The NFPN COVID-19 Hub

Updates, Info, and Resources for Community Organizations and Community Members

Last updated 6/19/2020 click to view latest updates


IMPORTANT UPDATE: We’ve created Spanish and English Food Resources Guides listing emergency food programs (i.e. food pantries and hot meal programs/soup kitchens) that are still operating on the Northwest Side of Chicago during the COVID-19 crisis. View and download them below.


COVID-19 has altered the way we will live and work for the foreseeable future. If you work at a community organization or receive assistance from community organizations, you probably have no shortage of questions.

  • How do I serve my community while also protecting myself and others from COVID-19?
  • Where should I get updates?
  • Which food pantries and hot meal programs are open?
  • Who can help me find financial, housing, or employment relief?

This page features tips, facts, links, and other resources intended to help Chicagoland community organizations handle the COVID-19 pandemic. It will be regularly updated with more resources as the Northwest Food Partners Network becomes aware of them.

Can’t find resources to help with your situation? We may be able to find a resource or community organization for you to contact.

Want to help our community deal with COVID-19? Click here to support NFPN!


Table of Contents

Resources in bold were recently added. Click on a link below to quickly scroll to a section.

  • Confused about face masks?
    • Why do I need to wear a mask?
    • I’m not coughing. Do I need to wear a mask?
    • What’s an N95 mask?
    • How do I make or buy a mask?
    • How and where should I wear my mask?
    • How do I clean my mask?
  • How can we protect ourselves against COVID-19?
    • COVID-19 Food Safety and Hygiene Resources
    • Pre-register for a Coronavirus Vaccine
    • Infografía sobre Protegernos contra COVID-19
    • Hygiene tips
    • West Side United infographic
    • Diluting your household bleach to use as a cleaning product
  • Getting Tested for COVID-19
    • Anyone Can Now Get Tested For Coronavirus In Illinois!
    • Illinois Department of Public Health Testing Guide
    • Should I get tested?
    • How do I get tested?
  • Where can I get my COVID-19 questions answered?
    • Lurie Children’s COVID-19 Call Center
    • Avoid Scams Related to COVID-19
    • Use Credible Sources of Information
    • Map of Chicago Coronavirus Deaths
    • Map of Illinois Coronavirus Cases
    • Map of Global Coronavirus Cases
  • Food Resources
    • Use Your Link Card to Buy Groceries Online
    • City of Chicago Grocery Store Status Map
    • NFPN Food Delivery Resource Guide
    • GCFD COVID-19 Pop-Up Pantries
    • P-EBT for Illinois Households with School-Aged Children
    • City Bureau COVID-19 Resource Finder
    • FoodCorps Gardening, Cooking, and Nutrition Lessons
    • SNAP Application Help
    • NFPN Food Resources Guide
    • Chicago Help Initiative Meal Resource Guide
    • Illinois Hunger Hotline
    • GCFD Info and Resources
    • Chicago Public Schools Grab-and-Go Meals
  • Immigrant and Refugee Resources
    • IDHS COVID-19 Resources for Immigrants and Refugees
    • ICIRR COVID-19 Immigrant Family Support Project Funds
    • Resources for Undocumented Immigrants and their Families During COVID-19
    • City Bureau COVID-19 Resource Finder
    • Elegibilidad de Inmigrantes Para Programas Públicos
      • (Immigrant Eligibility for Public Programs)
    • Emergency Funds for Undocumented Individuals and Households
    • ICIRR COVID-19 Resources for Immigrants
    • Legal Aid Chicago
  • Housing Resources
    • Chicago Homelessness Prevention Call Center
    • COVID-19 Rights and Resources for Youth and Families Experiencing Homelessness
    • Rentervention’s Free Housing Law Help
    • Housing Resource Guide by Latino Policy Forum
    • City of Chicago COVID-19 Housing Assistance
    • Chicago Homeless Shelters and Services
    • Eviction Legal Help
  • Financial Resources
    • Get Your Stimulus Check
    • Paying Utilities During COVID-19
    • New York Times Economic Help Hub
  • Employment and Unemployment Help
    • Contact Tracer Training Program ($28/hour)
    • Work as a Documenter
    • Unemployment and Public Benefits Help
      • Unemployment Benefits as a Gig Worker, 1099 Worker, or other Nontraditional Worker
  • Family Resources
    • Free Mentoring for Chicagoland Youth
    • $1 Childcare for Essential Workers
    • CPS Student Health and Wellness
    • Cradles to Crayons Resources for Families
  • Legal Help
    • Free Legal Help from Legal Aid Chicago
    • Rentervention’s Free Housing Law Help
  • Additional Resources
    • City Bureau COVID-19 Resource Finder
    • Block Club Chicago COVID-19 Advice
    • Howard Brown Sliding Scale Telehealth
    • Chicago Mutual Aid Resources
    • United Way 211 Hotline
  • Financial Assistance for Nonprofits
    • Eat the Change Impact Grants (CLOSED)
    • Open Road Alliance COVID-19 Grants and Loans
    • Emergent Fund
    • PPE Survey by CFPAC
    • Voices for Healthy Kids COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant
    • Protecting Immigrant Families COVID-19 Immigrant Outreach Funding (CLOSED)
    • Get COVID-19 Help from Graduate Students
    • Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund
    • COVID-19 Community Recovery and Response Fund (CLOSED)
    • No Kid Hungry COVID-19 Emergency Grant (CLOSED)
    • Loans Available for Nonprofits in the CARES Act
    • COVID-19 Relief Provisions: What Nonprofits Need to Know
    • CARES Act: How Can Your Nonprofit Take Advantage?
  • Communicating During COVID-19
    • Social Media while Socially Distancing
    • Internal Communications
    • 8 Tips for Communicating with Employees During a Crisis
    • The Ultimate Guide to Remote Work
    • External Communications
  • Stay Positive!
    • Building Resilience
    • Taking care of your mental health
    • Supporting local businesses
    • Silver linings
    • Just for fun

Breaking News

This section will be regularly refreshed with important and useful news relating to COVID-19.

  • 6/15/20: You can now get tested for COVID-19 for free, regardless of your insurance or citizenship status, and without a doctor’s referral in Illinois.
  • 5/19/20: The IRS has created a hotline specifically for questions related to stimulus checks. The number is (800) 919-9835.
  • 5/12/20: Gig workers, 1099 workers, sole proprietors, and other nontraditional workers can now file for unemployment through the Pandemic Unemployment Benefits program.
  • 5/7/20: The State of Illinois has announced a Five-Phase process for the reopening of the state.
  • 4/27/20: The “Chi COVID Coach” app can help you pre-register for a coronavirus vaccine, get text messages tailored to your symptoms, and receive tips about when and where to get help if you’re showing symptoms.
  • 4/22/20: Illinois households with school-aged are eligible for some additional relief funds through P-EBT.
  • 4/9/20: Governor Pritzker recommends that everybody wears masks when going outside the house during the COVID-19 crisis.
  • 4/6/20: Illinois is reducing childcare costs to $1 for health care workers, grocery clerks, and other “essential” workers who place their children in state-licensed child care centers or homes.
  • 4/1/20: Chicago Public Schools will be consolidating grab-and-go meal sites starting April 13th. See where you can pick up meals during spring break and after April 13th here.
  • 3/31/20: Governor Pritzker has extended the Illinois stay at home order until April 30th.
  • 3/31/20: The City of Chicago has created a COVID-19 Housing Assistance Grant for households in need of help paying rent.
  • 3/27/20: SNAP work requirements for Able Bodied Adults Without Dependents
  • (ABAWDs) in Illinois have been suspended due to COVID-19. For more information, see this flyer.
  • 3/25/20: Despite a previous statement by Mayor Lightfoot, parking tickets will continue to be issued during the COVID-19 crisis.
  • 3/23/20: Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is planning to use hotels to house COVID-19 patients and residents experiencing homelessness.
  • 3/20/20: Chicago Public Schools will remain closed until at least 4/20.
  • 3/20/20: Jewel-Osco, Mariano’s Whole Foods, and Target will be offering shopping hours exclusively for people 60 years and older.
  • 3/18/20: Chicago will stop all debt collection, ticketing, and impound practices through at least 4/30.

