Earlier this evening, the Taste of the Nation Chicago committee had a pow wow to discuss proceedings as we progress towards the grand event on August 12 (basically just 6 weeks away, folks!). Joining us at this pow wow were representatives from the Greater Chicago Food Depository, an organization that's been strongly tied with Share Our Strength for 20 years and is passionate about providing food for the hungry while striving to end hunger in our community. If that statement sounds familiar, it's probably because we at Taste of the Nation champion the Exact. Same. Thing. Hoorah!
Needless to say, the presentation from GCFD was an inspiring one. The initiatives they've taken and the ones they're taking on this summer (their busiest season) are crazy-admirable. The statistics they shared were shocking. Jaws hit the floor. For instance, whereas the food depository served an average of 200 families per month two years ago, this year the depository has been serving upwards of 400 people in just two HOURS. Clearly, the demand for hunger relief is more crucial than ever before. And with spectacular chef-driven events like TOTN (shamelessly patting ourselves on the back), we can all unite and work toward eradicating this hunger in our community.
As we head into summer, the focus at GCFD is heavily on children. While kids are out of school, those in under-served communities are at risk of going hungry. Thankfully, the food depository is toiling to ensure that doesn't happen. One of the great things they're doing this season is operating a "lunch bus," which parks itself in Chicago communities like Little Village and Brighton Park, as well as nearby Chicago Heights, and serves free, nutritious lunches to kids under 18 on weekdays. An average of 150 kids a day have been benefiting from this stellar set-up. Cool beans!
To learn more about the Greater Chicago Food Depository, or to find out how you can help (you know you want to!), visit http://www.chicagosfoodbank.org/site/PageServer.