+ Marketing and Communications to Raise Awareness, Increase Influence, Build Success.

Greater Chicago Food Depository

“Melcher+Tucker Consultants has played an integral role in shaping the Greater Chicago Food Depository’s communications and marketing for more than a decade. MTC’s message development and strategic outreach capabilities have enhanced our ability to raise awareness of hunger in Cook County.”

Greater Chicago Food Depository

Strategic Communications Planning & Implementation, Branding, Media Relations


The Greater Chicago Food Depository is one of the country’s largest food banks, providing 70 million pounds of food to men, women and children in the Chicago area through a network of 650 pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and programs.  In 2001, preparing for a major expansion of facilities and programs, the Food Depository launched a $30 million capital campaign amidst a challenging fundraising environment. Following the campaign, the Food Depository expanded its marketing and communications activities to heighten visibility and raise awareness among funders, volunteers and policymakers. In 2009, the Food Depository marked its 30th anniversary and launched a citywide public awareness campaign. More recently, the Food Depository has refined its branding and messaging to heighten awareness of its every-day commitment to the community and its innovation.

Our Work

Melcher+Tucker Consultants initially collaborated with the Food Depository's management and graphic designers to develop and write all content for the capital campaign materials. MTC interviewed management, staff and volunteers, and visited food pantries and homeless shelters. The campaign materials were widely praised for compelling story-telling. We developed the media plan and information kit for the campaign launch. Since the successful conclusion of the campaign and opening of a new warehouse and training center, MTC has provided counsel to senior management on issues ranging from brand messaging, leadership transition and strategic planning to public relations, issue development, and signature event planning. From 2014 through early 2016, MTC served as acting Chief Marketing Officer, working to develop messaging, a new advertising campaign and communications strategy.


The Food Depository’s brand and its service have become widely recognized and respected locally and nationally. We have executed local and national media relations campaigns; assisted in the planning of major events, from the opening of a new facility to its 30th anniversary; conducted media training for senior management; and provided strategic counsel to leadership. The Food Depository has been featured in Chicago print and TV outlets, plus the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, FastCompany, Business Week, The NewsHour and NBC Nightly News. Its current leader, Kate Maehr, was honored as one of Chicago’s top young executives in Crain’s Chicago Business 40 Under 40 issue and, in 2013, received Feeding America’s Dick Goebel Public Service award for her service to communities, extensive public policy advocacy, and tireless energy and creativity in developing solutions to help reach increasing numbers. Perhaps most important, the Food Depository is now serving more hungry men, women and children than ever before.

Strategic Positioning

Understand where you are, determine where you can go.

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Media Relations

Tell your story persuasively, generate attention.

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Brand Development

Define and secure your most important asset.

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Fundraising Communications

Build your case, further your mission.

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Recent Work

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  • Brand Development
  • Fundraising Communications
  • Media Relations
  • Strategic Positioning
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  • New York University Silver School of Social Work

    Messaging, Brand Positioning, Strategic Communications Planning

  • Writers Theatre

    Capital Campaign Collateral Development, Media Relations

  • Greater Chicago Food Depository

    Strategic Communications Planning & Implementation, Branding, Media Relations

  • Perkins+Will

    Marketing & Media Relations

Our Clients Are Saying...

  • “For Communities In Schools of Chicago working with Melcher+Tucker Consultants was like having a “third eye” with regard to understanding how to tell the story of our work supporting public school students. They have tremendous insight in forecasting which stories will resonate with Chicago media and beyond, and worked collaboratively with our organization, and our school and community partners, to develop rich, authentic stories that would raise our profile.”

    Jane Mentzinger
    Executive Director
    Communities In Schools of Chicago
  • “Melcher+Tucker Consultants provided us with a critical messaging framework that will help our Development Committee and our Development staff talk persuasively with our donors about activities that are at the core of The Field Museum – scientific research and discovery in the Natural Sciences. With their assistance, we are now able to communicate more powerfully the role our research and collections play.”

    Laura Biddle Clarke
    Former Senior Director, Institutional Advancement
    The Field Museum
  • “Rick Melcher exemplifies the highest standards of professionalism and dedication and it has been an honor and a pleasure to work with him.  I don't know anyone better at working with customers to understand what they need, and his thoughtful guidance and support were essential to our success.”

    Nell Minow
    Founder and Board member
    GMI Ratings
  • “Melcher+Tucker Consultants has played an integral role in shaping the Greater Chicago Food Depository’s communications and marketing for more than a decade. MTC’s message development and strategic outreach capabilities have enhanced our ability to raise awareness of hunger in Cook County.”

    Kate Maehr
    Chief Executive Officer,
    Greater Chicago Food Depository
  • "Over the many years I have worked with Melcher+Tucker Consultants, I have always been impressed with their professionalism, strategic thinking and willingness to do what it takes to get things done. Their cheerful competence and wise guidance helped me and my organization successfully navigate through complex and challenging situations."

    Andrea Durbin
    Chief Executive Officer,
    Illinois Collaboration on Youth
  • “Working with Melcher+Tucker Consultants was a satisfying experience for me and my staff.  Rick and Anne can be trusted to both design and deliver a highly strategized and well-executed product or plan in a timely and thoroughly professional manner.”

    Ann Lurie
    Ann and Robert H. Lurie Foundation
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    Former Executive Director
    Project Exploration
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    Debra Cafaro
    Chairman and CEO
    Ventas, Inc.
  • “Melcher+Tucker Consultants was instrumental in helping Writers Theatre craft the best possible fundraising brochure and accompanying materials for our On To A New Stage Campaign - a $32 million project to establish a Jeanne Gang-designed theatre center on Chicago's North Shore. Rick and Anne listened to the many voices at the table, and quickly assessed and understood the project and our potential audience. They integrated all of the project details and our story into a streamlined, cohesive, and high impact piece.”

    Kim Swinton
    Director of Institutional Advancement
    Writers Theatre