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Created by legislation in 2010 the Commission to End Hunger was appointed by Governor Pat Quinn with the mission of developing a two-year plan to end hunger in Illinois. The purpose of the Commission to End Hunger is to develop an action plan every 2 years, review the progress of this plan, and ensure cross-collaboration among government entities and community partners toward the goal of ending hunger in Illinois.

The Commission is comprised of legislators and community leaders who have committed themselves to developing this action plan. To approach this task the Commission convened its first meeting in May of 2011 and divided into three working groups in order to best address the complex issues facing those who struggle with hunger. The working groups are: No Kid Hungry (formerly Children and Families at Risk), Underserved Populations and Vulnerable Adults.

The Commission will present its reports and updates on progress to the Governor and General Assembly annually. The first report was released on March 14, 2012. A copy of the report can be downloaded here.

As the Commission continues its work updates will be posted regularly. Be sure to visit the Events page to learn how you can become involved.


To develop an aggressive and achievable two-year action plan to measurably reduce hunger in Illinois.

Appointed Commissioners

Mary Ellen Abbott
Illinois Hunger Coalition
Southern Region Field Director
Joseph Antolin
Heartland Human Care Services, Inc.
Executive Director 
Patricia Bellock
Illinois House of Representatives
State Representative 
Rance Carpenter
Illinois Department of Aging
Chief, Bureau of Community Operations 
John Egan
Illinois Department of Children and Family Services
Office of Housing and Cash
Esperanza Gonzalez            
Illinois Migrant Council
Director of Minority Health Programs 
Marla Goodwin
Jeremiah's Food Pantry Director
Mark Haller
Illinois State Board of Education
Nutrition Programs
Don Harmon
Illinois State Senate
State Senator, President Pro Tempore
Lisa Hernandez
Illinois House of Representatives
State Representative, 24th District 
Juanita Irizarry
The Chicago Community Trust
Program Officer
Mark Ishaug                 Thresholds Chief Executive Officer 
Ahlam Jbara
Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago
Associate Director 
Barbara Karacic
Holy Family Food Pantry
Food Pantry Services Director 
Dan Lesser
Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law
Director, Economic Security 
Kerry Lofton
Illinois Department of Agriculture
Office of the Director 
Kate Maehr    
Greater Chicago Food Depository
Executive Director 
John Millner Illinois Senate
State Senator 
Nicole Robinson
Kraft Foods Foundation
Vice President 
Kathleen Ryg
Voices for Illinois Children
Amy Rynell
Social IMPACT Research Center at Heartland Alliance
Michelle Saddler Illinois Department of Human Services
Kappy Scates
Scates Farm   
Tracy Smith
Feeding Illinois
State Director 
Terry Solomon Illinois African-American Family Commission Executive Director
Cristal Thomas
Office of Governor Pat Quinn
Deputy Director 
Gary Tomlin
Knox County
Peter Vina
Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services
Deputy Director, Outreach