Past Event

Roving Café Society: The Changing Face of Food Stamps

The new food stamp user might look like you. More Illinois families are receiving food stamps than ever before as a result of the deepest recession in decades, state officials recently said. With 40 million Americans now on food stamps, this increase in Illinois is in line with the national trend. Join us for this intimate, intergenerational conversation with Rodney Stephens, SNAP Outreach Manager of Feeding America, about the reality of hunger in the United States.

Refreshments will be served.

This event  is co-sponsored by The Albany Park Theater Project and The Public Square.

From “Record number of Illinois families on food stamps” by David Mercer for Bloomberg Businessweek

“More Illinois families are receiving food stamps than ever before as a result of the deepest recession in decades. More than 780,000 Illinois families got food stamps in June, up 11.9 percent from a year earlier, the Illinois Department of Human Services reported. Nationally, 40 million Americans — 18.7 million households — use food stamps. In Illinois, the number of people applying for the program has increased even faster than those enrolled, and state and national officials expect demand to keep growing. Illinois applications were up by 27 percent in June, compared to a year ago.

Part of that was due to the recession, which is now more than two and a half years old, said Jennifer Hrycyna, associate director of Human Capital Development at the state Department of Human Services. She oversees food stamp distribution in the state.

‘It’s just bad and it’s not getting better.’ Hrycyna said.”

Questions for Consideration: Why are more families in Illinois being forced to rely on food stamps? What other alternatives should be provided to families struggling to feed their children? Who comprises the growing numbers of people on food stamps today? What does the new food stamp user look like? What can be done locally and nationally to ensure that those who need food stamps actually receive them? What can be done to work towards better food policies? Recently the U.S. Senate cut food stamps to fund other public programs. What other alternatives (other than cutting food stamps) should the U.S. Senate consider?

Want to learn more?

Free and open to the public. For more information, call 312.422.5580. 

If you need a sign interpreter or require other arrangements to fully participate, please call 312.422.5580. For parking locations near the facility, please visit