A 37,000 square-foot meal-prep facility and an 80,000 square-foot urban garden will be built near the Greater Chicago Food Depository's headquarters on the Southwest Side. Credit: Chicago Department of Planning and Development

ARCHER HEIGHTS — The Greater Chicago Food Depository is setting up a Southwest Side facility after securing City Council approval Wednesday.

The organization can move forward with a 37,000-square-foot site and 80,000-square-foot urban garden next to its existing 275,000-square-foot warehouse and packaging facility at Keeler Avenue and 40th Street.

The organization unveiled its plans for the new space in 2019, recognizing a growing need to provide pre-packaged meals for older residents, people with disabilities and people unable to travel to pick up food. The project faced delays due to the pandemic.

The coronavirus pandemic forced the group to shift gears, as record numbers of Chicagoans have struggled with food insecurity.

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