Return to Table of Contents


What is COVID-19?

The Virus

COVID-19, often simply referred to as “coronavirus,” is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause illness in animals or humans. The name “coronavirus” comes from the crown-like spikes on the virus’ surface. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) are two examples of coronaviruses that the world overcame in the past.

Symptoms

Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.

The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

The World Health Organization website has more info regarding COVID-19 symptoms.

Return to Table of Contents


Confused About Face Masks?

The tips below are adapted from a conversation that Block Club Chicago had with Dr. Richard Novak, head of the Division of Infectious Diseases at University of Illinois at Chicago.

Read the original article here.

Why do I need to wear a mask?

COVID-19 is an incredibly contagious respiratory disease spread through the droplets we emit when we cough. A face mask “catches” your droplets, therefore protecting the people around you, Dr. Novak said.

“The purpose primarily is to keep the person wearing them from coughing out droplets,” Dr. Novak said. “It’s protecting the rest of the public from what they might be exhaling.”

The CDC recommends children under the age of 2 and adults who have trouble breathing or cannot remove a mask on their own not wear masks.

Return to Table of Contents

I’m not coughing. Do I need to wear a mask?

Yes. Even if you are healthy, you should wear a mask. People who are infected with COVID-19 can be asymptomatic for up to two weeks. During that time, however, they can still transmit the disease.

Asymptomatic carriers are among us. Half of the 28 patients who tested positive for COVID-19 at a Lincoln Park clinic either had incredibly mild symptoms or had no symptoms at all.

If everybody were wearing a mask, catching their own droplets, the virus wouldn’t spread.

Return to Table of Contents

What’s an N95 mask?

The CDC recommends the general public wear cloth masks because they effectively protect other people from you. N95 and surgical masks, on the other hand, are designed to protect you from others.

N95 masks filter out viral droplets in the air. This is important in a hospital setting, where health care workers are side-by-side with patients whose viral droplets contain COVID-19.

N95s are fitted specifically to an individual health care worker’s face shape. UIC tests the effectiveness of a mask by placing a hood over the face of a worker and spraying a flavored spray into the hood. If the worker can taste the spray, the mask is not adequately fitted.

Unlike cloth masks, which can be washed and reworn (more on that below), N95s are meant to disposable. Because of the Personal Protection Equipment shortage many health care workers are re-wearing their masks.

Do you have an unopened, unused N-95 or surgical mask? Donate it.

Return to Table of Contents

How do I make or buy a mask?

The CDC has three tutorials for making your own mask:

  1. The sewing machine method
  2. The T-shirt method
  3. The bandana method

Learn how to make your own mask here.

Mask Making Tips:

  • Use material that can be repeatedly washed and dried without affecting the mask’s shape. Cotton works well.
  • You can design your mask with a pocket for a removable filter. While not as effective as an N95 filter, a coffee filter or paper towel is better than nothing in terms of capturing what’s coming in, Dr. Novak said.
  • Surgical masks are sold out most places — and should be reserved for essential workers and medical workers, anyway. Cloth masks are still available online. Here is a guide to some stylish options. Plankroad Home Decor in Avondale is also shipping masks locally.
  • If you can’t make or afford a mask, at least try using a bandana or piece of cloth to cover your nose and mouth while running any essential errands.

Return to Table of Contents

How and where should I wear my mask?

HOW TO WEAR: Make sure your mask fits snugly but comfortably on your face and that it covers your nose. Use ear loops made from elastic or hair ties to attach the mask around your ears.

Per the CDC’s recommendations, Cloth face coverings should—

  • fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face,
  • be secured with ties or ear loops,
  • include multiple layers of fabric,
  • allow for breathing without restriction, and
  • be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape.

WHERE TO WEAR: Wear your mask whenever you leave the house. Wear it to the grocery store, the pharmacy, the gas station. Wear it on your walks in the neighborhood, but don’t go out beyond that. Everyone should be staying home as much as possible, Dr. Novak said.

Droplets usually evaporate quickly in open air, but some droplets can become aerosolized and linger. In other words, even if you are practicing social distancing outdoors and staying 6 feet apart from others, there is a chance your neighbors can inhale your viral droplets. If you’re walking down the street in a crowded neighborhood, it’s a good idea to wear a mask.

OUTDOOR EXERCISE TIPS: Though it is uncomfortable to do so, Dr. Novak suggests runners adorn some sort of light face covering. “It’s hard to run with a mask on,” he said. “A piece of a T-shirt, that would capture [droplets] quite a bit.”

If you are going outside to exercise, you should stay close to home, run briefly and avoid other people as much as possible. A new study out of Belgium shows runners create paths of droplets behind them, and should stay more than 6 feet away from other people.

Return to Table of Contents

How do I clean my mask?

Once inside your home safely, remove the mask. Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth. Wash your hands immediately.

Wash the mask in your washing machine like any other piece of clothing. Use hot water. Don’t have a laundry machine at home? Wash the mask in your sink with hot, soapy water.

“The virus is very susceptible to detergent,” Dr. Novak said. “It will disintegrate.”

Return to Table of Contents


How can we protect ourselves against COVID-19?

Luckily for all of us, most people who become infected with COVID-19 experience mild illness and recover. However, the disease can be more severe for others, particularly people with preexisting health risks.

COVID-19 Food Safety and Hygiene Resources

NC State Extension has created a webpage with information on best practices for COVID-19 food safety. These resources are perfect for printing out and sharing with community members and staff.

Their page has resources for…

  • Individuals at home
  • Food pantries
  • Food banks
  • Restaurants
  • Grocery stores
  • Gardens and farms

Infosheets include…

An example of an infosheet from the NC State COVID-19 Food Safety Resources page

The page has numerous additional infosheets, social media graphics, and other resources. Most of the resources are available in both Spanish and English.

Return to Table of Contents

Pre-register for a Coronavirus Vaccine

Chicagoans can now pre-register for a coronavirus vaccine, get text messages “tailored to their symptoms,” and receive guidance about “where and when to seek medical care” by downloading an app developed by the City of Chicago.

The “Chi COVID Coach” app was developed with help from Google and MTX to help the Chicago Department of Public Health communicate with Chicagoans who have either tested positive for the virus or may be experiencing symptoms.

Those who register will get “daily check-ins” on their well-being, as well as advice about “what they and other people in their households should do to limit the spread of the coronavirus.” For more details, check out this article by the Chicago Sun Times.

Return to Table of Contents

Infografía sobre Protegernos contra COVID-19

Las infografías de abajo proveen informacíon para proteger a los adultos mayores contra COVID-19. Se necesita seguir todas estas recomendaciones para asegurar la salud y seguridad de nuestra comunidad.

Estas infografías se han adaptado de este puesto en Twitter.

Return to Table of Contents

Hygiene tips

According to the World Health Organization, you can take care of your health and protect others by doing the following:

  1. Wash your hands frequently.
    • Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
  2. Maintain social distancing.
    • Maintain at least a 6 foot distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  3. Practice respiratory hygiene.
    • Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
  4. Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
    • Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
  5. If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early.
    • Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance.

Return to Table of Contents

Coronavirus infographic

This infographic from West Side United can be printed and prominently displayed as a helpful reminder of how to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Return to Table of Contents

Diluting your household bleach

If regular cleaning products are sold out at the store, you can dilute your bleach to create an effective, coronavirus-killing disinfectant solution.

  • To make a bleach solution, mix:
    • 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water
      OR
    • 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water

Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.

Return to Table of Contents


Getting Tested for COVID-19

Anyone Can Now Get Tested For Coronavirus In Illinois

You can now get tested for COVID-19 for free, regardless of your insurance or citizenship status, and without a doctor’s referral in Illinois.

List of Testing Sites in Chicago: https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/sites/covid-19/home/managing-your-health.html#tab-shouldtest

Pre-Register for a Test in Chicago: https://chicago.curativeinc.com/welcome

List of Testing Sites in Illinois: https://dph.illinois.gov/covid19/covid-19-testing-sites

Return to Table of Contents

Should I get tested?

The most up-to-date information on whether or not you should get tested is available through the Illinois Department of Public Health. To view the latest IDPH Testing Guide, click here.

