Just under 2 million people a year are fed by food banks in Illinois, according to the 2015 report of the Illinois Commission to End Hunger, which released its annual analysis last week.
That bit of information was the backbone of a report prepared by the commission, which is in its fifth year.
One of the major trends noted was a boost in the number of meals served throughout the School Breakfast Program. Prior to the establishment of the Commission to End Hunger, in 2009, Illinois ranked 51st in program enrollment among the states and the District of Columbia. Now, Illinois ranks 40th. Despite that increase, the report noted that 446,000 low-income children do not receive school breakfast, according to the report.
The report also cites statistics from the Hunger in American 2014’s focus on Illinois, which notes
that 64 percent of food bank programs reported an increased need from 2013. Meanwhile, 61 percent of Illinois food bank client families had at least one member who worked for pay in the 12-month period covered.