We're teaming up with the Greater Chicago Food Depository to help beat hunger this holiday season. With poverty at a record high, we all can help feed those in need in the Chicago area.
The Greater Chicago Food Depository headquarters is the nerve center for battling hunger in Cook County. The food you donate all goes there, the next step in feeding the hungry.
The food is inspected, sorted and eventually packed up.
"On a daily basis this is an area that is abuzz with activity. We have fork lifts moving around, pantries coming in their vehicles to pick up food. On a day like today, we are distributing 200,000 pounds of food," Communications Director Bob Dolgan said.
It's an astounding sight: Canned goods and non-perishables stacked from ceiling to floor.
The food depository, one of the largest food banks in America, feeds 678,000 people a year, a hard to fathom one in eight people in Cook County.
"At any given time there is up to 10 million pounds of food right here in the warehouse. So every month, basically 12 times a year, all the food that you see here is completely distributed," Dolgan said.
The focus at the food depository more and more is to get fresh food to people who don't have access to it.
Through a lot of hard work and extraordinary organization, the food gets to the people who need it most, to the tune of 69 million pounds last year, an accomplishment that could never happen without volunteers.
Kathy Gallo works as an order checker at the depository every Monday morning.
"I've learned a lot in the 8 years I've been here," Gallo said. "I learned more than the last 10 years I worked because I just didn't know there was this need out here. And the more I know the more I want to do."
Due to high food prices and unprecedented need, the depository anticipates not being able to meet demand for the first time in five years.
We can make a difference by donating just $1 or one food product. For more information, go to chicagosfoodbank.org .