Northern Illinois Food Bank sees need increase by nearly 40% in 3 months as prices soar

Bank serves nearly 400 food pantries in the Chicago area, including 1 in Village of Roselle

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Monday, April 25, 2022
Illinois food bank sees need increase by nearly 40% amid inflation
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Northern Illinois Food Bank saw need increase by nearly 40% in three months due to the inflation rate along with an end to Child Tax Credit benefits.

ROSELLE, Ill. (WLS) -- Julie Detwiler orders groceries on a tablet - not from a grocery store, but from the Roselle Food Pantry.

The single mother of three kids works full time, but with inflation causing food prices to soar, the pantry has become a way to make ends meet.

"You're looking for ways to make sure your kids to have food to take to school and to have breakfast and we're lucky to have the pantry," Detwiler said.

Detwiler is not unusual. At the massive warehouse for the Northern Illinois Food Bank, volunteers are busy packing and labeling food for a growing clientele. And while government and manufacturers donations are down significantly, they have seen the need increase by nearly 40% in the last three months.

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"The driving factor is inflation," said Northern Illinois Food Bank CEO Julie Yurko. "However, many government benefits, including unemployment and child tax credits, have ended."

The food bank serves nearly 400 individual food pantries in the Chicago area, including one in Roselle, which has seen a dramatic increase in demand for its services. The pantry is open to all residents, but there are no lines. They serve many clients by appointment with online orders.

"People you might not ordinarily see come to a pantry are now coming here because they can't afford it," said Roselle UMC Food Pantry Director Vicki Johnson.

The Roselle pantry takes up 2,500 feet in the basement of a church. It is bursting at the seams because of the demand. They are looking for a new location nearly twice the size.