Agriculture, Food, Nutrition

Greater Chicago Food Depository

  • Chicago, IL
  • http://www.chicagosfoodbank.org/

Mission Statement

The Greater Chicago Food Depository, Chicago's food bank, is a nonprofit food distribution and training center providing food for hungry people while striving to end hunger in our community. The Food Depository makes a daily impact across Cook County with a network of 700 pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, mobile programs, children's programs, older adult programs and innovative responses that address the root causes of hunger. In fiscal year 2015 – 2016, the Food Depository distributed 70 million pounds of shelf-stable food, fresh produce, dairy products and meat, the equivalent of 160,000 meals every day.

Main Programs

  1. Our Partner Agencies
  2. Children's Programs
  3. Mobile Programs
  4. Programs for Veterans
  5. Chicago's Community Kitchens
  6. Healthcare Partnerships
Service Areas

Self-reported

Illinois

Cook County, Illinois

ruling year

1978

Principal Officer since 2006

Self-reported

Ms. Kate Maehr

Keywords

Self-reported

hunger, food bank, food depository, poverty, Chicago, Illinois, volunteer, donate, food drive

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Also Known As

Food Depository

EIN

36-2971864

 Number

1235443398

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Food Banks, Food Pantries (K31)

Emergency Assistance (Food, Clothing, Cash) (P60)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Our Partner Agencies

The Food Depository distributes donated and purchased produce, protein, dairy and shelf-stable food – nearly 200,000 pounds each day – to a network of pantries, soup kitchens and shelters throughout Cook County. With the Food Depository’s support, these dedicated partner agencies provide food for thousands of hungry individuals and families each day.

While this partner agency network provides the core of the Food Depository’s response to hunger, the organization also operates programs that address specific areas of need. Some of those initiatives are highlighted below.

Category

Population(s) Served

Budget

Program 2

Children's Programs

In Cook County, nearly 230,000 children are at risk of hunger. The Food Depository operates a number of programs that help ensure children throughout our community have the nutritious food they need to grow up healthy and succeed in school.

Kids Cafes, a national initiative of Feeding America administered locally by the Food Depository, are after-school programs that provide healthy meals in a safe, nurturing environment. The Food Depository operates 60 Kids Cafes locations throughout Cook County. In fiscal year 2016, children received 349,000 meals from Kids Cafes.

Healthy Kids Markets are market-style food distributions inside of Chicago Public Schools. The programs provide nutritious food, including produce, protein, dairy and shelf-stable groceries, to students and families who may not be able to visit a traditional food pantry due to work hours or location.

Summer meal programs help fill the gap for children when they’re no longer receiving free and reduced-price meals at school. The Food Depository’s Lunch Bus distributed meals at 24 different stops throughout Cook County each weekday in summer 2016. In addition to the Lunch Bus, the Food Depository partnered with nearly 200 meal sites, including public libraries, community centers, summer camps to distribute more than 560,000 meals.

Program long term success: Through its children’s programs, the Food Depository strives to ensure that kids in our community have access to the food they need year-round.

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Program 3

Mobile Programs

The Producemobile, launched in 2001, distributes fresh fruit and vegetables each weekday in areas where produce availability is limited or the infrastructure doesn’t exist to operate a traditional food pantry. Each month, the Producemobile visits approximately 50 locations throughout Cook County.

In addition, the Mobile Pantry distributes fresh and shelf-stable food to 21 sites each month. The program aims to serve working people by distributing food on nights and weekends – when food assistance programs are less available.

Program long term success: The Food Depository’s mobile programs will continue to ensure as many hungry people in Cook County have access to food by providing fresh produce, protein and shelf-stable items in communities that have less access to traditional hunger-relief programs.

Category

Population(s) Served

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Program 4

Programs for Veterans

Too many men and women who have served our country are at risk of hunger. In Cook County, more than 13,000 veterans live at or below the poverty line. And, nearly 18 percent of households receiving food from the Food Depository’s network include a retired member of the U.S. Armed Services.

To address this need, the Food Depository opened one of the nation’s first food pantries inside a VA facility in November 2013. The pantry, at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center in Chicago, serves approximately 150 veteran households each week. The following year, a second veteran food pantry was opened, at the Edward Hines, Jr. VA Medical Center in the western suburbs of Chicago. Combined, the two pantries served nearly 14,300 households in fiscal year 2016.

