Ways Chicagoans can help others during the COVID-19 'stay-at-home' order

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Sunday, March 22, 2020
Emergency food boxes prepared by Greater Chicago Food Depository
Each box contains a series of essential food ingredients along with non-perishables.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- There are ways to help others during Chicago's stay-at-home order.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot encouraged residents to check on family, friends and neighbors.

"While this may be a time of physical isolation, we still need to be bonded together as a community," Lightfoot said.

"Check in on your neighbors": While state and local officials emphasized that people should not rush to grocery stores since their operations aren't changing under the new order, t

To ensure food access to all those in need, the city is collaborating with the Salvation Army, the Greater Chicago Food depository and Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago.

The Salvation Army's Metropolitan Division emergency disaster services will be providing mobile feeding services. Volunteers are preparing 75,000 meals within 48 hours.

The Greater Chicago Food Depository network benefits outreach team is also available by phone to help Chicagoans apply for SNAP and Medicaid benefits. Residents can call 773-843-5416 Monday-Friday between 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., or apply directly with the Illinois Department of Human Services.

RELATED: Emergency food boxes prepared by Greater Chicago Food Depository as food insecurity grows during COVID-19 outbreak

Archdiocese of Chicago has over 120 sites helping residents. Catholic Charities will continue to serve residents at their food pantries and evening meal programs.

Both the Salvation Army and Greater Food Chicago Depository are accepting volunteers.

"The time is now to step up and help them because they are helping us," Lightfoot said.

Chicago Public Schools will also continue to provide three meals a day for each child in a household. Food packages can be picked up from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. every weekday during the stay-at-home order at any CPS School.

Another way to help is by supporting local nonprofit organizations through what's called the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund.

It was created by the Chicago Community Trust and the United way. As of Saturday, the fund had reached $13.5 million.

"As difficult as things are now, we are seeing the resiliency that is part of this city's DNA and our resolve to make sure that we do everything that we can to be neighbors to each other to get us through this difficult time and to the other side," Lightfoot said.