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Lt. Governor Simon: Fight hunger this holiday season 

Simon, staff volunteer at food bank            

CHICAGO – November 21, 2011. Lt. Governor Sheila Simon and members of her Chicago staff volunteered Monday morning at a Chicago food bank and encouraged Illinois residents to fight hunger this holiday season.            

The Greater Chicago Food Depository is serving 59 percent more people this year than three years ago, due to the downturn in the economy, widespread unemployment and increasing food prices, Simon said. This near-record demand comes at a time when federal funding for food safety net programs is under threat.            

Simon said her office is doing its part to support anti-hunger programs while saving taxpayer dollars. She is taking one voluntary furlough day each month, and her senior staff is taking a voluntary furlough day each quarter. They dedicated Monday’s unpaid time off to the food bank service project.            

“Whether it is one dollar, one can of food, or one hour of volunteering, our donations can add up to no child going hungry this holiday season,” Simon said. “We must all do our part to help children, seniors and families access nutritious food while our economy recovers.”            

The number of people in need is staggering, Simon said. Nearly one of every four children in the Chicago area are unsure where their next meal will come from, and almost 13 percent of all Illinoisans are “food insecure,” according to data compiled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.            

“We are so grateful for the assistance of Lt. Governor Simon and her staff,” said Kate Maehr, executive director and CEO of the Greater Chicago Food Depository. “Every contribution of volunteer time makes a difference for hungry people in our community.”            

Chicagoland residents can make food donations to the depository at more than 100 downtown locations participating in the One City, One Food drive or at area Dominick’s stores. To find a location near you, visit the depository’s website,