Greater Chicago Food Depository

  www.chicagosfoodbank.org
  www.chicagosfoodbank.org
Work in HR? Unlock Free Profile

Greater Chicago Food Depository Reviews

Updated May 29, 2014
Updated May 29, 2014
12 Reviews
1.9
12 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
(no image)
Katherine R. Maehr
2 Ratings

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great Opportunity

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Coordinator  in  Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Coordinator in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Greater Chicago Food Depository full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Lots of growth opportunity at lower level positions.

    Cons

    Mid-management and above, growth opportunities more limited

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Create better career paths for all,.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Morale Crusher

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous
    Former Employee - Anonymous

    I worked at Greater Chicago Food Depository full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Staff cares about the mission.

    Cons

    Long 10-14 hour days are the normal, no work/life balance, high turnover.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Volunteer

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Greater Chicago Food Depository

    Pros

    Very fun environment to volunteer in , they definitely make you feel like your making a difference

    Cons

    Its a lengthy process to complete your paperwork and get it approved in order to volunteer but its worth it

  4. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
  5. 4 people found this helpful  

    Beware, you seriously do not want to work here. Stay far away and look elsewhere.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Greater Chicago Food Depository full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The mission of the Food Depository is fantastic and most of the employees there are great to work with, even if the turnover rate is very high and employees usually do not last longer than a year. Everyone works toward the mission and pitches in to help when need be.

    Cons

    The senior management is horrible and has created an environment of fear and manipulation the staff calls it "The GCFD Fear Tactics" and employees are so micromanaged most leave feeling confused about their abilities. They hire staff in upper management roles that have no experience or skill set in their area. They give you tasks with no direction and when you ask for clarity you are reprimanded and insulted. They then make you do all of their work and take the credit for it. Believe me the reviews you read here are not the rants of disgruntled employees but an honest evaluation of the upper management. The people who work here want the organization to succeed and care about the mission but can't stand to stay because of the way they are treated and micromanaged or in some cases not managed at all. I was treated horribly by my supervisor for more than 3 months when I finally spoke with HR about it I got no support and the unprofessional and disrespectful behavior continued. The senior team did not even support the staff they sided with the supervisor. They do not support a work life balance and expect you to be there from 8am to 7pm and you will get spoken to about your hours if you do not. The communication between upper management and staff is horrible you will not get a complete story or explanation from anyone. Getting time off for an appointment or family function is an ordeal. All salaried staff are treated like hourly employees. You are not allowed to have an opinion or bring your creative ideas to the table, they will be dismissed and you will get spoken to by HR when you speak your opinion in meetings. The expectation is you sit at your desk do what you are told do not talk to your coworkers and ask no questions. Staff in management roles are treated like administrative assistants and it is rationalized by saying "it is a different kind of environment here". You will get hauled into an office and spoken to consistently about petty matters. I would not accept a job offer here it is to the detriment of your career. There are much better places to work in the Chicagoland area.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The board needs to come in and clean house. The CEO goes through a new administrative assistant every 2 months or less because the person cannot handle working for her. She is also only friendly with certain staff members. Senior Management should stop playing favorites with staff members and treat everyone equally. There are certain departments that need new upper management staff that know what they are doing and can help their departments grow and flourish. This place is a mess and people resign at least once a week and there are always job openings. It is not due to growth it is due to people leaving because the environment is so horrible to work in.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Soul Crusher

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Greater Chicago Food Depository full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The mission of the Food Depository is important and most of the employees there are great to work with, even if they won't stay around long.

    Cons

    The senior management has created an environment of fear and manipulation and employees are so micromanaged most leave feeling confused about their abilities. The reviews you read here are not the rants of disgruntled employees but an honest evaluation of the management. The people who work here want the organization to succeed and care about the mission but can't stand to stay because of the way they are treated.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Put away your silly insecurities and listen to the well educated staff you hired; they care about the mission and know what they are talking about - even if they disagree with you.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Don't apply for a job here!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Greater Chicago Food Depository full-time

    Pros

    The mission is the big driver here -- employees care about it and give their all. The organization has a great public image and is a champion fundraiser, but this covers up what goes on behind closed doors.