To view the Illinois Department of Public Health’s map of sites in Illinois where you can get tested for COVID-19, click here.

Below is IDPH’s testing guidance published 4/27/20:

Return to Table of Contents


Through Lurie Children’s COVID-19 Call Center, you can speak with a nurse about testing criteria, symptoms, etc.

The Call Center can be reached at (312) 227-5300. It’s available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Learn more here. 

According to the Chicago Department of Public Health, only people with severe symptoms and people who are at high risk should be recommended for testing. That includes people who are 60 or older and people with underlying health conditions like heart disease, lung disease and diabetes.

CDPH said tests should be saved for…

  • People who are first responders or health care workers
  • People who live in congregate settings (e.g. shelters and nursing homes)
  • People at risk (e.g. those who are older or have underlying conditions)
  • Those who are seriously ill

Here’s the CDPH flow chart for testing:

Source: Block Club Chicago

And here’s Lawndale Christian Health Center’s flow chart for testing:

Return to Table of Contents

How do I get tested?

If you have symptoms of coronavirus and are in a risk group, you should contact your doctor or another health care provider, according to the Chicago Department of Public Health.

The Chicago Department of Public Health has guidance for people who are uninsured but need to get tested.

West Siders who want to be tested can reach out to PCC Community Wellness Center at 773-295-3347 or Lawndale Christian Health Center at 872-588-300. This article by Block Club Chicago has more details regarding testing on the West Side.

Return to Table of Contents


What safety precautions should community organizations take?

Emergency food providers and community organizations face a difficult dilemma as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. The disease is highly contagious, and self-quarantine is encouraged. However, many community members rely on the services of community organizations to put food on the table and fill other essential needs.

Luckily, a number of organizations have offered guidances and information particular to community organizations. By following these guidances, most community organizations can safely continue their daily operations.

Return to Table of Contents

COVID-19 Food Safety and Hygiene Resources

NC State Extension has created a webpage with information on best practices for COVID-19 food safety. These resources are perfect for printing out and sharing with community members and staff.

Their page has resources for…

  • Individuals at home
  • Food pantries
  • Food banks
  • Restaurants
  • Grocery stores
  • Gardens and farms

Infosheets include…

An example of an infosheet from the NC State COVID-19 Food Safety Resources page

The page has numerous additional infosheets, social media graphics, and other resources. Most of the resources are available in both Spanish and English.

Return to Table of Contents

Best Practices for Community and Faith-Based Organizations

  • Actively encourage sick employees and clients to stay home.
  • Promote hygiene by…
    • Placing posters that encourage staying home when sick, cough and sneeze etiquette, and hand hygiene at the entrance to your facility and in other areas where they are likely to be seen.
    • Providing tissues and no-touch disposal receptacles.
  • Routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces, such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs.
    • Use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label – no additional disinfection is recommended at this time.
  • Plan for a COVID-19 outbreak in Chicago by…
    • Meeting with your emergency operations coordinator or planning team to develop or update your emergency operations plan.
    • Establishing relationships with key community partners and stakeholders.
    • Planning for worker absences.
    • Identifying space that can be used to separate sick people (if possible).
    • Planning ways to increase the space between people or limit face-to-face contact between people at your organization.
    • Planning ways to continue essential services if on-site operations are reduced
    • Updating your emergency communication plan for distributing timely and accurate information.
  • Fight stigma and fear by…
    • Supporting people who are coming back to work after completing their quarantine period
    • Letting people know that being of Asian descent does not increase the chance of getting or spreading COVID-19.
  • FOR A FULL DESCRIPTION OF HOW TO IMPLEMENT THESE PROCEDURES, REFER TO THIS GUIDANCE.

Return to Table of Contents

Best Practices for Emergency Food Providers

GCFD Guidance for Food Pantries[2]
  • During this time, pre-packed bags or boxes of food can be used to support quick service and minimize the amount of human contact between people and items.
    • GCFD recognizes this is a temporary break from the preferred model of client choice.
  • At intake, volunteers and/or staff can verbally ask for pantry guests name and household size and capture this information for the guest visit, without requiring any further information or signature from the guest.
    • GCFD asks staff/volunteers to ensure this is entered into your electronic intake system and at the point of data entry the staff/volunteer entering the data can initial/verify the interaction.
  • All programs who have capacity to provide home delivery services can do so during this time.
    • GCFD asks to please ensure you track home deliveries.

Return to Table of Contents

GCFD Guidance for Hot Meal Programs[3]
  • Programs that prepare and serve hot meals may choose to prepare to-go meals.
  • Meals do not need to be served in a congregate setting at this time.

Return to Table of Contents


Where can I get my COVID-19 questions answered?

These days, there are countless sources of information at our fingertips. When it comes to the health of you, your organization, and your clients, it’s critical that you find and use information that is credible. Your health – and the health of your community – may depend on it.

Return to Table of Contents

Lurie Children’s COVID-19 Call Center

Do you have questions about COVID-19? Lurie Children’s COVID-19 Call Center is now open. You can call (312) 227-5300 and speak with a nurse about testing criteria, symptoms, donations, or other COVID-19 info.

The Call Center is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. and on weekends from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. To learn more, visit their COVID-19 page. 

Return to Table of Contents

Avoid Scams Related to COVID-19

  • Watch out for high-priced or low-quality products.
  • Don’t trust anyone offering vaccinations or other treatments.
  • Consider seeking a refund for cancelled travel.
  • Be on alert for scams.
  • Look out for unauthorized or fraudulent charities or solicitations.

Return to Table of Contents

Fact Checking COVID-19

Many claims related to COVID-19 have been circulating the internet. “The Coronavirus Collection: Fact-Checking COVID-19” by Snopes is a webpage that has fact checked a number of these COVID-19 claims. Check it out here.

Return to Table of Contents

Use Credible Sources of Information

  • Reputable journalism outlets are offering frequent, insightful updates on the crisis, and some have lowered their paywalls for COVID-19 coverage. You can access articles related to COVID-19 from…
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has an abundance of resources relating to COVID-19, including…
    • Advice for members of the public
    • Myth busters
    • Situation updates
    • Pandemic data
  • The Center for Disease Control (CDC) may have not responded quickly enough to the COVID-19 outbreak, but their website hosts a wide range of valuable COVID-19 resources, including…
    • How to Protect Yourself
    • Symptoms
    • If You Think You Are Sick
    • Prepare Your Family
    • Resources for the Community
    • Email updates

Return to Table of Contents

Map of Chicago Coronavirus Deaths

South Side Weekly has created a map of COVID-19 Deaths in Chicago’s Neighborhoods. It is regularly updated using data from the Cook County Medical Examiner. Deaths are also disaggregated by race and date.

Map of Illinois Coronavirus Cases

The Chicago Reporter created a map of COVID-19 cases in Illinois that is updated daily. It details cases and deaths on the county level.

Return to Table of Contents

Map of Global Coronavirus Cases

The Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center is constantly updating a Map of Coronavirus / COVID-19 Global Cases. The map tracks cases across the United States and around the world.

Return to Table of Contents


What about SNAP Benefits?

SNAP Application and Benefits Updates

Applying for SNAP Over the Phone or Online

As of April 16th, IDHS Family Community Resource Centers (FCRCs) are closed for in-person visits. That means you can’t apply for SNAP by visiting a local IDHS office.

You can still apply for SNAP benefits through IDHS by going to abe.illinois.gov or calling IDHS at (800) 843 6154.

Also, certain community organizations can also help you apply for SNAP over the phone. They can help you in Spanish, English, and many other languages.

For details, click here to see our blog post and flyer.

Work Requirement Update

SNAP work requirements for Able Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWDs) have been temporarily suspended. Currently, no SNAP recipients are required to work 80 hours per month in order to keep their SNAP benefits.

For more information, click here to see our blog post on this development.

Maximum SNAP Benefit Update

The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) is issuing emergency SNAP (LINK) supplements to more than 450,000 SNAP households to help buy food during the pandemic crisis.

If your monthly SNAP benefit is less than the maximum SNAP for your household, you will get a supplemental benefit up to the maximum SNAP grant for April and May 2020.

For more information, click here to see our blog post on this development.

