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Number Of Food Insecure People Continues To Swell In Chicago Area

Jim Williams (CBS) Jim Williams
Jim Williams, a native Chicagoan, co-anchors the CBS 2 Chicago Wee...
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CHICAGO (CBS) — We’ve seen signs the economy is improving, but a new report today reveals many people here in the Chicago area are still struggling and the number is growing.

CBS’s Jim Williams reports on the story of the group called the “food insecure.”

That group is defined as people who find it hard to buy enough food for active, healthy lives.

According to the group “Feeding America,” more than 860,000 people in Cook County alone are food insecure, 50,000 more than in 2010.

The CEO of the Greater Chicago Food Depository explains why we shouldn’t fooled by employment numbers.

“Increasingly, hunger in America is the story of people who have jobs. People who may have one or two jobs even in a household but they don’t have enough income to pay for all of things they need to each month and that’s when a food pantry becomes their lifeline,” said Kate Maehr.

Maehr says there’s been a 77 percent increase in the number of people turning to food pantries in the last five years.

for the families who are really struggling, things are not getting better. and I worry that we’re going to leave them behind,” said Maehr.

This is a bad trend and the Greater Chicago Food Depository says it is on pace to serve more people this fiscal year than at any other time in its history, a 34-year history.

They’re particularly worried about children, especially now because so many are out of school where they get breakfast and lunch.