• Lunch Bus – South Suburbs, Route information
    • We will only be serving Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to limit the contact for both staff and the community. Youth will be receiving a food bag each day (M/W/F) containing two days’ worth of meals, this will be a mix of fresh and shelf stable meal items. Youth do not need to be present for adults or guardians to pick-up these bags for their children. Families do not need to eat meals on the premise and are encouraged to leave after meal pick-up. We will be serving at each stop for 35 minutes and will be working to practice and enforce social distancing at each Lunch Bus stop according to the CDC guidelines.
    • Lunch Bus South Suburb Stops:
      • Lansing Public Library: 10:55-11:30a
      • Jirtle Park – Chicago Heights Park District: 11:55a-12:30p
      • Smith Park – Chicago Heights Park District: 1:05-1:40p
      • Blue Island Public Library: 2:15-2:50p

We also know this is a challenging time for so many families. We want you to know that the Greater Chicago Food Depository continues to monitor the developments related to Coronavirus (COVID-19) and is co-leading a collaborative effort at the City and County level to provide food to the people are who are most in need during the coronavirus pandemic.

I want to start by taking a moment to share some resources that are currently available to families during this time:

  • Getting assistance during the pandemic: See attached flyer for a detailed overview of what you need to know about food and other benefits. We hope this helps provide a central place for some key information to support community members during this time.
  • Access to youth meals:
    • Between 9 a.m and 1 p.m. daily, Chicago Public Schools is providing free food boxes that will contain three days of breakfast and lunches at a time for families to take home. These are available for anyone that shows up to the school – and is intended for anyone in the household 18 and under.  Other school districts within Chicago are also continuing to provide meals during this time – specific information on their meal plans can be found on their websites, so there are a good number of access points for youth meals across Chicago.
  • Access to food items: Individuals can be referred to the Greater Chicago Food Depository’s network of food pantries across Cook County. With some exceptions, the majority of our network continues to operate, and with social distancing and public health policies in place.
    • Families are able to find a food program here. We recommend calling before visiting to confirm program hours. I am attaching a flyer with referral information that can be shared out with your families.
  • Public benefits support: As you may know, IDHS has closed all but 14 of their local public aid offices. The Greater Chicago Food Depository has increased the number of staff answering our benefits outreach hotline so we can better assist individuals with SNAP and Medicaid benefits. The Food Depository’s benefits outreach team is available by phone to help individuals apply for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Medicaid benefits. SNAP benefits can be used to purchase groceries from local stores. For benefits outreach assistance, call 773-843-5416 on Mondays-Fridays between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. or apply directly with the Illinois Department of Human Services at abe.illinois.gov.
      • Need food or health insurance? Prevent the spread of COVID-19 and skip the local benefits office. We can help you apply for and manage SNAP and Medicaid benefits from home. Visit the Greater Chicago Food Depository for more info: www.chicagosfoodbank.org/benefits-outreach
      • ¿Necesita alimentos o aseguranza médica? Evite la propagación de COVID-19 y evite la oficina local de ayuda pública. Podemos ayudarle a solicitar beneficios para alimentos y tarjeta médica desde su hogar. Comuníquese con nuestro Equipo de Alcance de Beneficios Públicos al 773-843-5416 o visite nuestro sitio web para más información: www.chicagosfoodbank/benefits-outreach
      • P-EBT: P-EBT is a program that provides the value of free school breakfast and lunch via electronic benefits transfer (EBT) cards to children who would normally access these meals at schoolSee attached to learn more about this new resource, along with a guide to eligibility for parents with school-age children.

As we have been referring families to access emergency food support through our network of pantry partners, we are strengthening our support of pantry partners and increasing communication and reporting efforts in order for us to better understand how the needs are changing at the community level day by day, as well as identifying any gaps in access.