Jennifer Nau
on behalf of Feeding Illinois
630.443.6910 x139

Long-time hunger relief expert named Executive Director of Feeding Illinois

CHICAGO, Ill., January 3, 2017 – Feeding Illinois, the state association of food banks serving all 102 counties across Illinois, has announced the appointment of Matthew Coatar as its new Executive Director. He will assume responsibilities on January 3, 2017. Feeding Illinois coordinates and supports the efforts of member food banks serving Illinois, enabling them to better provide a healthy and adequate food supply to those in need.

Coatar brings a wealth of experience to the organization and has been directly involved with hunger relief on a national level with Feeding America, where he served for more than ten years in the arenas of compliance and capability development, as well as special programs. Past duties included strategic planning, budgeting, capability management, development, fundraising and lobbying. Most recently, Coatar was involved with an organization that provided customer support for an enterprise technology solution dedicated to food banks where he developed relationships with more than 100 organizations across the United States to gain perspective on best practices for operations, fundraising and data management.

“I’m thrilled to be joining Feeding Illinois,” says Coatar. “Nearly 12.9 percent of residents in the state* struggle with hunger. Most of them are working families, children and the elderly. As Executive Director, I plan to use my experience from the food banking industry to establish best practices and improve processes across the state through our member agencies, community, corporate and government partners. Together, we can solve hunger in Illinois.”

Julie Yurko, Feeding Illinois Board Chair and Northern Illinois Food Bank President and CEO adds, “Matt is a great addition to the organization. We look forward to him applying the knowledge he’s gained throughout his career to meet the needs of our hungry neighbors across the state.”

To learn more about Feeding Illinois visit

About Feeding Illinois
Feeding Illinois is the state food bank association, which works with eight food banks that serve every county in Illinois through a vast network of partners. Member food banks include Central Illinois Food Bank, Eastern Illinois Food Bank, Greater Chicago Food Depository, Northern Illinois Food Bank, Peoria Area Food Bank, River Bend Food Bank, St. Louis Area Food Bank and Tri-State Food Bank. The number of those who are hunger in Illinois can be staggering, and Feeding Illinois members play a critical role in responding to this need. More than 1.9 million people in the state have been assisted by our network**.

About Greater Chicago Food Depository
The Greater Chicago Food Depository, Chicago’s food bank, is a nonprofit food distribution and training center providing food for hungry people while striving to end hunger in our community. The Food Depository, founded in 1979, makes a daily impact across Cook County with a network of 650 pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, mobile programs, children’s programs, older adult programs and innovative responses that address the root causes of hunger. Last year, the Food Depository distributed 68 million pounds of shelf-stable food, fresh produce, dairy products and meat, the equivalent of 155,000 meals every day. For more information, visit or call 773-247-FOOD.

About Northern Illinois Food Bank
Northern Illinois Food Bank leads the Northern Illinois community in solving hunger by providing nutritious meals to those in need through innovative programs and partnerships. Since 1983, food manufacturers, local grocers, corporations, foundations, and individuals have come together to donate food and funds, and evaluate and repack food for distribution to 800 community food pantries and feeding programs serving more than 71,500 hungry neighbors each week across 13 counties. That commitment provided 62.5 million meals to those in need in FY16. Find out how you can volunteer, donate and get involved at or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Northern Illinois Food Bank is a member of Feeding America.

*Map the Meal Gap, Feeding America National Office, 2016
**Hunger in America, Feeding America National Office, 2014