food insecurity

Spencer Tritt

From Chicago to DeKalb to West Aurora, some school districts are temporarily stopping meal distribution because of Sunday night’s looting and vandalism. Those actions came after cities saw protests in response to the killing of George Floyd.

The West Aurora School District is suspending its program only for Monday and Tuesday.

With record numbers of workers filing for unemployment during the pandemic, the district has seen a rise in the need for meals for families.

Spencer Tritt

Around 60% of DeKalb students qualify as low-income, according to the Illinois Report Card. That means they also qualify for reduced or free meals.

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, schools scrambled to keep providing food for students who rely on their district for much more than education.


“I never thought I would have to ask for food.” The young mother said as a box was placed in her car.

In the last three weeks over 500,000 Illinois residents have filed for unemployment. We have never seen such a sudden, dramatic increase in the need for food in our region. There are now growing lines at area food pantries. Numbers of those seeking help has tripled. For 70% of them this is their first visit to a food pantry.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

A food pantry in Rockford is bringing a new attitude to the business of feeding people. The Winnebago Community Market held an open house Wednesday afternoon to show off their revamped space and reveal plans to expand services.