How to access Chicago food banks during coronavirus crisis

CHICAGO (WLS) -- With unemployment skyrocketing during the coronavirus outbreak, many families will find themselves needing help for the first time. Over 37 million people don't have access to nutritious food, including 1 in 12 seniors and 1 in 7 children.

If you are struggling with food insecurity, here are a few organizations in the greater Chicago area that can help.

Greater Chicago Food Depository

The Greater Chicago Food Depository, Chicago's food bank, serves all of Cook County through a network of food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and mobile distributions to offer food for anyone in need. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Food Depository and its network are responding daily to meet the rising need while modifying operations to serve people quickly and safely in this time of social distancing. If you or someone you know are in need of food, you can find a Food Depository partner or distribution near you at or by calling 773-247-3663.

Northern Illinois Food Bank
If you or someone you know is in need of help, please reach out to us and our network - we are here to help! Visit to find a food pantry near you, view our calendar of upcoming mobile pantry distributions, and access additional resources. You can also call our SNAP Outreach Team seven days a week, at 844-600-7627 for help with SNAP (food stamp) applications, to connect with your local food pantry, or other resources.

Lakeview Pantry- Multiple locations

Until further notice, Lakeview Pantry said they will not have service area boundaries during the COVID-19 pandemic and are serving residents from throughout Chicago. Their home Delivery program serves our elderly, disabled, and homebound neighbors who cannot physically make it into the pantry.

Lakeview Pantry has also opened a temporary site at the Wrigley Field Concourse.

Distribution hours are Tuesday & Saturday every 12 p.m. -2 p.m.

Care For Real Pop-Up Pantry- Rogers Park

Location: United Church of Rogers Park- 1545 W Morse Ave, Chicago, IL 60626

People will have access to canned goods, meat, dairy products, rice, beans and fresh fruit.

Distribution hours are every Tuesday from 12 p.m. - 2 p.m.

Care for Friends- Lincoln Park

Location: 530 W. Fullerton Parkway, Chicago, IL 60657

They provide lunch to-go and Market Table of dinner items to cook. Clothing is also available for distribution each Monday at 10:30 a.m.

Distribution hours are Mondays, Thursdays, Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. - Noon.

Chicago Public Schools

Families can pick up meals at the district school that's closest to them Monday through Friday, between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.

CPS will provide every child in a household a food bag that contains three days of breakfast and lunch meals. Families can also pick up enrichment activity packets at schools.

CPS said select charter school locations will also provide free meals.

How to help

Chicago-area food banks have reported a "dramatic increase" in demand as many residents seek assistance for the first time during the coronavirus pandemic. If you're in a position to donate time, food or money to a local food bank or other organization, click here to find out how you can help.

Click here to see all of our coronavirus coverage from ABC7 Chicago or click here to see the latest information from Gov. Pritzker.

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