SNAP Recertification Extension

If your SNAP benefits were scheduled to be recertified in March, April, or May, you are automatically receiving a six (6) month extension. You will not have to recertify until September, October, or November.

For more information, click here to see IDHS’s press release on this development.

P-EBT for Illinois Households with School-Aged Children

Illinois households with school-aged children are eligible for Pandemic EBT, or P-EBT. This will provide households with additional relief to make up for the school meals children are missing.

For more information, click here to see our blog post on P-EBT.

Return to Table of Contents

Policy Updates

For the latest updates to federal policies addressing COVID-19, including the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, visit the Food Research and Action Center’s (FRAC) COVID-19 Updates page.

Forefront’s COVID-19 Policy Updates page also provides updates regarding federal policy responses to COVID-19.

Illinois SNAP Advocates offers the Google document of Rolling SNAP Updates: COVID-19 Response.

Return to Table of Contents


Food Resources

Use Your Link Card to Buy Groceries Online

You can now use your LINK benefits to pay for groceries from the comfort of your home. You can even have them shipped to your front door!

As of June 3rd 2020, in Illinois, you can only use your Link benefits to order groceries online from Amazon or Walmart.

  •  Amazon offers shipping to your door.
  • Walmart only offers store pickup.

You do not need a credit card to order groceries with your Link card.

For instructions on how to use your Link card to buy groceries online, click the link below to our Link Online Grocery Ordering Guide.

Return to Table of Contents

City of Chicago Grocery Store Status Map

The City of Chicago has created a map of grocery stores that are currently open or closed. The purpose of the map is to help community members figure out where they can access food right now. The map will be updated constantly.

If the map is missing a grocery store you know if open or closed, please let us know by emailing northwestfoodpartners@gmail.com.  

Return to Table of Contents

NFPN Food Delivery Resource Guide

The Northwest Food Partners Network has put together a printable guide listing food delivery services available to community members on Chicago’s Northwest Side during COVID-19.

This guide is dual sided and bilingual – one side is in Spanish, and the other side is in English.

Return to Table of Contents

GCFD COVID-19 Pop-Up Pantries

The Greater Chicago Food Depository is expanding food access using new food distributions in African American and Latino communities in Chicago that have been devastated by the combination of COVID-19 and food insecurity.

There are GCFD pop-up pantries in the following neighborhoods:

  • Archer Heights
  • Auburn Gresham
  • Austin
  • Brighton Park
  • Fuller Park
  • Humboldt Park
  • Little Village
  • Lower West Side
  • Midway
  • Morgan Park
  • South Lawndale
  • South Shore
  • Woodlawn

Click here to view the locations and schedules of GCFD pop-up pantry locations.

Return to Table of Contents

P-EBT for Illinois Households with School-Aged Children

Illinois households with school-aged children are eligible for Pandemic EBT, or P-EBT. This will provide households with some additional financial relief to make up for the school meals children are missing.

For more information, click here to see our blog post on P-EBT.

Return to Table of Contents

City Bureau COVID-19 Resource Finder

City Bureau has launched its Chicago COVID Resource Finder, an online data bank of 1,300 Chicagoland resources where people can easily find what they need.

  • You can filter by…
    • Who is eligible (immigrants, families, business owners)
    • What is offered (food, money, legal help)
    • Languages spoken
    • Location
  • You can also access it via SMS (text “covid” to 312-436-2280) and in five languages so far (with more to come).

Return to Table of Contents

FoodCorps Gardening, Cooking, and Nutrition Lessons

FoodCorps is an AmeriCorps grantee that helps provide nutrition education, gardening lessons, school meals, and more at schools across the country.

To help families respond to the COVID-19 crisis, FoodCorps has created a collection of video lessons on how to create a produce garden at home. They’ve also created video lessons on healthy cooking and nutrition.

Return to Table of Contents

SNAP Application Help from Legal Aid Chicago

Lawyers with Legal Aid Chicago can assist you with a wide range of legal issues free of charge.

Legal Aid Chicago can help you apply for or recertify your SNAP benefits. They may also be able to help if your SNAP application was denied.

Legal Aid Chicago’s areas of legal assistance also include…

  • Family & Safety
  • House & Apartment
  • Money & Debt
  • Work & Employment Rights
  • Health, Disability, and Basic Needs
  • Immigration

To get legal help from Legal Aid Chicago, Apply Online or call 312-341-1070. Help is available in any language.

Return to Table of Contents

NFPN Food Resources Guide

  • Print out and distribute copies of the NFPN Food Resources Guide to your community.
    • You can also download the guide and email it to your clients or upload the guide to your website.
    • Make sure that community members know to call ahead before going to a food pantry or hot meal program – some organizations may have changed their hours.
  • The NFPN Food Resources Guide can also be easily accessed by community members from their phone.

Return to Table of Contents

Chicago Help Initiative Meal Resource Guide

The Chicago Help Initiative has created a Meal Resource Guide to help community members find food during the COVID-19 crisis. The Meal Resource Guide includes some food pantries and hot meal programs on Chicago’s West Side, North Side, South Side, and Downtown.

Return to Table of Contents

Illinois Hunger Hotline

The Illinois Hunger Coalition’s Hunger Hotline provides free, confidential help with finding food.

1-800-359-2163

  • A Free Service
  • Se Habla Español
  • Monday – Friday
  • 9AM to 5PM

The Hunger Hotline can assist you with…

  • Applying for SNAP
  • Applying for health coverage
  • Finding out if you qualify for other food programs, like WIC
  • Finding an emergency food pantry or soup kitchen near you
  • And more.

Return to Table of Contents

GCFD Info and Resources

  • The Greater Chicago Food Depository website offers information and resources relevant to emergency food providers.
  • INFORMATION
    • On Monday, March 16th, GCFD hosted an Emergency Update call regarding COVID-19. You can view the notes from that call by clicking here.
      • The call touched upon…
        • Updates to GCFD partnerships
        • Advice for emergency food providers
        • Info about COVID-19 from a doctor specializing in respiratory diseases
    • RESOURCES
      • As usual, community members can find a food program in their neighborhood through GCFD’s Find Food Map.
      • GCFD’s Benefits Outreach and SNAP Team helps people in Cook County apply for, maintain, and use public benefits. Their hotline, 773-843-5416, can help community members avoid a trip to the public aid office.

Return to Table of Contents

Chicago Public Schools Grab-and-Go Meals

Chicago Public Schools are offering free grab-and-go meals to CPS students during the COVID-19 crisis. For more information about the CPS response to COVID-19, click here.

Starting April 6th, Chicago Public Schools will be consolidating grab-and-go school meals. Click here or click the images below to see the sites where CPS will be providing grab-and-go meals during the CPS spring break (April 6-9) and from April 13th onward.

Return to Table of Contents


Immigrant and Refugee Resources

IDHS COVID-19 Resources for Immigrants and Refugees

To help alleviate some of the stress associated with searching and finding resources, the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) has compiled a list of places, policies, organizations, and guidelines created in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Their resources include…

  • State of Illinois Resources
  • List of Community-based organizations and agencies serving immigrants and refugees
  • List of Illinois Immigrant Welcoming Centers
  • Mental Health Resources
  • Domestic Violence Resources
  • Food Resources
  • And more.

Click here to go to the IDHS COVID-19 Resources for Immigrants and Refugees page.

Return to Table of Contents

ICIRR COVID-19 Immigrant Family Support Project Funds

Through a partnership with the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS), the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) has launched the COVID-19 Immigrant Family Support Project.

This project will provide relief funds to one of the most underserved populations of the COVID-19 crisis: low-income immigrants who live in Illinois who are not eligible for the federal stimulus package, unemployment insurance, or public benefits.

Recipients of these funds will not be subject to Public Charge.

For more information about eligibility and applying, click below to view our blog post on the ICIRR COVID-19 Immigrant Family Support Project.

Return to Table of Contents

Resources for Undocumented Immigrants and their Families During COVID-19

My Undocumented Life has compiled a list of resources and news that can help undocumented and mixed-status families during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. 

They update this page frequently so be sure to bookmark it and share it with your networks! Click below to view the resources page.

