Spirit of Giving: Northern Illinois Food Bank

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Northern Illinois Food Bank President and CEO Julie Yurko explains how you can help local families in need as part of ABC7's "Spirit of Giving - Helping Fight Hunger" campaign. (WLS)

When people think "hunger" in the Chicago area, people tend to think of the inner city.

But Northern Illinois Food Bank President and CEO Julie Yurko explained that according to the Brookings Institution, there are more people living in poverty in the suburbs of Chicago than the city itself. Every week, the food bank feeds 71,500 individuals who need some help making ends meet.

Yurko also said the face of hunger is changing. Results from the most recent "Face of Hunger" study from Feeding America said over three quarters of the families the food bank serves is working, but they're only making less than $24,000 a year.

"They're making really tough choices. Do I buy food or do I pay for my utilities or pay for transportation?" Yurko said.

She explained how you can help families in need through the Northern Illinois Food Bank. The food bank hopes to get to 75 million meals by 2020.

Holding a local food drive or donating at SolveHungerToday.org are great ways to start. Yurko said 97 percent of donations go straight to programs.
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