Dear Chicago Residents and Partners,
As the City continues efforts to mitigate spread of COVID-19, ensuring the most vulnerable
have access to food remains a top priority. In partnership with The Salvation Army and the
Greater Chicago Food Depository, the City’s Emergency Food Coordination Center is
continuing to offer existing food support programs for vulnerable Chicagoans.
Children and teens who are food vulnerable have access to meals and food boxes via
Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and the Archdiocese of Chicago. For the closest CPS
Grab and Go Meal Sites, visit:
Children and teens who are in quarantine because they tested positive, were exposed
to someone who tested positive, or have symptoms, are able to request a meal delivery
by calling the CPS Hotline at 773-553-KIDS (5437).
Adults who are food vulnerable should continue to utilize the existing food pantry
system. The Food Depository is Chicago’s food bank, serving a network of hundreds of
food pantries and similar programs. Anyone who needs food and can access a food
pantry – or knows someone who can visit a food pantry for them – should
visit www.chicagosfoodbank,org/find-food/ or call 773-247-3663 to find the food
pantry nearest to them. Residents should call the food pantry in advance to ensure
hours of operations.
Adults 19-59 who are in quarantine because they tested positive, were exposed to
someone who tested positive, or have symptoms, who need direct food deliveries and
do not qualify for existing food support services can go to 311.chicago.gov, download
CHI311 mobile app or call 3-1-1 to submit a request. The Salvation Army will provide
these emergency meal box deliveries, typically within 72 hours.
The broader senior community that do not have alternate food sources are encouraged
to contact the Department of Family and Support Services’ call center at 312-746-4016
(Monday through Friday) from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for the Meals on Wheels Program.
These seniors will receive a weekly meal delivery of six meals to their home. Chicago
Housing Authority (CHA) senior residents 60 and over can also contact CHA’s
UPDATE ON CITY’S COVID-19 TESTING CENTERS – On Monday, May 18, Mayor Lori E.
Lightfoot joined co-founders of Community Organized Relief Effort (CORE), Sean Penn and
Ann Lee, to provide an update on the City’s COVID-19 testing facilities, which are strategically
placed throughout Chicago to target the neighborhoods most in need. The City has already
opened and begun operating three testing sites in communities that have experienced a
disproportionate impact from COVID-19. The first two sites were Maria Saucedo Scholastic
Academy, which opened on Wednesday, May 13, in the Little Village neighborhood and Dr.
Jorge Prieto Math and Science Academy, which opened on Friday, May 15, in the Belmont
Cragin neighborhood. Together, these two sites have collectively conducted over 800 tests in
the less than one week they have been open. Yesterday, the City opened another testing site
for symptomatic residents in Columbus Park located on the far West Side of Chicago. The
remaining sites will have staggered launches over the next several weeks. City officials and
CORE co-founders were joined by world renowned chef and humanitarian José Andrés.
Andrés is the founder of nonprofit World Central Kitchen (WCK) which will be providing fresh
meals to the medical workers and teams staffing the testing sites. WCK has already
distributed 75,000 fresh meals to Chicagoans in need and the city's frontline workers at
hospitals, testing sites, senior centers and other community sites. Most of the meals are
sourced from local restaurants simultaneously stimulating the city's economy while providing
Mental Health Awareness Month - May is Mental Health Awareness Month. During this crisis,
it is important to remind ourselves, as well as friends and family, that it is normal to feel sad,
anxious, or overwhelmed. If symptoms become worse, encourage them, and yourself, to
reach out for support and help. The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) is offering
free mental health resources that are available to all Chicago families. In addition, CDPH has
compiled a list of tips and resources to help residents cope during this tough time such as -
Tips on Managing Anxiety about COVID-19, Mental Health and Coping During COVID-19,
and Guidance for Parents in Talking to Children about COVID-19. Please go to the Chicago
Department of Health’s website to find contact info and more information
on mental health and other resources.
Resources for People with Disabilities - Adults 59 years and younger with a disability can
contact the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities to be assessed for In-home services –
case management, assistive devices, homemaker services, home modification, etc. - by
calling 312-746-5773 (Monday through Friday) from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Learn more at
Chicago Rx - The Chicago Rx Card is a free and easy way to save up to 80% on prescription
drugs at more than 59,000 pharmacies across the country including Rite Aid, Kroger, Osco,
CVS, Walmart, Walgreens and many more. No registration or prequalification needed. The
card is free, pre-activated and can be used immediately! The Chicago Rx card can be used by
individuals and family members regardless of a person’s health, age, immigration status, or
income, and there are no limits on how many times it can be used. Find out more at
Smart 911 - Sign up for Smart 911 and create a safety profile for yourself and your family. In
the event of an emergency, your Safety Profile is made available to call takers the moment
your phone or one associated with your account dials 9-1-1. The service is free and sign up
can be completed in minutes at smart911.com.
Chi COVID Coach - The Chi COVID Coach app is developed to help you know what to do if you
have COVID-19 symptoms. Once you sign up, we’ll check back with you via text message.
We'll let you know what you and the other people in your household should do to limit the
spread of COVID-19, help you know how long you need to stay separated from others, and
give you day-by-day guidance throughout a potential isolation or quarantine period.
Additionally, when you register with our Chi COVID Coach, we will alert you when COVID-19 approved antibody testing - and down the line, vaccination - is available. Learn more at