Resources for Undocumented Immigrants and their Families During COVID-19

Return to Table of Contents

City Bureau COVID-19 Resource Finder

City Bureau has launched its Chicago COVID Resource Finder, an online data bank of 1,300 Chicagoland resources where people can easily find what they need.

  • You can filter by…
    • Who is eligible (immigrants, families, business owners)
    • What is offered (food, money, legal help)
    • Languages spoken
    • Location
  • You can also access it via SMS (text “covid” to 312-436-2280) and in five languages so far (with more to come).

Return to Table of Contents

Elegibilidad de Inmigrantes Para Programas Públicos

Immigrant Eligibility for Public Programs during COVID-19

El sitio web de Protegando Familias Inmigratorios tiene una descripción general de algunos de los programas públicos federales disponibles para apoyar a individuos y familias durante la crisis de COVID-19 según la ley vigente, así como la Ley de Respuesta al Coronavirus de Familias Primero y la Ley de Ayuda y Seguridad Económica Coronavirus (CARES), aprobadas recientemente.

También hay aclaraciones sobre si estos programas públicos se tienen en cuenta para fines de carga pública.

The Protecting Immigrant Families website has a guide describing which federal public programs are available to support individuals and families during the COVID-19 crisis. The guide includes both preexisting programs as well as programs introduced by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the CARES Act.

The guide also includes information about whether each program affects public charge.

COVID-19 Relief Legislation and Immigrants Frequently Asked Questions Document

In addition, Protecting Immigrant Families has put together a COVID-19 Relief Legislation and Immigrants Frequently Asked Questions document. It answers questions regarding new policies and their effects on public charge. It also addresses immigrant eligibility for relief programs. Click here to access it.

Return to Table of Contents

Emergency Funds for Undocumented Individuals and Households

The Betancourt Macias Family Scholarship Foundation has set up emergency funding opportunities for undocumented individuals and families impacted by COVID-19.

Si usted es indocumentado o tiene familiares indocumentados y han sido afectados por la pandemia de COVID-19, haga clic en el enlace para completar el formulario de solicitud.

If you are undocumented yourself or have family members who are undocumented and have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, click on the link below to fill out the request form.

Return to Table of Contents

ICIRR COVID-19 Resources for Immigrants

The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) has a Community Resources page featuring useful tools and information for immigrant families.

In addition, ICIRR has created a Google Doc of Resources for Immigrants During the COVID-19 Crisis.

The ICIRR Resources for Immigrants During the COVID- 19 Crisis guide was created to address the needs of the immigrant and refugee community in the state of Illinois.

La guía Recursos para Inmigrantes Durante la Crisis de COVID- 19 de ICIRR fue creada para abordar las necesidades de la comunidad de inmigrantes y refugiado en el estado de Illinois.

Return to Table of Contents


Financial Resources

Get Your Stimulus Check

Still haven’t received your stimulus check? Most Illinoisans are eligible for Economic Impact Payments from the federal government – even if you have no income.

You could receive up to $1,200 ($2,400 for a married couple) and $500 for each eligible dependent.

GetMyPaymentIL.org can help take you through each step so you can get your payment as quickly as possible. It provides step-by-step instructions on how to secure your stimulus check and answers common questions you may have.

You can also call the IRS at (800) 919-9835 to get help with stimulus check related questions.

Return to Table of Contents

Paying Utilities during COVID-19

The Citizens Utility Board is a nonprofit that advocates for fair utility policies on behalf of Illinois consumers. Their website has many resources to help Illinois consumers understand how utilities are handling their bill payments during COVID-19.

They have resources that can assist with…

  • Phone, cable, and internet bills
  • Low-cost internet and phone plans for low-income families
  • Energy bill relief during the COVID-19 crisis

For more information, view our blog post on The Citizens Utility Board’s resources by clicking below.

The Citizens Utility Board help hotline is 1-800-669-5556. Callers can speak with a CUB consumer rights specialist who can help determine if the caller’s utility company has violated any regulations or any COVID-19 emergency policies.

Return to Table of Contents

New York Times Economic Help Hub

  • The New York Times’ Hub for Help During the Coronavirus Crisis is aimed at helping individuals who have been impacted by the economic fallout of COVID-19. It features info on…
    • How unemployment insurance works
    • Social Security applications
    • Where to get free financial planning help
    • How consumer lenders are helping
    • Ways to keep the lights on and the phones working
    • What the student loan waiver doesn’t do
    • More things that might help
  • Family & Safety
  • House & Apartment
  • Money & Debt
  • Work & Employment Rights
  • Health, Disability, and Basic Needs
  • Immigration

Return to Table of Contents


Housing and Homelessness Resources

Chicago Homelessness Prevention Call Center

If you are at risk of eviction and/or homelessness and live in the Chicago Metro Area, you can apply for emergency financial assistance by calling the Homelessness Prevention Call Center. Staff will evaluate your eligibility for financial assistance and other community resources.

Tenants living in the City of Chicago can access this resource by calling 3-1-1 or 312-744-5000 and asking for “Short-Term Help.”

The call center is open from 8:30am-4:30pm Monday through Thursday.

Tenants living in Suburban Cook County can access this resource by calling 1-877-426-6515. 

Return to Table of Contents

COVID-19 Rights and Resources for Youth and Families Experiencing Homelessness

The Homeless Youth Handbook has added a COVID-19 chapter which includes pandemic-specific information about…

  • Safety & Shelter
  • Dating & Domestic Violence
  • Health & Access to Healthcare
  • Legal Rights
  • Education
  • Employment
  • Economic Impact Payments (“Stimulus Payments”)
  • Services (e.g. Medicaid, SNAP, etc.)

You can view the handbook here: https://www.homelessyouth.org/us/illinois/covid19

Return to Table of Contents

Rentervention’s Free Housing Law Help

Do you know someone going through eviction, being harassed by their landlord, or dealing with some other housing-related issue? Rentervention can help!

Rentervention is a FREE, confidential, and bilingual program of Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing that you give you legal help from a volunteer attorney.

Topics you can get help with include…

  • The COVID-19 eviction moratorium,
  • Whether a landlord can enter your property while we are supposed to be social distancing,
  • Whether late payments may be deducted from security deposits,
  • Whether tenants have a right to repairs despite missed rent payments,
  • And more.

Tenants can get free legal assistance at rentervention.com/ or by texting “hi” to 866-773-6873.

Return to Table of Contents

Housing Resource Guide by Latino Policy Forum

The Latino Policy Forum has created a Google Doc listing Housing Resources in Illinois and Chicago.

Resources include…

  • Rental assistance
  • Eviction relief
  • Support for people experiencing homelessness
  • Utility shut offs/relief

Return to Table of Contents

City of Chicago COVID-19 Housing Assistance

The City of Chicago recently announced a COVID-19 Housing Assistance Grant program to assist Chicagoans who have lost their jobs or otherwise been impacted by the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Return to Table of Contents

Chicago Homeless Shelters and Services

The Homeless Shelter Directory lists all of the homeless shelters and services for the needy in Chicago and surrounding cities. Click below to view the directory.

Return to Table of Contents

Eviction Legal Help

Legal Aid Chicago has created bilingual eviction info sheets to assist Cook County residents during COVID-19. They can be viewed and downloaded here.

Community members can get free legal help with eviction and other legal matters from Legal Aid Chicago by applying online or calling 312-341-1070.

Return to Table of Contents


Employment and Unemployment Resources

Contact Tracer Training Program ($28/hour)

Oakton Community College has launched an online Contact Tracer Training Program. Those who complete the program are eligible to be hired as a Contact Tracer and get paid $28/hour.

Unfortunately, due to high demand, all current sections are full. But additional sections will be added this Wednesday, May 13thThey will be added to this Eventbrite page. Those interested can complete this form to get notified when upcoming sessions open up.

The training programs costs $299. Those interested must also take four Contact Tracer Skill Assessments in basic computer skills, internet basics, Word, and Excel before registering for the training program (more details on the skill assessments here).

Return to Table of Contents

Work as a Documenter

Documenters are citizens and civic actors; creators and collaborators; representing a broad base of intergenerational, diverse communities. City Bureau recruits, trains and pays this group of highly engaged citizens to monitor local government and contribute to a communal pool of knowledge.

City Bureau’s Documenters programs pays community members an hourly wage to inform and engage their communities.

