DEERFIELD, IL — Believe it or not, the holidays are just two short months away. As your kids make their Christmas lists, and you begin planning an elaborate holiday meal with all the trimmings, it’s also a perfect opportunity to seek out ways to help and give back to your Deerfield neighbors.

One way is by ensuring everyone in Deerfield has a holiday meal of their own and full bellies on Christmas Day.

For millions of families in Deerfield and other U.S. cities, a hearty holiday meal simply isn’t possible.

Lake County is among those where residents sometimes struggle with food insecurity, according to Feeding America, the nation’s largest network of food pantries and food banks.

Before the pandemic, 7 percent of people in Lake County were considered to be food insecure, according to Feeding America. The continuing economic fallout from the pandemic has increased that number to 8.3 percent who could be on the brink of hunger.

Last holiday season, 80 percent of Feeding America food banks reported serving more people than during the same time the previous year.

This year could be similar. Nationally, Feeding America estimates that as many as 42 million people — including 13 million children — could experience food insecurity in 2021. As a result, food banks nationwide have seen a nearly 55 percent increase in use.

There are many ways you can help ahead of the holidays. Here are a few ideas:

Donate To A Deerfield Food Pantry

Food pantries and food banks have experienced a 55 percent spike in usage through the pandemic, according to the latest Feeding America data, erasing a decade’s worth of progress toward ending hunger in the United States.

Donating to a food pantry is simple. Food pantries accept any food that is “shelf-stable” or nonperishable — this means you can keep it in your pantry and it won’t go bad. It’s also a good rule of thumb to only donate food that hasn’t reached its “sell-by” date yet.

See a list of what to donate to food pantries and what to avoid.

Here are the nearest food pantries in Lake County:

The West Deefield Township food pantry is located at the Township Office Building, 611 Deerfield Road.

Volunteer At A Food Bank Or Pantry

More than half of all food programs in the United States rely entirely on volunteers, according to Feeding America. While volunteering can look different depending on where you’re at, here’s a sampling of the jobs you might do:

  • Keep pantry shelves stocked and assemble food boxes for pickup.
  • Help with fundraising or raise awareness of food pantry services.
  • Deliver meals or food boxes.
  • Assist with distribution at drive-thru or mobile food pantries.

To volunteer in Deerfield, check with any of the food pantries listed above.

Host A Fundraiser

You can take action against hunger in Deerfield by hosting a fundraiser for Feeding America or any other local food bank or food pantry. Not only is it a great way to fight food insecurity, it’s also a fun way to interact with others while making a difference in your community.

Here are a few ways you can fundraise for Feeding America:

If you prefer to fundraise for another local food pantry or food bank, contact them to see how you can help.

Lobby Your Lawmakers

You can use your voice to advocate for those struggling with food insecurity. Federal food programs are a necessity in ending hunger — for every meal a food pantry provides, government food programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provide nine.

Organizations like Feeding America make it easy to reach out to your lawmakers using these contact forms.

Feeding America serves 200 member food banks that serve and supply 60,000 food pantries, kitchens and meal programs around the country.


Find your local food bank


Make a donation to Feeding America*


"The Impact of Coronavirus On Food Insecurity"


Take action against hunger

© Provided by Patch

Patch has partnered with Feeding America to help raise awareness on behalf of the millions of Americans facing hunger. Feeding America, which supports 200 food banks across the country, estimates that in 2021, more than 42 million Americans won’t have enough nutritious food to eat due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. This is a Patch social good project; Feeding America receives 100 percent of donations.* Find out how you can donate in your community or find a food pantry near you.

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