In January, the Greater Chicago Food Depository, in partnership with Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, unveiled the Cook County Food Access Plan. The two-year initiative aims to strengthen the public and private response to food insecurity in our community.
“The plan provides a roadmap to increase the availability of nutritious food for people in need,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.
The Plan, which is being implemented by an appointed task force housed in the County President’s office, focuses on three goals:
- Expanding a food insecurity screening and referral system at Cook County Health and Hospitals System locations to increase patient access to community food resources as needed.
- Creating a Suburban Cook County Child Nutrition work group to increase student access and participation in School Breakfast and Summer Meals programs.
- Growing the use of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits and incentive programs at farmers markets and farm stands throughout Cook County.
Since January the plan has already resulted in significant progress. Food insecurity screenings have been expanded to eight sites throughout the county. The child nutrition work group held two School Breakfast summits, which more than 30 schools attended. And, the task force is working to support House Bill 6027, which would create a $1 million grant program to fund double value coupons for SNAP recipients to be used at farmers markets and farm stands.
“Hunger is a solvable problem, but it does require work and collaboration. Together, we want to make sure everyone in our community has access to quality nutrition and healthy food so they can live healthy lives,” said Kate Maehr, Food Depository executive director and CEO.
Read the full report, or visit chicagosfoodbank.org for more information.
“Hunger is a solvable problem, but it does require work and collaboration. Together, we want to make sure everyone in our community has access to quality nutrition and healthy food so they can live healthy lives."
Kate Maehr, Food Depository executive director and CEO
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