With the tax hike, the job loss and resulting poverty's only going to get worse. Just start counting the newly empty storefronts in your neighborhoods.
The St. Ailbe Church food pantry on Chicago’s South Side went from providing food to roughly 2,000 people a month in 2009 to about 3,000 people a month last year, said director Sammie Wayne. “It’s people ages 25 to 90, and they are asking for more help.”
Requests for help with food, from pantries and SNAP have risen even more dramatically in Chicago suburbs.
“We have a food pantry in Hoffman Estates that’s our fastest-growing pantry,” said Maehr.
There have been double-digit increases in the number of people receiving food the last two years at the Peoples Resource Center pantry in Wheaton, said Melissa Travis, director of food services. “It’s completely the economy,” she said.
In addition to the long-term poor, those seeking help at the Wheaton pantry include more “people that never thought they would use a food pantry, that sort of forgotten middle class that had a pretty good- paying job, and suddenly they don’t have that income,” Travis said. “They’re struggling.”