Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
  Cook County has the largest unified trial court system in the world, disposing over 6 million cases in 1990 alone.
   
     
     
     



Markham court needs to restore kids' food program

Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Daily Southtown

Amid our recent holiday feeding frenzies centered on the almighty barbecue, how many of us stopped to think how fortunate we were to have access to good food and lots of it?

Did you bother at all to think about those for whom a small portion of your backyard repast would seem like a feast?

A few recent developments here in the Southland should serve as reminders that many of our neighbors struggle to find proper nutrition for themselves and their families and that attempts to help these people often don't go far enough or become derailed. We'll comment on one development today and a couple of others Thursday.

Staff writer Jonathan Lipman reported in Monday's Southtown about how a once worthwhile food program for children at the Markham courthouse was canceled. The program was started in the mid-1990s after Sheila Murphy, then the presiding judge at Markham, noticed that many of the children who accompanied their parents into the courthouse obviously were not receiving adequate nourishment. The Markham courthouse serves the poorest suburban communities in Cook County. Many of the families can't afford good, nutritious food. If they could, there is no cafeteria at the courthouse. The nearest restaurant is almost a mile away.

A program was set up to provide fruit and other nutritious snacks to children who were tended to in the court's child-care area while their parents were in courtrooms, often for day-long sessions. Similar programs spread to six other courthouses in Cook County. In 2005, the Greater Chicago Food Depository provided 7,600 pounds of food to the courthouses at a cost of just $527.

But last August, the program was abruptly halted. The food depository, by federal regulation, can distribute only the food through a non-profit agency. A court-affiliated agency handled the distribution until 2002 when the county's chief judge, Timothy Evans, shut it down, saying it was unethical for a program affiliated with the courts to seek charitable donations. The food continued to be distributed until last summer when the food depository finally discovered the agency no longer existed and had no choice but to stop making deliveries. Loyola University Health Systems has become the affiliated agency at two other courthouses, and the Chicago Public Schools provide free lunches during summer months at courthouses in Chicago. As for the kids at Markham, they now receive cookies and crackers "intermittently" -- hardly part of a healthy diet.

We hope some local non-profit agency can step up and fill the void at Markham. The food depository is poised to start delivering again. And we wish Judge Evans would show as much compassion today as Judge Murphy did back in the 1990s. Evans told Lipman, "We're not a nutritional site ... we're not trying to say that we're providing lunch. We're not saying we're trying to provide kids with exactly the same thing everywhere."

True, the courts aren't nutritional sites, but Evans has been around long enough to know the circumstances of the children whose parents appear on the other side of his bench. These kids are guilty of nothing more than being hungry, and the chief judge should have made sure his action in 2002 didn't hamper what was a worthwhile program -- one indeed that put the court in a good light.

It's time to get the good food back in the Markham courthouse.

Tomorrow: The Greater Chicago Food Depository identifies gaps in food distribution in the south suburbs, and the community rallies to save well-known food pantry in Markham.

 



Recent Headlines

Cook County Land Bank Authority Announces Opening of Registration to Give Away a Free Home
Tuesday, August 13, 2019
The Chicago Crusader

NEW ILLINOIS LAW ENDS $120 FEE TO CLEAR FALSE CRIMINAL RECORDS IN COOK COUNTY
Friday, August 09, 2019
Illinois Policy

Top Cook County Jail chess players take on the world
Wednesday, August 07, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Public defender takes shots at Chicago Police gun offender webpage
Wednesday, August 07, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Commentary: Data alone won’t stop Chicago gun violence; Cook County needs a public ‘Violence Reduction Dashboard’
Wednesday, August 07, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Jail detainees take on inmates around the world in online chess tournament
Tuesday, August 06, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Here’s What You Need To Know About The Ongoing Bail Debate In Chicago
Monday, August 05, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

Cook County Jail hosts international chess tournament
Monday, August 05, 2019
WGN Chicago

Cook County property taxes are due today, Aug. 1.
Thursday, August 01, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Forest Preserves of Cook County Celebrate Dan Ryan Woods Investments
Thursday, August 01, 2019
Chicago Defender

Cook County TIFs generate $1.2 billion
Thursday, August 01, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Changes coming to Cook County assessor’s office
Thursday, August 01, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

In Chicago, TIF Revenues Soaring
Wednesday, July 31, 2019
WTTW News

A controversial tax subsidy program will generate a record $1.2 billion in revenue. Here’s what the number means for Chicago.
Wednesday, July 31, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Group to rally in support of Kim Foxx as challengers emerge
Tuesday, July 30, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Report: Incarceration Rates Drop Nearly 20% Under Kim Foxx
Monday, July 29, 2019
WTTW Chicago

Lightfoot blames bond court reform for gun violence
Thursday, July 25, 2019
Chicago Reporter

Cook County Health Hires Audit Firm To Review Scathing Inspector General Report
Thursday, July 25, 2019
WBEZ News

Former County Commissioner Shocked Animal Abuser Registry He Worked To Create Was Never Used
Thursday, July 25, 2019
CBS Chicago

No one on County Board sharing Arroyo’s view of inspector general
Wednesday, July 24, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP