Durbin Speaks With Illinois Food Pantry Directors About Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic On Food Security

SPRINGFIELD — U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), Co-Chair of the bipartisan Senate Hunger Caucus and member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, today spoke with five Illinois food bank directors—who together serve food pantries, soup kitchens, and local organizations across more than half of Illinois—about rising food insecurity and the increased demand on food pantries during the COVID-19 pandemic. On the call, Durbin heard from the directors about the sharp increase in new clients, the decrease in food donations that strains efforts to serve families, and the need for more funding to offset increased operating costs and food purchases. Durbin also spoke about increasing funding to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which more than 1.8 million Illinoisans rely on, and efforts to maximize the online SNAP purchasing program, in which Illinois obtained federal approval to participate last week.

“With more and more Illinoisans struggling to make ends meet, it’s more vital than ever that our food pantries have the resources and support to keep families fed. I want to thank our food bank directors, their teams, and volunteers for serving their communities during an unprecedented time of need,” said Durbin. “I’ll continue pushing for more urgently needed funding for our food pantries and SNAP that remain a lifeline for so many families.”

Food pantries participating in the call today with Durbin were:

  • Central Illinois Foodbank                          
  • Eastern Illinois Foodbank              
  • Peoria Area Foodbank
  • Riverbend Foodbank
  • St. Louis Area Foodbank