At WGN Radio Studios Sunday, Governor Quinn signed the bill authorizing the check off, which will supply funds to Illinois' eight regional food banks that supply 2,000 food pantries. One of those food pantries was the St. James pantry on the South Side.
Rising unemployment means higher demand at the pantries. St. James serves nearly twice as many families as it did two years ago, but donations have also been under pressure.
"Our donors are generous, but some are affected by the economy. So, that affects the amount of money they are able to give. So, we're running low in terms of funds," said the pantry's Peter Wawire.
Illinois food pantries serve nearly 900,000 people. About one-third of them are children.