Friday, December 17, 2010

Miracle at Union Station

The holiday season is a particularly busy few months at the Greater Chicago Food Depository and our 650 member food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters. But no matter how busy it gets, there is always something that reminds us of why we do what we do. It could be speaking with a family that will have a holiday meal because of a local pantry; a thank you note from a supporter; or the dedication of our volunteers. Last Tuesday, Food Depository staff and volunteers witnessed another truly amazing movement to end hunger in our community during our first-ever Union Station Food Drive.

Food Depository volunteers help assemble the collection bags for the Union Station Food Drive.

Through a partnership with BOMA, Food Depository staff and volunteers had the opportunity to distribute paper grocery bags during the Monday evening rush-hour on Dec. 13. The bags included a simple instruction sheet with most-needed food items. Commuters were asked to fill the bags and return them the next morning.

The response was astounding. In a matter of hours, the Food Depository had collected more than 6,000 pounds of food, making the Union Station Food Drive one of the most substantial collections of the year.

The Food Depository collected more than 6,000 in a matter of hours at Union Station on Dec. 14.

Thank you to everyone who made this possibleespecially everyone who donated. Watch as One City, One Food Drive partner Fox Chicago was there to capture the action.

If you missed the Union Station Food Drive, it's never too late to organize one of your own! Visit to get started.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Holiday ad campaign highlights difficult choices

Many people in the community know the Greater Chicago Food Depository from its holiday advertising campaigns that appear on CTA trains and buses and at outdoor locations around town. I’ve met people who, when they learn I work at the Food Depository, begin quoting taglines from old ads to me. It’s amazing. We’re fortunate to have the creative services for the ads donated by the great team at Leo Burnett and to have the ad placement assistance of our friends at Starcom.

The first of the Depository’s 2010 holiday advertisements were posted last week. I drove past the intersection of Clark and Addison last Saturday and snapped the above photo in the snow. The ad reads: “Food or Shelter? No one should have to choose. Donate at” This year’s campaign highlights the difficult choices hungry people face—choices between food and medicine, food and shelter and food and heat. Featuring data from the Hunger in America 2010 study, the campaign encourages commuters to donate to the Food Depository online or via text.

Additionally, you may see ads in the Sun-Times and Tribune, and on Facebook and other prominent websites. On Dec. 13, WXRT begins its 12 Nights of Christmas, four hours of holiday music each evening presented by the Food Depository. We look forward to hearing from you as you see and hear the ads around town!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Columbia College's 8th Annual Holly Jolly Trolley food and fund drive benefits the Food Depository

Today, for the eighth consecutive year, Columbia College will use a trolley and the air waves to raise food, funds and awareness for the Greater Chicago Food Depository. The Holly Jolly Trolley is making its return to collect nonperishable food as the college’s WCRX 88.1 FM radio team broadcasts live from the lobby of the 33 E. Congress Parkway building all day.

Along with seasonal holiday tunes, special guests include Santa and his elves, area choirs and performers. All food and funds collected directly benefits the Food Depository’s network of 650 member food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters.

If you are in the neighborhood, be sure to stop by or tune in throughout the day.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Healthy Helpings featured on ChefBites.TV

A few months back, we mentioned we were working on an exciting video project with ChefBites.TV featuring the Healthy Helpings program and the older adults it serves.

Check out the finished video below!

Read more about Healthy Helpings and Marillac House here. Visit ChefBites.TV online or follow @chefbitesTV on Twitter to keep up with the crew’s latest adventures.