

    Thank you Tyson. The Greater Chicago Food Depository is a wonderful organization and your generous gift will go far.

  20. Celine Swieboda

    Thanks to Tyson for donating and to the Greater Chgo Food Depository for all the awesome work they do!

  21. Andy Bayiates

    I hereby dedicate my free chicken to the Chicago Skyline, which, if you could eat it…would be delicious. Thanks, Tyson.

  22. Genevra

    Thank you, Tyson! And thank you, Chicago Food Depository. I hope more corporations are inspired to create similar partnerships and take similar efforts in working to eliminate hunger.

  23. Dave

    Proud to work for Tyson a company that is helping the Chicago Food Depository fight hunger in our community.

  24. Kim

    Thank you Tysons for your donation…I will remember your generosity the next time I reach for YOUR PRODUCT at the store!

    • Suzanne Meyering

      I appreciate all the work that the Greater Chicago Food Depository does to help fight hunger. Thanks, Tyson for adding your support.

  25. laura

    It’s sad that even though people work full-time jobs, they can’t afford to feed themselves and their families. Thanks for your good works!

  26. Mari

    I have heard stories about children not eating their bagged lunches given to them at school because they want to share them with their families at home. So many of us take the food we get to eat for granted and sometimes waste so much of it! This is such a great thing to do and I hope it will feed many hungry people. Thank you Tyson. God Bless!

  27. Bob Morisette

    It’s great to work for a company that really cares and I know first hand how much effort Tyson puts into helping communities like the communities in Chicago. Thanks for all you do for people everywhere, not just Chicago. God Bless.

  28. Hilda

    The need is so great…. we have difficulty keeping enough food in stock even with two shipments each week to feed all those who come……

  29. g brown

    Chicago Food Depository is fantastic and will always have my support! Thanks Tyson for recognizing their important efforts.

  30. Susan Chaney

    Thank you Tyson – Chicagoland appreciates your help and your donation. I’ll steer my grocery money your way in future.

  31. Liz Cramer

    I read on your website of the commitment you have made, Tyson, to hunger relief, here in Chicago and nation wide, and commend you! Thank you for caring.

  32. Denise

    Thank you, Tyson Foods, for donating to our families in the Chicago area. It is much appreciated. The Greater Chicago Food Depository is a well run organization.

  33. Geri

    Thank you, Tyson Foods , for caring and helping to bring some relief to the less fortunate families in the Chicago area.

  34. Benjamin

    What a great organization with such a wonderful history of help with dignity. Thanks to Tyson for this bit of help.

  35. Lana H

    This was eye-opening. I’m glad there is a happy ending to this blog with the food donAtions, or else this would have been disheartening. It’s great to have companies doing their part – or more – to help the community.

  36. Sandy Smith

    There’s no excuse for hunger in America. Kudos to Tyson, The Greater Chicago Food Depository, and volunteers fighting hunger all over the U.S.!!

  37. Yamil

    Thank you Tyson! And thank you GCFD for coming together to fight hunger in Chicago. You are greatly appreciated!

  38. Monique S

    Very generous contribution and a great reminder that we should all pitch in and volunteer. Thanks for the motivation.

  39. Donna

    Tyson, you are the best and have the best frozen chicken nuggets you can find. thanks for always trying to help out the people in need.

  40. susan s

    Thanks to Tyson for making the product available…Thanks Greater Chgo Food Depository for getting it to the folks who really need it!

  41. Christine O'Reilly

    Thank you, Tyson. I am proud to be a volunteer and supporter of the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Welcome to an amazing team!

  42. Cathy Brandt

    Thanks to Tyson for helping provide food. Big business get’s too many bad raps and they do help in charitable endeavors. Thanks again.

  43. Lee

    It would be great if other food manufacturers would follow in Tyson’s lead. Your generosity is appreciated by all the families in the Chicago area who would go hungry without your assistance. And a big thank you to all who’ve donated [tmie or money]to the GCFD.

