Greater Chicago Food Depository Makes It Easier Than Ever To Help The Hungry

By Anthony Todd in Food on Dec 3, 2012 4:40PM

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As winter approaches, the problems of hunger and homelessness in Chicago grow more acute and more visible. This year is worse than usual, thanks to the ongoing recession, and the Greater Chicago Food Depository expects this to be one of its busiest years ever. One of the constant refrains we hear from friends, family and chefs is: What can we do to help? GCFD has teamed up with advertising agency Leo Burnett to create an easy way to donate every time you stop into a restaurant.

How can we eat nice food while others go hungry? This is the constant, nagging, painful thought at the back of every diner's mind, especially during the holidays. This past week, I was sitting in the window of a downtown restaurant and a homeless man watched me through the window as I ate my lunch. The lunch was nothing extravagant, but the sheer contrast between my life and his, captured in that moment, was impossible to ignore. Chef Ryan Poli had a similar experience last week and recounted it on his personal blog. The solution is not to stop eating out; every dollar spent at a restaurant creates hundreds and hundreds of jobs throughout the food and supply industry. So what to do?

The elegant solution that GFCD has created is called "Eat Out Check In." Set up an account on their website and make a pledge. Then, every time you check in at a restaurant using Foursquare or Facebook, you will automatically make a donation. There's no need to make any special effort or worry, and there's something poetic about dining out automatically helping someone else get fed.

Let's make sure that no one goes hungry this year. Sign up now.