Documenters participate in a range of City Bureau projects, including, but not limited to:

  • Attending and documenting public governance meetings and civic events
  • Engaging in projects designed to increase the role of reporting and storytelling in public discourse
  • Using data, official reports and community dialogue to provide context to some of the city’s most pressing issues
  • Assisting with City Bureau’s public events
  • Writing reflections to be featured on City Bureau’s blog

To get started, find out about upcoming Documenters Orientation Trainings here.

Unemployment and Public Benefits Help

Unemployment Benefits as a Gig Worker, 1099 Worker, or other Nontraditional Worker

Nontraditional workers whose businesses have been shuttered by the stay at home order can now apply for unemployment benefits through the State of Illinois’s Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program.

Those who need to apply for the special program must first file a regular unemployment claim online or over the phone. Governor Pritzker has recommended people file online.

Once the claim is denied by the regular system, the applicant can then apply for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program.

Click here for the Block Club Chicago article on the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program.

Return to Table of Contents

Legal Aid Chicago Public Benefits Hotline

Need help applying for Department of Human Services (DHS) benefits? Legal Aid Chicago has created a dedicated hotline to help with public benefits applications, such as…

  • SNAP (food assistance)
  • Medicaid (health coverage)
  • Cash (assistance for families and for the aged, blind, or disabled)

Call 312-347-8342 for help. Check out the flyer below for more details!

Legal Aid Chicago Unemployment Benefits

Connecting with unemployment benefits is key to preventing hunger in the community.

Legal Aid Chicago has set up an Unemployment Helpline to help people navigate unemployment relief options available to them. Even noncitizens are eligible for unemployment help.

Please see the flyers below for more details. The helpline number is (800) 445-9025.


Legal Aid Chicago also has an Illinois Unemployment Benefits Info Sheet which can be found below.

The info sheet details…

  • Who is eligible for Illinois unemployment benefits?
  • How are unemployment benefits calculated?
  • What is the duration of unemployment benefits?
  • How are unemployment claims filed?
  • What can you do if a claim is denied?

Return to Table of Contents


Family Resources

Free Mentoring for Chicagoland Youth

Big Brother Big Sister of Metropolitan Chicago is enrolling children ages 7-14 in their youth mentoring program. Every step in the process is now virtual. Their one-to-one mentoring program provides critical resources:

  • Fun, interactive games
  • Educational tools
  • Guidance on managing stress
  • Maintaining focus on schoolwork
  • Combating boredom and negative influences

Learn more about BBBS Youth Mentoring Program by contacting Casey Nunes at nunes@bbbschcgo.org or 779-800-9136. Click below to view the program flyer.

Return to Table of Contents

$1 Childcare for Essential Workers

Illinois will pick up all but $1 of the tab for health care workers, grocery clerks, and other “essential” workers who place their children in state-licensed child care centers or homes.

To learn more, click here.

The state also has a dedicated help line to connect first responders and emergency workers with child care. The number is 1-888-228-1146. 

Return to Table of Contents

CPS Student Health and Wellness

Return to Table of Contents

Cradles to Crayons Resources for Families

Cradles to Crayons offers a Family Assistance Map displaying community organizations that provide services such as…

  • Child care
  • Housing
  • Mental health
  • Food access
  • Education, etc.

Cradles to Crayons has also created a printable COVID-19 Resource Guide listing organizations that are able to provide…

  • Education
  • Essential Items
  • Financial Assistance
  • Food Access

Return to Table of Contents


Free Legal Help from Legal Aid Chicago

Lawyers with Legal Aid Chicago can assist you with a wide range of legal issues free of charge.

Legal Aid Chicago’s areas of legal assistance include…

Legal Aid Chicago can also help you apply for or recertify your SNAP benefits. They may also be able to help if your SNAP application was denied.

To get legal help from Legal Aid Chicago, Apply Online or call 312-341-1070. Help is available in any language.

Return to Table of Contents

Rentervention’s Free Housing Law Help

Do you know someone going through eviction, being harassed by their landlord, or dealing with some other housing-related issue? Rentervention can help!

Rentervention is a FREE, confidential, and bilingual program of Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing that you give you legal help from a volunteer attorney.

Topics you can get help with include…

  • The COVID-19 eviction moratorium,
  • Whether a landlord can enter your property while we are supposed to be social distancing,
  • Whether late payments may be deducted from security deposits,
  • Whether tenants have a right to repairs despite missed rent payments,
  • And more.

Tenants can get free legal assistance at rentervention.com/ or by texting “hi” to 866-773-6873.

Return to Table of Contents


Additional Resources

City Bureau COVID-19 Resource Finder

City Bureau has launched its Chicago COVID Resource Finder, an online data bank of 1,300 Chicagoland resources where people can easily find what they need.

  • You can filter by…
    • Who is eligible (immigrants, families, business owners)
    • What is offered (food, money, legal help)
    • Languages spoken
    • Location
  • You can also access it via SMS (text “covid” to 312-436-2280) and in five languages so far (with more to come).

Return to Table of Contents

Block Club Chicago COVID-19 Advice

Return to Table of Contents

Howard Brown Sliding Scale Telehealth

In order to continue serving patients with high-quality healthcare, Howard Brown Health has invested in remote appointments for all existing primary care patients, with services for new patients to begin in early April 2020.

Starting Wednesday, March 25, 2020, you can access the Howard Brown Health clinical team by video consultation. This new mode of care is called“telehealth” and allows you to see a provider from the safety of your own home. 

All telehealth visits are eligible for Howard Brown Health’s sliding scale fees.

If you are an existing patient, call 773.388.1600 to schedule a telehealth appointment.

If you are a new patient, call 773.388.1600 to be added to Howard Brown Health’s telehealth wait list.

Return to Table of Contents

Chicago Mutual Aid Resources

Chicago COVID-19 Hardship & Help

Whether you are a parent whose income has dried up, a struggling freelancer, or enduring any other financial strife during this crisis, the Chicago Mutual Aid Network is a resource for you to ask for whatever financial help you need.

To post a request, you can fill out this form. Not everyone will get the help they ask for, but the form gives people to have the opportunity to ask as well as the opportunity to help.

If you are financially secure and want to help someone whose livelihood has been impacted by this crisis, please pick a hardship to address and donate.

Learn more about the Chicago Mutual Aid Network here.

Return to Table of Contents

Logan Square Mutual Aid Network

Logan Square Mutual Aid is designed for easily helping one another. In the midst of a global pandemic and recession, the best and most effective thing we can do – apart from social distancing – is to help our neighbors and let them help us. 

Return to Table of Contents

United Way Free 211 Hotline

United Way provides 211, a free and confidential service that helps people across North America find the local resources they need 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Simply dial 211 to receive help.

211 is a free, confidential referral and information helpline and website that connects people of all ages and from all communities to the essential health and human services they need, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

You can find information about: 

  • supplemental food and nutrition programs
  • shelter and housing options and utilities assistance
  • emergency information and disaster relief
  • employment and education opportunities
  • services for veterans
  • health care, vaccination and health epidemic information
  • addiction prevention and rehabilitation programs
  • reentry help for ex-offenders
  • support groups for individuals with mental illnesses or special needs
  • a safe, confidential path out of physical and/or emotional domestic abuse

Call 211 and speak with a live, highly trained service professional in your area from any cell phone or landline. All calls are private and confidential. 

For more info, check out the United Way 211 Information Page.

Return to Table of Contents


Assistance for Nonprofits

Eat the Change Impact Grants (CLOSED)

Eat the Change Impact is a new grants program to inform and empower consumers to access and consume food in way that is consistent with their concerns about climate change.

There will be about 15-20 grants ranging in size from $5,000-$10,000 for local organizations focused on educating and mobilizing consumers to adopt more planet-friendly diets.

The program’s four values are…

  1. Eating with intention
  2. Fact-based science
  3. Democratizing access to planet-friendly food
  4. Innovation

Grant applications are open until May 15, 2020.

For more information about Eat The Change® Impact, please visit www.eatthechange.org or read more here.

Return to Table of Contents

Open Road Alliance COVID-19 Grants and Loans

Open Road Alliance is a private philanthropic initiative that serves the social sector by Keeping Impact On Track in an unpredictable world. They are offering grants and loans to nonprofits during the COVID-19 crisis.

