Illinois Attorney General to distribute money to food banks

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced that her office will distribute $500,000 in funding from several legal settlements to food banks across Illinois to help feed families and people in need. Madigan said the money will make food available to local food pantries that serve each of Illinois’ 102 counties, according to a IAG press release.

Madigan made the disbursement announcement today at an awards ceremony for Lawyers Feeding Illinois, the first-ever statewide food and fundraising campaign conducted by the Illinois State Bar Association. The ISBA exceeded its goal of raising one million meals, with teams of lawyers throughout the state raising in excess of 1.27 million meals for Illinois residents struggling with hunger. The Attorney General’s office partnered with the ISBA on the campaign.

“No one should go hungry. The Lawyers Feeding Illinois campaign will help the food banks throughout our state provide meals to adults and children in need. This settlement funding from my office’s work will add to this important effort to bring hope to many who are facing tough times and struggling to make ends meet,” Madigan said in the press release.

“I am delighted that the funding facilitated by Attorney General Madigan will bring the total of meals provided through Lawyers Feeding Illinois to more than 3,777,560. The participation of our state’s chief legal officer demonstrates the strong commitment of the legal profession to this important cause,” said ISBA president John Thies. Thies’s wife, Terry, chaired the Lawyers Feeding Illinois campaign in the press release.      

The funds that the Attorney General distributed to battle hunger come from several settlements her office reached in which the funds were designated to be used to focus on health and nutrition. Specifically, $380,000 of the total distribution will go to the Greater Chicago Food Depository, which annually provides food for 678,000 adults and children in Cook County through a network of 650 shelters, soup kitchens and food pantries. This money was recovered through an investigation into former Chicago Bears player Chris Zorich’s charitable foundation. Additionally, Madigan will distribute $120,000 from other settlements to the state’s 7 regional food banks outside of Cook County, the release said.