CHICAGO (CBS) — The loss of dozens of Dominick’s stores in the Chicago area has proved to be a mixed blessing for local food banks.

WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports, on one hand, organizations that feed the hungry benefitted from the donation of two truckloads of food and household products left over after most of the remaining Dominick’s stores closed last month.

On the other hand, Dominick’s had been a major benefactor to food banks, and will no longer be providing donations to an annual effort to fight hunger, once every Dominick’s grocery closes for good.

“They were a great partner in an annual food drive, the Spirit of Giving Food Drive, and that went on for 15 years, so they have long been a partner in helping feed hungry neighbors here in northern Illinois,” said Donna Lake, spokeswoman for the Northern Illinois Food Bank in Geneva.

The food bank hopes other retailers will step up their efforts to help feed the hungry in the wake of Dominick’s leaving the market.

“We’re going to need even more help moving forward to make sure that we’re able to have food at our 800 different feeding programs – the soup kitchens, pantries, and shelters across our 13 counties,” she said. “That’s a challenge for us.”

Dominick’s had 72 stores in northern Illinois. Four were sold to rival Jewel-Osco, and 11 to Mariano’s supermarkets. No buyers have yet been found for the other 57 Dominick’s stores.

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