Sue Cobley

Sue Cobley

Feeding America

More Than Words Program Award Recipients 2004 – Sue Cobley

Feeding America

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35 East Wacker Drive, Suite 2000
Chicago, IL 60601
Phone: 800.771.2303
Fax: 312.263.5626

Web site:


In the face of adversity, a person’s true nature often comes to the forefront. In the face of hunger for herself and her five children, Sue Cobley fed an idea that changed a community. The Chefs to the Rescue Program was the creation of a woman who knows adversity.

Most people just comment or shake their heads at the food wasted at restaurants or grocery stores, but in 1996 Sue Cobley took action. A victim of an abusive husband, she divorced and in the process, lost everything. Evicted from her rented property, left with only a small car, a small wage and a cleaning job, Sue kept her children in school, off the streets, clothed and fed to the best of her ability. It was during this difficult time that she remarkably began seeking out food for people she saw as worse off than she was.

Within two weeks of first becoming homeless, Sue was in an Albertson’s store and saw employees there throwing out food that had been prepared for the store deli but not sold. "It just clicked," she says. "I thought, there’s got to be a use for that food." She talked it over with her children and everyone agreed it would be a family project. There was food going to waste and people who needed it. Their job would be to provide the link between the two. Without knowing it, Sue had discovered food recovery.

Recognizing that even in the horrific situation she was in, there were people less fortunate has been the inspiration for Sue Cobley.

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