Click here to learn about Open Road Alliance’s financial support for nonprofits during COVID-19. Below are brief summaries of the financial support ORA is providing.


Direct COVID-19 Response Grants

Who: For organizations engaging in direct COVID-19 response. We will prioritize organizations and activities that have a clear and direct role in ‘flattening the curve’ and thus limiting, shortening, or minimizing the economic and social, as well as health effects of the pandemic.

What: Charitable Grants

  • One-time cash need
  • Up to $100,000 USD
  • Any geography and any sector, providing they can demonstrate that they are directly contributing to ‘flattening the curve’ in their community.
  • Prioritizing clear, demonstrable, and deep impact.

Apply Here. 


COVID-19 Loans
  • Lost Event Revenue
    • Target Partners: Organizations that are rescheduling/postponing their fundraising events until later this year.
  • Accelerating Incoming Emergency Funds
    • Target Partners: DFIs, governments, multilaterals and other institutional donors, as well as frontline organizations approved to receive emergency funding from these or similar entities.
  • Co-Investing to Support Social Enterprises
    • Target Partner: Impact investing funds, both equity and longer-term debt funds that have deep relationships with their portfolio companies.
  • Deep Impact Loans
    • Target Partner: Organizations that deliver vital community services.

For more information, click here.

Return to Table of Contents

Emergent Fund

Emergent Fund prioritizes grassroots organizing and power building in Indigenous communities and communities of color who are facing injustice based on racial, ethnic, religious, and other forms of discrimination.

Below is information from the Emergent Fund website describing their current funding opportunities.

CRITERIA FOR FUNDING

There are two types of efforts we support, which distinguish an Emergent Fund grant from thousands of other worthy projects and organizations:

  • Efforts that support emergent strategies that help communities respond to rapidly changing conditions. This includes resisting new or amplified threats and building power to move a proactive agenda.
  • Efforts seeking long-term social justice and economic justice in a political and social climate that seeks to dismantle such efforts.

COVID-19 FUNDING PRIORITIES

We are focusing our grantmaking on organizations that…

  1. Are mobilizing to respond to the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable communities;
  2. Are utilizing power-building strategies including but not limited to digital organizing, membership development and outreach, narrative development, direct action; and
  3. Are led by communities of color.

For more information and to apply, click here.

Return to Table of Contents

PPE Survey by CFPAC

The Chicago Food Policy Action Council (CFPAC) has created a survey to assess and understand the PPE needs of Chicago’s food systems community organizations and businesses. The survey can be accessed here.

CFPAC is planning to put together a bulk order of PPE. By completing this survey, they will know if your organization is interested in receiving part of that bulk PPE order.

Return to Table of Contents

Voices for Healthy Kids COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant

Due by Monday 5PM PST each week 5/4 – 5/25 or until funding is depleted. Decisions will be made within four (4) weeks.

Voices for Healthy Kids funds coordinated state, local, and tribal public policy issue advocacy campaigns focused on access to healthy food and active living.

The Voices for Healthy Kids COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant Opportunity is targeted at safety net issues most closely related to the Voices for Healthy Kids body of work. These grants will support systems and policy change campaigns that focus on helping those most under-resourced better gain access to health care, healthy food, and income support and stability during this critical time.

Grants will be up to $50,000. These grants are meant to support policy and systemic changes at the state, tribe or local level. They are not programmatic in scope. 

Preference will be given to community-based organizations with demonstrated experiences working to build power in communities most impacted by health inequities including Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian and Alaskan Native, or children living in families with low-income. Organizations “of community” and with lived experience are strongly encouraged to apply.

For more information and to apply, click here.

Return to Table of Contents

Protecting Immigrant Families COVID-19 Immigrant Outreach Funding (CLOSED)

Deadline: Friday, April 24 at 4pm CDT

The Protecting Immigrant Families, Advancing our Future (PIF) Campaign – a collaborative project between the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) and the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) – is now inviting proposals from community-based non-profit organizations.

In light of the implementation of the public charge regulations and current public health crisis, the PIF Campaign seeks applications that would build capacity to mitigate harm and empower immigrant communities to fight fear with facts. Preference will be given to organizations and coalitions well-positioned to directly interface with immigrant communities.

There are three funding tiers:

  • Tier A – larger, state-wide coalitions: Applications of more than five organizations can apply for grants of $50,000 to $100,000
  • Tier B – smaller partnerships: Applications of two to five organizations can apply for grants of $20,000 to $50,000.
  • Tier C – single organizations: Applications from a single organization can apply for grants of $10,000 to $15,000.

More Info:

Return to Table of Contents

Get COVID-19 Help from Graduate Students

The Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University has created a COVID-19 Connector Platform to connect community organizations with graduate students who can offer their time and technical expertise.

What this means for organizations:

  • Communicate your needs, no matter how general or specific, through a brief form.
  • Get matched with a graduate student who can offer assistance, (one-time, short-term, or for an extended period of time).
  • Skills that Friedman students offer:
    • Research and data analysis, collection, management
    • Strategy, brainstorming, and problem solving
    • Policy briefs, memos, regulatory technical assistance
    • Communications and social media
    • Volunteer recruitment and coordination
    • GIS mapping

Project examples:

  • Strategize with a farmers market manager about the best way to support local farmers.
  • Prepare a brief for a food recovery organization on new regulations related to emergency food delivery.
  • Update an organization’s website with open food pantries and other food access resources.
  • Help small grocer understand changes and impacts to supply chains.
  • Write a policy memo on protections that should be passed to ensure safe conditions for farmworkers.

Return to Table of Contents

Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund

Applications for the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund are now open. This funding opportunity is being offered by the Chicago Community Trust and United Way of Metro Chicago in partnership with the City of Chicago.

Return to Table of Contents

COVID-19 Community Recovery and Response Fund (CLOSED)

THIS OPPORTUNITY IS CURRENTLY CLOSED. HOWEVER, THE SPONSORS ARE SEEKING FURTHER FUNDING AND MAY REOPEN THE OPPORTUNITY.

Northwestern University’s Center for Community Health has created a COVID-19 Community Recovery and Response Fund that will provide grants to Chicagoland community-based organizations providing services and resources to communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Funds can be used to:

  • Provide services or supports DIRECTLY related to the impact of the COVID-19 public health crisis in the Chicagoland region, OR
  • Cover general operating costs or expenses to address demands and operational challenges at this time.

Application info:

  • The average award will be about $5,000.
  • Funding applications will start being accepted 4/13 and will be accepted on a rolling basis.
  • Funding decisions will be made within 7 days of submission.
THIS OPPORTUNITY IS CURRENTLY CLOSED.

See the full Funding Announcement and Application here.

Return to Table of Contents

No Kid Hungry COVID-19 Emergency Grant (CLOSED)

THIS OPPORTUNITY IS CURRENTLY CLOSED.

No Kid Hungry is providing emergency grants to support local efforts to reach children and families who lose access to meals, such as…

  • Home delivered meals,
  • Grab and go meals programs,
  • School and community pantries,
  • Backpack programs,
  • And more.

$1 million in emergency grants will be distributed on a rolling basis.

If your organization needs funding to support these efforts, please submit your interest in receiving emergency grant funds: www.nokidhungry.org/coronavirus-grant-request

THIS OPPORTUNITY IS CURRENTLY CLOSED.

Return to Table of Contents

Loans Available for Nonprofits in the CARES Act

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act CARES Act defined a number of programs that charitable nonprofits will be eligible to apply for. Below is a chart by the Council of Nonprofits that provides information on those loan options, eligibility criteria, terms, and application information. The chart is originally from this article.

For more details about these loan programs, view the recording of the Council of Nonprofits’ webinar, “Federal Coronavirus Relief Bills: What Do They Mean for Nonprofits?”