    Cons

    The problem is with upper management -- there is considerable lack of distrust between employees and management. Upper management (not direct supervisors) changed staff performance reviews minutes before those reviews were scheduled to occur. Staff are berated for wearing the wrong perfume, the wrong clothes, or having the wrong hairstyles. Staff are underpaid whereas management staff are taking home HUGE paychecks by comparison. Bonuses are provided based on favoritism, not performance. This is not an equitable work environment -- it's managed like a financial institution from the 1980s . . . but it's a food bank.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat your employees better. Include them in decision making. Adjust pay scales. Implement a transparent process for promotions and bonuses and raises. Give staff room to do their jobs and innovate.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    A paternalistic, dictator-like management structure

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Coordinator  in  Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Coordinator in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Greater Chicago Food Depository full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The organization includes many talented staff members who are dedicated to ending hunger throughout Cook County in partnership with amazing community-based agencies, and willing to do so for less pay than they are worth. However, as many reviews have mentioned, upper management is a serious drawback to working here, and an impediment to employee growth, agency innovation, and reduces overall capacity to fight against hunger in Chicagoland.

    Cons

    The focus of the corporate-minded board of directors and executive leadership is to build relationships with donors, media, and grass-tops industry stakeholders, while appearing to view direct partners, including local soup kitchens, shelters and food pantries, as misguided children that need to be kept in line. This same attitude of paternalism is reflected in how on-the-ground staff is treated; no matter what your background, education or experience, how long you have worked there, or what you've done for the organization, staff is seen as disposable and needing to be micromanaged, silenced and controlled. This counter-productive culture is reflected across departments: transportation, warehouse, and office staff. Middle management, responding to constant intimidation and an extremely unstable work environment, are either unable or unwilling to do anything about this reality for those they supervise. As one might imagine, turnover is extremely high.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    To say this is a missed opportunity and complete waste of talent and potential is an understatement. CEO, COO and Vice President level management should either re-prioritize or be removed.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great Mission; Horrible Place to Work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Greater Chicago Food Depository full-time

    Pros

    The mission is fantastic. The organization is fiscally sound; the staff works tirelessly to ensure that the mission is accomplished and that the member partners are informed and supported.

    Cons

    Despite the wonderful mission, the true potential of the organization is limited by the internal dysfunction. For employees it can be a truly horrible working environment. An atmosphere of fear and intimidation is cultivated by the top management. There is a tremendous amount of turn over creating a chaotic and disorganized work environment, made worse by the ever changing expectations of a fickle and vengeful management. There is no clear path for development within the organization. There is no recourse for employees except to leave.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Change in top leadership, new board members with a focus on nonprofit management; investigation from external governing body to review labor relation practices.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  10.  

    They break you down but don't build you up again

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Greater Chicago Food Depository full-time

    Pros

    They hire some pretty amazing people (although they can't hold onto them) who I really loved working with each day. They made coming to work fun and meaningful because they truly cared about the mission of the organization.

    Cons

    Upper management, specifically the COO and CEO, were difficult to work under. From day to day, you never knew what you would get when you walked into the door. I haven never been treated so poorly by a supervisor as I was at the Food Depository. I was yelled at, admonished in front my entire team for something I didn't do and told that I was looking "thick" because we would bring donuts in periodically. One day the entire staff was told our cars would be towed from the parking lot if our parking placards weren't displayed appropriately in our cars (nevermind we used badges to get in and out of the lot and the fact many of the staff is paid minimum wage - who could afford getting towed?). They hire people to perform specific jobs and management impeded our ability to actually do them by micromanaging everything. I truly felt that I lost some of my work skills during my time there. Frankly, I was overpaid for what they actually allowed me to do. When I left, some people sent me resumes in case I could help them find a new job.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I think the board needs to get involved and clean house. Some of the Food Depository's leadership have been there too long and will eventually run a wonderful organization into the ground. The amount of money this nonprofit is spending on the hiring of new people and unemployment costs is a waste of donor money and could be spent on the mission. The revolving door they have is ridiculously costly to their bottom line and most importantly, the people they serve.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  11.  

    An essential mission for hungry families, great employees, very dysfunctional C-suite.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Greater Chicago Food Depository

    Pros

    The mission is important. The agency provides millions of pounds of food each year to low-income families. The organization attracts talented, committed employees who care about the issue.

    Cons

    The organization is badly managed. Senior managers are treated like children, given no authority and second-guessed at every turn. Employees live in constant fear; morale is terrible and turnover is high. The board has been informed of these problems on multiple occasions but either doesn't care about how poorly the place is managed, or doesn't know how to fix it. Anyone thinking of working here should speak to at least one former employee from any department -- you'd get an earful. Most people are too intimidated to speak up, but their stories are the same: secretive, unstable management, opaque decision making, and an overall toxic environment.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Start over.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

Worked for Greater Chicago Food Depository? Contribute to the Community!

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.