Quinn Announces $4.5M For Illinois Food Banks

Nov 27, 2014

Just ahead of Thanksgiving, Gov. Pat Quinn has announced $4.5 million of funding for Illinois' food banks.

Credit Feeding Illinois

One of seven Illinois residents doesn't know where, or when, they'll get their next meal.

Director of the Greater Chicago Food Depository Kate Maehr says that's a sobering reality any day. But especially around Thanksgiving.

"At a time that we all come together around a table, to celebrate the joy and the fortune that we have, it is unconscionable to think that there are two million people in the state of Illinois who don't have food to eat."

Maehr says the state's investment will make it easier for pantries to respond to hunger needs by allowing them to spend more time serving people, and less on record-keeping.

Food banks are required  by the feds to sign and turn in certain eligibility forms. Organizers say that's time consuming and generates mounds of paperwork.

The state money will help pay for a digital system, that lets pantries do it all electronically.

The money is going to eight, regional food banks--and their sister agencies--that are part of the "Feeding Illinois" network. That includes the Northern Illinois Food Bank.