Surge in Demand for Food Pantries as Federal Aid Diminishes

Iris Dickinson who lives in East Garfield Park lost about $80 per month on food when the federal government stopped the additional COVID-19 benefits meant to help families get through the worst part of the pandemic.

Dickinson, 25, says she has had to cut back on items that are less essential like milk and bread — and rely more on the local food pantry in order to cover her monthly loss.


She said, “Food insecurity does not make sense.” Families are having a hard time finding food right now, and local pantries have become more crowded.

Food pantries in Chicago have responded to the increase in demand by stepping up their efforts. This has led to longer queues and in some cases food rationing.

Man-Yee Lee is the director of communications for the Greater Chicago Food Depository. The Greater Chicago Food Depository provides food and other assistance to over 700 food pantries throughout the city.