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Food insecurity has always been a significant problem in the U.S., and especially in Chicago. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, food insecurity is the lack of access to regular food due to financial limitations.

In 2019, more than 13 million U.S. households dealt with food insecurity. This number improved by about 1% since the year before; however, the current pandemic crisis has negated much of that progress.

With COVID-19, food insecurity is at an all-time high. That’s why the Chicago Food Depository needs support now more than ever to help millions of Americans in need.

That being said, here is a list consolidated from Chicago’s Food Bank and the Greater Chicago Food Depository of all possible ways to help battle food insecurity.

  • Volunteer: Help with food collections, repacking, driving, and delivering groceries.
  • Virtual Food Drive: Shop online to purchase various groceries, and for every dollar you spend, the Depository can provide three meals.
  • Food Drive Event: Donate at a scheduled food drive event by checking listings for upcoming dates on the Food Depository site.
  • In-person Food Drive: Organize a socially distanced food drive in your community.
  • Donate: Give whatever you can, whenever you want, or set up monthly donations.
  • Donate stocks: Give stock or two through Depository Trust Company, the Food Depository’s brokerage account.
  • Buy Merchandise: Purchase accessories and clothing items on the Food Depository’s online store.
  • Organize a Fundraiser: Set up a fundraising campaign in-person safely or online, or even just amongst friends and community.
  • Shop with Partners: Buy from the Food Depository’s retail partners who give a percentage of sales as donations.
  • Celebrate an Event: Give a gift in celebration of a personal life event, achievement, graduation, or birthday. Alternatively, you can volunteer.
  • Bequest: Join the Will to End Hunger Society and add a donation in your will.
  • Advocate: Communicate with policymakers to improve anti-hunger protection.

An individual can run or participate in all of the ideas mentioned here. However, corporations or organizations can also make an impact for the Chicago Food Depository. For example, companies can nurture their social responsibility by integrating it into their values, engaging their employees, being outspoken about food insecurity, and promoting their support for the Chicago Food Depository.