CHICAGO, Jan. 30, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Greater Chicago Food Depository received $1 million Thursday from Chicago-based real estate investment trust Ventas, Inc. to support hunger-relief among older adults.
The investment, distributed over five years, will fund the Food Depository's more than 60 older adult programs, including Choice Markets, which are food pantries for those ages 55 and above.
"Ventas hopes its five-year partnership with the Food Depository will have a meaningful impact in ending hunger among our older adults," said Ventas Chairman and CEO Debra A. Cafaro. "Because Ventas owns over 1,600 seniors housing and other healthcare sites where care to seniors is provided, we have a strong kinship with the Food Depository's older adult Market program."
Older adults are disproportionately affected by hunger, as 36 percent of client households receiving food through the Food Depository's network include at least one older adult. Each year, the Food Depository serves more than 125,000 older adults.
Some of those individuals are not only struggling with hunger. According to the Hunger in America study, 44 percent of all clients said they were in fair or poor health. Some are also making difficult choices: 62 percent of clients are choosing between paying for food and paying medical bills, while 73 percent are choosing between food and utility bills.
"No one should go hungry in our community. But too often, older adults do not have access to the food they need to stay healthy," said Kate Maehr, executive director and CEO of the Food Depository. "Ventas's generous support will bolster our response to hunger among older adults throughout Cook County."
To commemorate this investment, a ceremonial check was presented at an older adult Choice Market in Calumet Township. The program distributes fresh fruit, vegetables and shelf-stable food to approximately 150 older adult clients twice per month.
In addition to Choice Markets, the Food Depository operates programs that distribute bags of produce and boxes of food to older adult living facilities. To learn more about the Food Depository's older adult programs, visit chicagosfoodbank.org.
SOURCE Greater Chicago Food Depository