One in eight people in Cook County are food insecure, and organizations like the Greater Chicago Food Depository work hard to help feed them. But the COVID-19 pandemic has made the task more difficult that ever.
Food pantries in GCFD's network are serving an average of 120% more people than they were pre-pandemic, Executive Director and CEO Kate Maehr says, and those in predominantly Black and Latino neighborhoods on Chicago’s South and West Sides have been hardest hit by the combination of food insecurity and COVID-19.
"I don't even have enough words in my vocabulary to describe what we've seen in the last five months," Maehr told ABC7 last month.
The problem extends beyond Chicago — and it isn't limited to adults. A recent study at Northwestern University showed 1 in 3 U.S. households with children report not having enough food to eat.
So as the effects of COVID-19 in the U.S. extend into a sixth month — September, which happens to be Hunger Action Month — it's a good time to remind ourselves that there are a couple easy ways to help during what is a difficult time for so many of our neighbors:
- Volunteer. There are no shortage of organizations that could use your help, and many have implemented new safety measures to keep volunteers safe.
- Give. Costs are up for nonprofits that are responding to the effects of COVID-19. Do some research, find a charity that resonates with you and donate to support its efforts.
- Purchase from companies that do the same. Many for-profit businesses big and small are finding ways to give back to their local communities during the pandemic. The fashion brand Tieks, for example, sparked a campaign that generated 400,000 face masks for frontline medical workers.
Connect Roasters is proud to be playing a role in the relief efforts. Thanks to the sale of Quarantine Coffee, through the month of August we've provided 8,290 meals to Cook County residents most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This could not be possible without our partners at GCFD and Feeding America.
While we're just one of some 700 partner organizations working with GCFD to support the relief effort, we know that the many efforts of the collective can make a big difference.
If you'd like to support our efforts as well as those of the GCFD you can do so by purchasing a bag here.