New Report Sheds Light On Hunger In Northern Illinois

Aug 21, 2014

A new study says 1 in 7 Americans are turning to food banks. The findings come in a national report that also breaks down regional numbers.

Every four years, the non-profit Feeding America looks at how many people are turning to food assistance programs for help. It says more than 46 million people use such programs to get by.

Donna Lake is with the Northern Illinois Food Bank, which serves more than a dozen counties. She says in their territory, they continue to notice a large number of clients who fall under the "working poor" category.

"These folks, by vast majority are working, but they're just not making enough to make ends meet," Lake said.

Lake says more than half of their clients have to choose between paying for food or medicine. More than three quarters have to decide between feeding their family or paying utility bills.

In all, Lake says the latest survey shows that their operation serves more than 70,000 people each week.

On average, those people seek help from local food pantries nearly ten times throughout the year.