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Running on Empty: Nutritional Access for Children in Cook County, Illinois

February 1, 2010

In an effort to make informed program expansion and improvement decisions, the Greater Chicago Food Depository commissioned the Social IMPACT Research Center of Heartland Alliance to conduct a study of child nutrition program coverage and child nutrition and hunger in Cook County, Illinois.This study examined the geographic coverage of child nutrition programs to identify areas that have the greatest number of unserved children and have the worst program coverage. The study also took an in-depth look at the nutritional lives of children attending summer nutrition programs. Insights in these two areas are vital to helping organizations like the Greater Chicago Food Depository make sound programmatic and expansion decisions that will best meet the nutritional and hunger needs of Cook County's most vulnerable children.

Back Home Again: LaPorte County, Indiana, Plan to End Homelessness

October 1, 2009

The Social IMPACT Research Center (IMPACT), a program of Heartland Alliance, worked with leaders in LaPorte County, Indiana to create a Plan to End Homelessness for the county. Plans to End Homelessness help communities determine and implement key system improvements, build community and political will for addressing homelessness, align resources efficiently, and begin the important march toward ending homelessness.LaPorte County's Plan to End Homelessness harnesses best practices, local realities, and community input to solve a problem that affects far too many lives: those who are at risk of homelessness, those who are experiencing homelessness, and their children, neighbors, friends, and family.LaPorte County's Plan includes goals in three areas: prevention, housing, and income/services with a number of action steps established to reach each goal. The Plan is designed to serve those who have been identified as needing services in LaPorte County, to help service providers enhance and streamline services, and help funders of the homeless system target funding and community resources to prevent and end homelessness.

2009 Report on Chicago Region Poverty

April 22, 2009

In 2009, a family of four that is poor by the federal government's definition has an annual income below $22,050. A family that is extremely poor has an income less than half the poverty line for their family size -- under $11,025 for a family of four. As discussions continue on the best way to help the nation weather and emerge from the recession, the focus must be on meaningful policy changes that truly lift all boats and make us collectively a much stronger nation. If solutions do not specifically address the needs of those whose lives and hardships are reflected in this report, millions will be left behind, and we will all be left weaker and more vulnerable.