CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today was joined by Greater Chicago Food Depository CEO Kate Maehr to volunteer at the Jesse Brown Veterans Food Pantry and emphasize the importance of supporting Illinois food banks this holiday season and into next year.
“This pantry serves those who served our country and we are forever grateful for their sacrifice,” Governor Quinn said. “It is always a good time to support local communities and look out for our fellow neighbors. I encourage all Illinois citizens to make a difference this holiday season and throughout the year by contributing to their local food bank.”
The new Jesse Brown Veterans Food Pantry at Jesse Brown VA Medical Center serves veterans under a partnership between the Greater Chicago Food Depository, AmeriCorp and the Jesse Brown VAMC. The pantry is unique in that it offers veterans a “Client Choice” model of food distribution enabling veterans to select their own food unlike many pantries that only offer fixed boxes or bags of food. The choice allows veterans to better meet their personal dietary needs, increases satisfaction for individuals and creates less waste. The pantry is one of the largest in the nation and will help the thousands of veterans who live below the poverty line in Illinois.
“This is a great example of veterans helping other veterans and making tangible impact on their communities,” Erica Borggren, Director of Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, said. “We believe veterans are proven community assets, and this targeted and common-sense effort is already helping thousands.”
The pantry, located at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center on the 2nd floor of the Damen Pavilion, distributes food from the Greater Chicago Food Depository to veterans every Tuesday from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.
The Greater Chicago Food Depository is a not-for-profit food distribution and training center providing food for hungry people while striving to end hunger in local communities. For more information about how to volunteer or donate food to the Greater Chicago Food Depository, visit ChicagoFoodBank.org.
In 2012, Governor Quinn helped launch the “No Kid Hungry” campaign to help end childhood hunger across Illinois by using proven strategies. In 2011, Governor Quinn appointed the first members to the Illinois Commission to End Hunger with the goal of exploring how Illinois can overcome barriers and develop sustainable policies and programs to effectively end hunger in the state. Since 2011, the No Kid Hungry network has helped bring more than 34 million additional meals to kids who need them and created ways to replicate that success throughout the country.
Feeding Illinois, the state food bank association, has provided meals to more than 1.4 million people in need. In 2011, the association’s network of 2,000 pantries, soup kitchens and shelters distributed 120 million pounds of food to residents throughout the state. To find out more about hunger in your community or how to help food banks across the state, visit FeedingIllinois.org.
In addition, as of Nov. 27, there is a food donation box in the James R. Thompson Center (100 W. Randolph St., Chicago) next to the Christmas tree. All donations go directly to the Greater Chicago Food Depository.