• Former President Barack Obama volunteered in Chicago this week
  • He visited the Greater Chicago Food Depository to make Thanksgiving meals 
  • The non-profit organization serves the city of Chicago and Cook County
  • Obama included a call to action in a video of the visit shared on Twitter
  • He called on everyone to give support to similar organizations across the US
  • America has seen a rise in the national food hardship rate for all households for the first time in years, per a new study by the Food Research and Action Center 

Former President Barack Obama visited the Greater Chicago Food Depository this week to help prepare Thanksgiving meals ahead of the holiday on Thursday.

The Obama Foundation tweeted a video of Obama’s trip to the food bank on Wednesday, which include a call to action from 44.  

‘Wherever you are in the country, I’ll bet there’s an organization just like this one that is doing some really good work,’ Obama said.

‘Make sure that you give them some support as we go into the holiday season.’

The FRAC report found that the national food hardship rate for all households increased from 15.1 percent in 2016 to 15.7 percent in 2017,  as he food hardship rate for households with children rose to a considerably higher level, from 17.5 percent in 2016 to 18.4 percent in 2017. 

Nationally, the food hardship rate for households with children is 1.3 times higher than for households without children.

Mississippi had the highest food hardship rate among the states, at 22 percent, which equates to 1 in 5 households, reporting that they did not have enough money to buy food at some point in the past 12 months. 

In nearly half the states, 24 plus the District of Columbia, at least 1 in 7 respondent households (14.3 percent or more) reported food hardship.

In between clips of Obama doing his part to help ease that pain, at least for the holiday, Obama touted the efforts of the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

Former President Barack Obama visited the Greater Chicago Food Depository this week to help prepare Thanksgiving meals ahead of the holiday on Thursday, calling on others to do the same across the US

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Former President Barack Obama visited the Greater Chicago Food Depository this week to help prepare Thanksgiving meals ahead of the holiday on Thursday, calling on others to do the same across the US

The charity, which serves the city of Chicago and Cook County, is located on West Ann Lurie Place.

‘They do great work making sure that those aren’t as fortunate are able to enjoy the kind of Thanksgiving meal that so many of us take for granted,’ he said, in the midst of interacting with volunteers.

The food bank also shared video from Obama’s visit, tweeting a thank you to the former president on Tuesday.

Throughout the videos, Obama is shown working side by side with volunteers, ranging in age from the very young to the more mature 

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Throughout the videos, Obama is shown working side by side with volunteers, ranging in age from the very young to the more mature 

‘Thank you to ⁦@BarackObama and @ObamaFoudnation for joining our volunteers today at the Food Depository,’ the post read.

‘We believe no one should go hungry, especially this time of year, and that’s why we’re working to address the root causes of hunger in Chicago and Cook County.’ 

Throughout the videos, Obama is shown working side by side with volunteers, ranging in age from the very young to the more mature.

With Obama in a black Chicago White Sox cap and others wearing hair nets and aprons, everyone set about bagging sacks of potatoes that will become a part of Thanksgiving meals.

While working with volunteers, Obama took a moment to thank two young girls who are overjoyed to share their selfless work with the president, bending down to hug one of them

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While working with volunteers, Obama took a moment to thank two young girls who are overjoyed to share their selfless work with the president, bending down to hug one of them

'They do great work making sure that those aren't as fortunate are able to enjoy the kind of Thanksgiving meal that so many of us take for granted,' Obama said, in the midst of clips of him interacting with volunteers

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‘They do great work making sure that those aren’t as fortunate are able to enjoy the kind of Thanksgiving meal that so many of us take for granted,’ Obama said, in the midst of clips of him interacting with volunteers

Obama is also seen taking a moment to thank two young girls who are overjoyed to share their selfless work with the president.

‘You guys are doing such a great job helping out,’ he said, while bending down to give one of the children a hug.

‘I’m really proud of ya,’ Obama added, while going back to backing food items with other volunteers. 

Before he left, Obama signed a blackboard at the food bank featuring his signature word, 'Hope'
Obama wrote, 'Hope requires action'

Before he left, Obama signed a blackboard at the food bank featuring his signature word, ‘Hope,’ with the phrase, ‘Hope requires action’

'Happy Thanksgiving everybody,' Obama said, while waving at the large group of volunteers. 'I'm really proud of you guys'

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‘Happy Thanksgiving everybody,’ Obama said, while waving at the large group of volunteers. ‘I’m really proud of you guys’

He shared the same sentiment with the group at large before leaving the food bank. 

‘Happy Thanksgiving everybody,’ he said, while waving at the large group of volunteers. ‘I’m really proud of you guys.’

Before he left, Obama signed a blackboard at the food bank featuring his signature word, ‘Hope,’ with the phrase, ‘Hope requires action.’ 

FRAC’s report anaylzed the seriousness of food scarcity across the US by recording responses to the question: ‘Have there been times in the past twelve months when you did not have enough money to buy food that you or your family needed?’

The Greater Chicago Food Depository serves the city of Chicago and Cook County, is located on West Ann Lurie Place

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The Greater Chicago Food Depository serves the city of Chicago and Cook County, is located on West Ann Lurie Place

A ‘yes’ answer to this question was considered to signal that the household experienced food hardship in the report.

FRAC uses the phrase ‘food hardship’ to avoid confusion with the annual Census Bureau and US.s Department of Agriculture survey and analysis that produces ‘food insecurity’ numbers, but the group said the concepts are comparable. 

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