Your NPR news source

"Study: 500,000 In Cook County Need Emergency Food Aid "

SHARE "Study: 500,000 In Cook County Need Emergency Food Aid "

“A new study shows in Cook County alone, food pantries and kitchens serve almost 500,000 people a year.

The study was commissioned by America’s Second Harvest, a national network of food banks. The look at hunger across the U.S. shows not getting enough food sometimes means not getting the right kind of food, like a kid eating noodles for three days because that’s all a mom can afford. Other times, it means not getting enough food -- period.

Lisa Koch of the Greater Chicago Food Depository says more than one-third of Second Harvest clients said they experienced physical hunger within the past year, but didn’t eat because they didn’t have enough food. More than a quarter of clients said they’d gone 24 hours without food.

Nationally, researchers found there are a lot more people using food pantries and other hunger relief services--an 18 percent increase since 1997. That was harder to measure in Chicago, where researchers say they didn’t have the right data from previous years to make a comparison.

Koch says there’s an increase in people who have jobs but can’t buy enough food for the month. People is that situation make up about half of the clients at local food pantries and kitchens. She says she’s seen people line up for more than an hour, with their children and elderly parents, to get nutritious food.”

The Latest