KANKAKEE COUNTY, Illinois – Food pantries in the Chicagoland area, including Kankakee County, are expecting to see a surge in demand after reductions to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, which took effect two days ago. The cuts will affect millions of families, resulting in decreases of between $55 and $255 per person.
Many families in Kankakee County are now struggling to find alternative sources of food, leading to food pantries anticipating a significant uptick in demand. According to the Greater Chicago Food Depository, there are over 700 food pantries in the Chicagoland area alone, including pantries in Kankakee County.
The Greater Chicago Food Depository, which distributes food to over 700 pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters in the Chicago area, is also anticipating a rise in demand.
Food pantries have been a critical source of support for families in Kankakee County and the Chicagoland area for years. The COVID-19 pandemic only exacerbated the problem, with unemployment rates skyrocketing and many people relying on food assistance for the first time. With SNAP benefits now reduced, it seems likely that food pantries will continue to play a critical role in feeding the city’s most vulnerable residents.
In light of these developments, food pantries are urging those who are able to donate to do so. With the anticipated increase in demand, every donation will be crucial in ensuring that food pantries can continue to provide support to those in need in Kankakee County and the Chicagoland area.