  44. Willie

    Thank you Tyson for giving to the Chicago Food Depository. As one of the food pantries in Chgo, your help is well appreciated and needed. Thank you so very much and God Bless!!

  45. Avi G.

    Many thanks to Tyson for making this generous donation. We live in a land of abundance and it’s a shame for anyone to go hungry. This will make a real difference in ensuring people have good nourishing food to eat. Bless you.

  46. Sue Householder

    Thank you Tyson Foods for all you do to help the people in our comunnity. Thank you Greater Chicago Food Depository for all you do. May God Bless you one and all.

  47. Nina Fuentes

    Thank you so much for your continued support of the Greater Chicago Food Depository! You are truly a company to model in your community activism.

  48. Gena Berry

    Y’all should come South with ANOTHER truck for the Atlanta Community Food Bank…just think, low carbon footprint, helping lots MORE folks too! This is a great thing…I think I’ll buy some TYSON chicken for dinner tonight in honor of this great effort on your part!

  49. Julie Bishop

    My 9 year old lives on Tyson chicken. If someone in our house even says, “Tyson”, she thinks they’re making fun of her because that’s all she eats.

  50. Chaplain and Family Advocate Nora

    It is my pleasure to work with our resident partners, many of whom struggled to have adequate food,who are now able to feed their families because of our partnership with the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Our resident partners give back by helping to serve others at another organization Partner A Just Harvest. I see it as living out life like the church in Acts. Yet the work is not done, so many others are still in need of food. Thank God for Tyson and for the work of the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Hopefully there will be a day when your services will no longer be necessary. Until then…Godspeed!

  51. Carol

    Hooray to both Tysons and the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Helping people stay fed and healthy will be what saves us all — the people giving and the people receiving.

  52. Julie

    We run a small food pantry just 15 minutes outside Chicago and can verify that demand is up close to 100% over the last 4 years. Thank you Tyson for sharing your goods with those in need. And my highest praise for the Greater Chicago Food Depository which does and awesome job responding to the need for food in Cook County!

  53. Liz Brown

    The Greater Chicago Food Depository does amazing work to help those who are struggling with hunger. Thanks, Tyson for helping them out!

  54. Erica Jaffe

    Great work, Tyson! When I’m at the grocery store I’ll be certain to support your business, since you’re supporting an organization I care about. Thank you!

  55. David Curatolo

    Thank you Tyson Foods for helping the Greater Chicago Food Depository. They are one of my favorite organizations to volunteer for. Everyone’s help is needed to make sure all the children in this country get fed today.

  56. Evie Sacks

    Brilliant! Just the act of reading and commenting helps make it real! Also please click daily on: It also gives free food.

  57. Linda Mayor

    Thank you, Tyson! This is a very admirable thing you are doing. I hope that other companies will follow your lead!

  58. Marie Raleigh

    Whenever I volunteer at the Greater Chicago Food Depository, I’d like to think we are re-packing more than just nutritious food! I always say to myself, “I am also packing HOPE!” Hunger touches the most unsuspecting people across our Chicagoland communities and I’m truly impressed that Tyson is getting involved to help end hunger here in Chicago! If we all work together, the Greater Chicago Food Depository can continue to make great headway and provide hope to those in need!

  59. Nina Sims

    Thank you Tyson for all of your efforts in fighting hunger. Thank you to all the food banks across the nation for helping those in need, you are a blessing.

  60. Emily

    This week there is a huge education summit being held in NYC by NBC. Although not specifically noted as an impact on education, hungry children have a hard time learning. Helping combat hunger, especially hunger in children is another way we can support education in our communities.

  61. Emily Nunn

    Thank you, Chicago Food Depository, an organization that makes me proud to be a Chicagoan. And Thanks Tyson Foods.

  62. Debbie

    Yeah! Cheers to Tyson for donating to local food pantries. It is easy to focus on overseas hunger, and forget that people here at home are struggling to feed their family a healthy diet in an affordable way. Keep up the great work and keep donating!

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