Chicago-Area Food Pantries Dealing With Rising Need, Higher Prices

Margaret O’Conor is executive director of Common Pantry on the North Side of Chicago, which went from serving about 386 families last year to 650 this year. “It’s a domino effect. People can’t afford their food because it costs too much, and likewise, people can’t donate as much either,” she said.

Common Pantry has also had to increase their food purchases by about 36%. O’Conor says they are still getting monetary donations, but their rescue program through local grocery stores has seen a dip. “It really just comes down to inflation. Not being able to recognize that this time last year, what the landscape would look like, that’s where we’re really seeing the impact,” she said.

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