The down economy means some folks are going to bed without enough to eat.
Workers at the Chicago Food Depository say one-third of city residents wonder where their next meal is coming from. The food depository has spent more than 40 years providing nourishment to the needy.
The depository's produce market on wheels traveled the West Side Thursday.
The truck starts loading up early in the morning, and fresh produce is headed to the hood.
The Chicago Food Depository loads up produce on trucks once a month and takes the items into underserved communities.
So here's how it works instead of getting one of everything: each person out here can have four bags of carrots, three bags of salads, two heads of lettuce and six ears of corn.
'I'm here to try and supplement my grocery bill because everything is so costly right now. Some of my older kids have come back home so it's difficult," Gloria Ricks said. "So the economy has hit everyone? Oh yes. So how many people with you now, it was just me now I've got two sons and two nephews and they lost their jobs."
Organizers say it's a food desert in this neighborhood, and new census numbers show as more Americans lose their jobs, more are living below the poverty line. That's $2,200 a year for a family of four.
In Illinois, more than 1.8 million people lived at or below the poverty line last year, and the need for affordable food continues to grow.
"We have pantries everywhere from Glenview in the north, to Tinley Park in the south, to Oak Park in the west," Bob Dolgan-Depos said. "So the people we serve include a lot of working people many people that you would think of as middle class are now recently out of a job."
To meet that need, the food depository has set up 40 stationary pantries in other communities.
On the West Side, residents are glad the food came to them.
"I'm a single great-grandmother trying to raise these children on my own," Lucille Hemphill said. "This helps out a lot."
All the food out here is free, and appreciated. The folks in line said the only thing that could be better, is if the food depository also had jobs to give away.
To find the nearest food pantry locations, or to find out if the produce mobile makes a stop in your neighborhood, visit the Chicago Food Depository's website .
205 N. Michigan Avenue
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