Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » Citing ‘delays’ in Chicago’s procurement process, Pritzker announces $2 million to feed asylum seekers
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Citing ‘delays’ in Chicago’s procurement process, Pritzker announces $2 million to feed asylum seekers

Friday, Dec 1, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* The city just can’t get its act together on anything…

Building on the State’s data-driven plan to improve the asylum seeker response, Governor JB Pritzker, the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS), and the Greater Chicago Food Depository announced an additional $4 million investment to provide meals to asylum seekers through the end of the calendar year. The additional $2 million state investment will be matched by philanthropy through the Food Depository.

At the request of the City of Chicago in June 2023, the State has provided $10.5 million in funding to the Greater Chicago Food Depository, a food bank with a network of community-based providers, to deliver meals to asylum seekers while the City worked to procure additional vendors. Due to delays in the procurement process, the State and Food Depository will now contribute an additional $2 million each, to ensure asylum seekers are fed through the month of December. In January, the City of Chicago will assume this responsibility as the State ramps up its shelter, resettlement, and Temporary Protected Status and Employee Authorization Document efforts. The State will also provide the meals at the recently announced shelter sites in Brighton Park and Little Village, which will house up to 2,200 people at full capacity.

“In Illinois – we welcome asylum seeking families with dignity and that means ensuring they don’t go hungry,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “The State is continuing to make strategic investments in the absence of the resources and coordination we continue to advocate for from Congress and the federal government.”

This $2 million investment from the State builds on Governor Pritzker’s recently announced $160 million investment, via IDHS, to improve the asylum-seeker path to self-sufficiency, as well as the $478 million in State funding that has been allocated to the asylum seeker response over Fiscal Years 2023 and 2024.

Before this latest investment, the State provided $10.5 million in funding for food for new arrivals, bringing the total now to $12.5 million. The State began partnering with the Greater Chicago Food Depository for this purpose in June 2023.

“I am grateful to the Greater Chicago Food Depository for continuously meeting this need,” said Dulce Quintero, IDHS Secretary Designate. “The Depository has been an invaluable partner to the State as we continue to address this humanitarian crisis.”

“The Greater Chicago Food Depository believes food is a basic human right. It is a privilege to provide daily meals for asylum seeking new arrivals in our community while continuing our work of serving anyone in need of food across Chicago and Cook County,” said Kate Maehr, Executive Director and CEO of the Food Depository. “Our response for new arrivals has been bolstered by support from the state of Illinois and the generosity of private philanthropy. We are incredibly grateful that the State of Illinois has stepped up again and again this year to protect residents from hunger, both lifelong Illinoisans and our newest neighbors.”

The Greater Chicago Food Depository has worked with the State of Illinois and the City of Chicago to provide food for asylum seeking new arrivals since Texas began busing them to Illinois last summer. This year, the Food Depository’s response has expanded to include daily lunch and dinner, fresh fruit, breakfast items, and hygiene essentials at shelters and police stations across Chicago. The Food Depository’s response has been funded by critical investments from the State of Illinois and generous contributions from private donors.

To supply meals for new arrivals, the Food Depository has been working in partnership with more than 15 minority-owned restaurants and caterers based in neighborhoods across Chicago. By contracting with these local businesses, the Food Depository is supplying up to 20,000 nourishing and culturally affirming meals each day, while investing millions of dollars back into the local community – creating economic impact and jobs for Chicagoans. The response serves as a model of how to address hunger while also guiding funds and resources to neighborhoods that have endured historic disinvestment.


  1. - Leigh John-Ella - Friday, Dec 1, 23 @ 1:52 pm:

    Forget presidential talk, is the governor looking to move up in office and run for Chicago mayor? Certainly seems like he’s auditioning for the job.

  2. - Rich Miller - Friday, Dec 1, 23 @ 1:53 pm:

    === auditioning for the job===


    More like he’s being forced by circumstances to do two jobs.

  3. - Let Old Friends Go - Friday, Dec 1, 23 @ 2:01 pm:

    The governor knows how to govern but most of all knows how to lead. Culture and attitude trickles down. Defensiveness, vapid reactiveness & going MIA when most needed: that starts at the top. The fifth floor not only needs to be fully staffed with professionals and not best friends. But also in desperate need of a cultural reset from the mayor and chief of staff.

  4. - Pragmatist - Friday, Dec 1, 23 @ 2:29 pm:

    The mayor needs more than a comms shop. He needs a team who understands how government works today, not some version the left wants to fashion in the future. With all his deputy mayors and senior staff supposedly driving the migrant crisis, it still looks like no one is in charge and the only one leading is the governor. There’s still time to turn this train wreck around.

  5. - Rich Miller - Friday, Dec 1, 23 @ 2:34 pm:

    ===The mayor needs more than a comms shop===

    Agreed, but a good comms shop can spot trouble before it happens.

  6. - In Bridgeport - Friday, Dec 1, 23 @ 3:54 pm:

    ===not some version the left wants to fashion in the future===
    I think there are plenty of people on the left are unhappy with the Mayor’s leadership and all of the vacancies in the administration.

  7. - Jocko - Friday, Dec 1, 23 @ 4:26 pm:

    ==unhappy with the Mayor’s leadership==

    Leadership? I feel like I’m watching a remake of 1972’s ‘The Candidate’.

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