Food pantry shops at the Greater Chicago Food Depository will have an extra $665,000 to buy and stock more staples and items next year that are not donated, like fruits, vegetables, chicken, meat, eggs and milk.
The extra cash comes courtesy of a $25 million settlement reached by Illinois Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan's office and 22 other states with nearly a dozen vitamin manufacturers who fixed the price of vitamins.
A court decision mandated the settlement money be used for "health, nutrition or science," according to a news release. Madigan's office announced Monday the distribution of $1.2 million to regional food banks around the state.
The additional money was welcome news to food depository officials, who anticipate an increase in clients at Cook County's 650 food pantries, shelters and soup kitchens.
"This definitely eases the strain in a time of need," said Bob Dolgan, a spokesman for the Greater Chicago Food Depository.
The windfall was also good news for neighrboring GCFD-affiliated pantries, including Evanston, Glenview and Skokie, that serve North Shore residents.