The Food Depository also participates in Stand Downs – semi-annual resource fairs for homeless veterans. At the events, the Food Depository provides a hot meal and take-away bag of food. Veterans also receive medical and dental assistance, clothing and more.

Finally, the Food Depository is dedicated to connecting veterans with federal safety net resources such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). To that end, Food Depository staff works with veterans at the Stand Downs and pantries to answer their questions about – and help them apply for – the SNAP program. In fiscal year 2015 – 2016, staff assisted more than 400 veterans with SNAP applications.

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Population(s) Served

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Program 5

Chicago's Community Kitchens

Founded in 1998, Chicago’s Community Kitchens is a 14-week program for unemployed and underemployed adults in Cook County that prepares students for a productive career in foodservice. The program, located at the Food Depository’s state-of-the-art industrial kitchen, prepares students to break their personal cycles of poverty through workforce training providing them with a solid foundation in food preparation. While training for their future, students gain hands-on experience in a variety of culinary techniques. Chicago’s Community Kitchens provides job placement assistance following completion of the program.

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Population(s) Served

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Program 6

Healthcare Partnerships

Consistent access to nutritious food and one’s overall health are closely related and those who struggle with hunger are often plagued with health issues. In fact, 60 percent of households receiving food through the Food Depository’s network include someone who has high blood pressure. And, more than one-third of client households include someone with diabetes.

The Food Depository works with the Cook County Health & Hospitals System (CCHHS) and ACCESS Community Health Network to identify food insecure patients and refer them to resources for nutritious food. As part of this effort, the Food Depository deploys the FRESH Truck – a walk-through produce market – to many health clinics participating in the food insecurity screening throughout Cook County. Patients who have been identified as food insecure are eligible to receive produce. Currently, the FRESH Truck stops at 12 clinics, with the addition of more distributions expected in the future.

Category

Population(s) Served

Budget

Service Areas

Self-reported

Illinois

Cook County, Illinois

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

GREATER CHICAGO FOOD DEPOSITORY
Fiscal year: Jul 01-Jun 30
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Greater Chicago Food Depository

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2013
  • Board Chair and Board Co-Chair
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Principal Officer

Ms. Kate Maehr

BIO

As Executive Director and CEO, Kate Maehr leads the Greater Chicago Food Depository in its mission of providing food for hungry people while striving to end hunger in our community. Since accepting this role in 2006, Kate has guided a number of strategic initiatives and accomplishments to distribute nutritious food across Cook County while addressing the root causes of hunger.

Under Kate's leadership, the Food Depository has vastly expanded operations and distribution to meet rising demand. As need grew following the Great Recession, the Food Depository increased its food distribution by more than 20 million pounds while developing new programs to better serve priority populations.

Kate's vision for the organization led to the development and implementation of a five-year strategic plan – Growing the Field – that launched in 2010 and concluded in June 2015. Notable accomplishments under this plan included the expansion of fresh produce distribution to 36 percent of all food, stronger community-based responses to hunger, increased public action against hunger, new outcome measurements and investments in the organization's infrastructure. The Food Depository's new strategic plan builds upon this progress with the goals of food, community and voice.

Kate has overseen the creation and growth of several innovative programs. In 2007, the Mobile Pantry program was launched to distribute fresh and shelf-stable food to communities with high need and limited local resources. In 2009, the Food Depository began offering SNAP Outreach services to help families and individuals apply for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – formerly known as Food Stamps. In 2010, the Food Depository launched its Lunch Bus program to deliver nutritious lunches to children during the summer months. In 2013, the Food Depository partnered with Jesse Brown VA Medical Center to open one of the nation's first food pantries in a VA hospital. This program model was replicated in 2014 at Hines VA Hospital. Most recently, a partnership was developed with a local community health network to connect food insecure patients with nutritious food resources.

A leading voice in the fight to end hunger, Kate is co-chair of the Illinois Commission to End Hunger, a board member of Feeding Illinois – the state's coalition of food banks – and a member of the State of Illinois Social Services Advisory Council. Kate is also a member of the Economic Club of Chicago and The Chicago Network. She has been called to testify before Congress and the Illinois General Assembly. In 2013, Feeding America presented Kate with the Dick Goebel Public Service Award, which is given annually to one individual in the national network of food banks.

Kate holds a bachelor's degree from Macalester College and a master's degree in Public Policy and Administration from the University of Wisconsin. She received honorary degrees from Knox College in 2011 and DePaul University in 2015.

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Peter G. Johnson

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


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CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


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ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


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BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


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BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?