Suburban food bank predicts food insecurity for thousands of locals in 2021

Northern Illinois Food Bank
Photo credit Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

GENEVA, Ill. (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The Northern Illinois Food Bank is facing some barriers in supplying families with food through their 900 suburban and rural food pantries.

Supply chain disruptions globally due to the COVID-19 pandemic have led to a more difficult time in addressing food insecurity, said Northern Illinois Food Bank President Julie Yurko.

Yurko also said wait times are longer and the most wanted items aren’t being donated as often and there are some things the Geneva-based food bank can no longer afford.

"Produce is highly desired. Everybody wants produce right-where we use to average 29 cents per pound," she said. "We're now paying 40 cents per pound."

Yurko says the food bank expects around the same amount of need as last year when staff distributed over 100 million meals, equating to about 350,000 individuals in need of food. This includes 100,000 children.

Yurko also said that price and availability are not the only issues that contribute to food insecurity in local communities.

"What we find is that people don't know about us. They don't know how to get to us, so they can't get to us or they're ashamed."

Those interested in donating or volunteering can visit solvehungertoday.org where there is also a one stop shop of information for those that are in need of food.