More than 10 percent of Illinois residents received emergency food from the eight regional food banks across the state, a new study finds.

More than 10 percent of Illinois residents received emergency food from the eight regional food banks across the state, a new study finds.

The study was released at a Statehouse press conference today by Feeding Illinois, the statewide organization of the eight regional food banks. It found 1.4 million people received food assistance in 2009, with 42 percent being children.


The organization called for the General Assembly to approve $5 million in funding to the food banks, which would provide 25 percent of the food needed.


"The food banks in this state - the food pantries and soup kitchens that they serve - are desperate for this," said Kate Maehr, president of Feeding Illinois. "As I've said, I've yet to meet anyone in Springfield or in any county in the state who believe that it's OK for people in the state to go hungry, and that is what we are talking about.


"The food banks in the state of Illinois need this money so we can make sure that when a family or an individual turns up at a food pantry there is food."


State Capitol Bureau