Cook County and the Greater Chicago Food Depository Announce Food Access Plan

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and the Greater Chicago Food Depository on Tuesday announced the creation of a Cook County Food Access Plan, which builds upon existing resources to increase access of nutritious food for households in need and create new solutions to food insecurity. Tuesday’s announcement of the two-year plan was made at the Vision of Restoration Food Pantry in suburban Maywood. The pantry serves 322 struggling households each month with nutritious food including fresh produce. The food pantry is one of 650 partner agencies and programs in the Food Depository’s Cook County network. Of the estimated 760,000 food insecure people in Cook County, more than 30 percent live in suburban communities. “We have identified food insecurity as a critical issue facing hundreds of thousands of residents throughout Cook County,” President Preckwinkle said. “Hunger impacts every facet of life, and through this call to action — together with the Greater Chicago Food Depository and with the assistance of our Health and Hospitals System — we are determined to aggressively address this important issue.”

The Cook County Food Access Plan was created by the Cook County Food Access Steering Committee – a group of leaders from the Cook County government and private charitable sectors. The Task Force will be housed in the County President’s office and collaborate with the Food Depository to complete these three actions within two years. The plan will leverage existing assets and resources and its success depends on the combined efforts of elected officials, public offices, private philanthropists, charitable organizations, schools, businesses and community members alike. “Every morning, people across our community wake up not knowing if they will have enough food to eat,” said Kate Maehr, Food Depository executive director and CEO. “The consequences of food insecurity are as serious in suburban communities as they are in city neighborhoods. The Cook County Food Access Plan will create an even stronger county-wide response to ensure more of our neighbors have the nutritious food they need.”

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