FOX Chicago News teams up with the Greater Chicago Food Depository to help beat hunger this holiday season.
With poverty on the rise and more middle class families needing assistance, local volunteers at Breakthrough Urban Ministries are fighting hunger and opening doors of opportunity.
It is early morning in Chicago's East Garfield Park neighborhood and the hungry are waiting for the doors to swing open.
Inside the volunteers and staff begin their day like they always do at Breakthrough Urban Ministries with prayer.
What began as a few church members serving coffee, has grown into a multi-faceted agency that seeks to nourish the body and soul.
Breakthrough Urban Ministries' Yolanda Fields was swinging away in the corporate trenches and thought she had made it until came the she took off work and turned on the TV.
"My heart sank, so I said to the Lord, I want my life count. This is what he gave me," Fields said. "I wanted to make my life. I realized just how life is so short those count those people got up in the morning expecting to live life as normal and then normal for me could not be the same."
During her years here since, Fields has come to know the face of hunger personally.
But at Breakthrough they do things differently.
From being awarded points to purchase food at the fresh pantry, to teaching computer classes to getting in a workout to providing a suit to someone who is going job hunting.
"I'm sort of in between not working and my mom is up in age in her 70's," James Williamson said. "When I need food I come here."
As long as he has that need, volunteers like Ms. Martin are there to help.
"You think your situation is bad until you get into the lives of other people like these people who come here and then you are grateful for what you have," Martin said.
Everyone can help this holiday season by donating $1 or one food product to the Greater Chicago Food Depository, Breakthrough Ministries, or your local food pantry.
205 N. Michigan Avenue
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