Greater Chicago Food Depository celebrates 100 years of service - FOX 32 News Chicago

Chicago International Produce Market celebrates 100 years

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

A big celebration is going on for a family-owned produce company that's been doing business in Chicago for 100 years – and instead of getting gifts, they're giving back by feeding the hungry with Chicago's Food Depository.

Robert Strube started his family business in 1913 and in the 1980's he was one of the five people who created the Greater Chicago Food Depository with the goal of wiping out hunger in America.

Strube died a short time ago, but his son and grandson are still running the family produce company and they're trying to continue that legacy.

At the end of the day, the family would give away what they could -- or back then, hungry people would follow the old garbage wagon around and pick our fruits and veggies that could still be eaten.

The Strube family quickly found it's passion to feed the hungry and it's been passed down for generations.

"My dad when he started with 6 others…I think it was five other people when they started the food depository which has taken off…he wanted to eliminate hunger in the world---especially in Chicago," Bob Strube says. "It didn't happen in his lifetime but there's a lot of people still carry on that legacy."

His father and the other founders of the food depository donated 471,000 pounds of food in its first year. Now, those donations are bigger because the need is bigger.

The Food Depository is feeding 70 percent more than it did five years ago; 1/3 of them are children. So, for the company's anniversary, they're going to fill a trailer with fresh, healthy produce like avocados, limes, squash, melons, green beans and garlic.

It's the produce that has helped this family stay in business and true to the Strube who started it all.

"Every week we have a donation, but this is a big one with our shippers sending in everything they can, so it's an exciting thing for us---and just to tie up everything and start up a new generation for Strube," Robert Strube explains.

So the produce companies and their suppliers did their part. Now, they're asking the public to get involved. Some of the items they say they need the most are peanut butter, rice, pasta, beans and canned fruit and vegetables.

FOX 32 is proud to once again team up with the Greater Chicago Food Depository's 1 City, 1 Food Drive campaign this holiday season.

For more information on fighting hunger in our community, visit Chicagosfoodbank.org.

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