ProgramPaycheck Protection Program (Emergency SBA 7(a) Loans)Secs. 1102, 1106Expanded EIDL & Emergency Grants (SBA 7(b) Loans)Sec. 1110Mid-Size Loan Program Sec. 4003
DescriptionEmergency loan program for nonprofits and for-profit entities to secure funds to pay staff and operating costs for two months, and secure full loan forgiveness under certain circumstances.Existing Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program expanded to more for-profit entities, applies looser credit standards, and creates a rapid grant procedure. Largely undefined loan program to be created by the Treasury Department to fill the gap between the Paycheck Protection Program for smaller employers and the industry stabilization loans to big business.
Size Eligibility500 or fewer employeesExisting EIDL limits for nonprofits*Between 500 and 10,000 employees
Dollar AmountThe lesser of $10 million or 2.5 times the average total monthly payroll costs from the one-year period (look back) prior to the date of application. Express 7(a) loans available up to $1 million.Normal EIDL loans available up to $2 million.EIDL advances of $10,000 paid within 3 days.Unspecified
Loan ProcessorLocal financial institutionsSmall Business AdministrationLocal financial institutions
Nonprofit EligibilityMust have been in operation on 2/15/2020 and had paid employees and/or paid independent contractors. Expressly available for charitable nonprofits with 500 or fewer employees, but requires that employees of affiliated nonprofits may be counted toward the 500 employee cap, depending on the degree of control of the parent.In operation before 1/31/2020. Loans can be based solely on credit score.Existing EIDL program applies to “private nonprofit organizations” that excludes religious institutions and some other charitable organizations.Expressly applies to “nonprofit organizations”
Personal GuaranteeNo collateral or personal guarantee required.Waives personal guarantee up to $200,000, and requirement of inability to obtain credit elsewhere.Unspecified
CertificationGood-faith certification that need for the loan is based on economic conditions; funds to be used to retain workers and maintain payroll or make mortgage, lease, and utility payments; and no duplicate application or receipt of funds for same purposes.Self-certification under penalty of perjury.Good-faith certification that need is based on economic conditions; funds to be used to retain and restore employment, won’t abrogate collective bargaining agreements, and will remain neutral in union organizing efforts, among other things.
Loan UsePayroll costs, mortgage interest payments, rent, utilities, and interest on prior debt during the 8-week period following loan origination.$10,000 advance: Paid sick leave, meeting payroll, increased costs due to disrupted supply chain, mortgage, debt service.To retain 90% of workforce at full wages and benefits through 9/30/2020 and intention to restore 90% of workforce in place on 2/1/2020.
Loan Terms1.0% interest rate; first 6 months of payments (principal and interest) automatically deferred. Maximum of 2 years.Normal EIDL: 2.75% interest rate for nonprofits$10,000 advance treated as a grantInterest capped at 2% with no principle or interest paid for first 6 months.
Loan ForgivenessEmployers that maintain employment for the 8 weeks after origination of loan, or rehire employees by June 30, will have loans forgiven in whole or part, essentially turning the loan into a grant. Section 1106.$10,000 advance forgiven even if borrower denied EIDL loans.Expressly prohibited in statute. Section 4003(d)(3))
Key DefinitionsCovered Period means the 8-week period following loan origination.Employee means an individual working on a full-time, part-time, or other basis.Payroll Costs include compensation (including benefits costs) paid to employees and contractors, capped at $100,000 per year per individual (prorated over the “covered” period), and state/local payroll taxes. Covered Period means 1/31/2020 through 12/31/2020.Eligible entity means a business with 500 or fewer employees.*Eligible private nonprofits include all charitable nonprofits, including faith-based organizations, per SBA FAQs published 4/3/2020.                                                
Application & DocumentationSBA Instructions and sample application (posted 3/31/2020)For emergency EIDL Grant, apply here now.For normal EIDL loans, complete SBA Form 5 online.To be announced
Credit: Council for Nonprofits

The chart above is neither financial nor legal advice for any specific organization. It is an analysis of the new law before any rules or regulations.

Return to Table of Contents

COVID-19 relief provisions: what non-profits need to know

Congress has passed significant tax legislation designed to provide relief to taxpayers affected by the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. This $2.2 trillion bill, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) provides nearly $600 billion in tax benefits.

The legislation includes a number of issues of relevance to non-profit organizations, including: 

  • Opportunities for larger non-profit organizations to apply for relief under a new program at the Department of the Treasury
  • Expanded unemployment benefits and related provisions
  • Eligibility of small business loans and grants for non-profits
  • Various tax provisions that benefit non-profit organizations and encourage charitable contributions.

Check out this webinar by KPMG to see how your nonprofit can take advantage of federal relief funds. You can also view the webinar’s slide deck here.

Return to Table of Contents

CARES Act: How Can Your Nonprofit Take Advantage?

With very thin budgets, many nonprofits are forced to make difficult decisions without financial resources to sustain daily operations. Many families and regular donors are not donating right now.

To help stimulate the economy, The United States Federal CARES Act has been passed with multiple provisions to help small business and nonprofit organizations. It is greatly beneficial for distressed nonprofit organizations.

Donorbox has created CARES Act: How Can Your Nonprofit Take Advantage? Check it out and start applying for federal relief for your nonprofit.

Return to Table of Contents


How should I stay connected with my coworkers, clients, and community?

Over the course of two short weeks, many organizations have been forced to transition from generic office-based work arrangements to teleworking whenever possible. While teleworking may be untrodden ground for some organizations, there are resources and practices any organization can implement to stay in constant contact and maintain productivity.

Return to Table of Contents

Social Media while Social Distancing

Looking to step up your social media game during COVID-19? Check out the recording and slides of Leveraging your social media amid social distancing, a webinar put together by Public Narrative. Subscribe to their newsletter for updates regarding free webinars on communicating effectively.

Return to Table of Contents

Internal Communications

8 Tips for Communicating with Employees During a Crisis
1. Be proactive. Anticipate and plan for issues that your organization could encounter before they happen.
2. Get a team together. During the planning phase, identify employees who will make up the crisis management team—the people who will know what to do when disaster strikes.
3. Don’t expect employees to come to you. Implement a notification system that quickly reaches out to employees with accurate information and guidance.
4. Don’t put up roadblocks. Trying to keep employees from communicating about crises via social media is futile. Instead, help them shape their messages by giving them correct information in a timely manner.
5. Act fast—but only say what you know to be true. Speed is of the essence when it comes to crisis communications, but it shouldn’t come at the price of accuracy. 6. Don’t go silent. If your organization is not yet ready to respond to an emergency, HR should at least let staffers know that the organization is gathering information and will follow up as soon as it can. 
7. Test—then test again. The most well-crafted communication plan won’t be very helpful if employees have no idea what it is or how to use it. At least once a year, test the process to find out from workers what it does and doesn’t do well, and then adjust accordingly.
8. Evaluate. Post-crisis assessments are as important as pre-crisis plans. After the fact, review how the internal communication plan was executed. Determine what succeeded and what can be improved.
Adapted from “Communicating with Employees During a Crisis” by SHRM
Video Conferencing Tools
  • Microsoft Teams allows your work team to video conference, group chat, and share documents, all using one program. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Microsoft is currently offering Teams for free.
  • Zoom allows you to host online meetings, create collaboration-enabled conference rooms, and host video webinars. A Zoom Basic plan is free and allows you to host meetings up to 40 minutes long.
Text Communication Tools
  • Slack is a computer program that allows colleagues to message each other instantly. In addition to sending instant messages, you can easily share files, links, and documents with your colleagues. All conversations are searchable, so you’ll never misplace an important file or piece of info. In addition to being a free software, Slack is currently offering complimentary consulations with Slack experts to learn how to stay productive while switching to remote work.

Return to Table of Contents

The Ultimate Guide to Remote Work

Miro.com has published The Ultimate Guide to Remote Work, featuring tips and tricks for ensuring your office is productive and collaborative while working remotely.

Topics include…

Return to Table of Contents

External Communications

With many community members self-quarantining and staying at home, using conventional means of communication may be a bit more difficult. Now is the perfect time for your organization to leverage or develop a digital following.

  • Public Narrative aims to help communities tell their stories through communications tools and the media. They offer frequent trainings, some of which are free for nonprofits.Public Narrative will be offering a FREE webinar entitled “People, Pegs, and Pitches: How do you tell your story when everything is shut down?” from 12 – 1:30PM on 3/20, 3/25, and 3/27. Register here.
  • Zoom allows you to host online meetings, create collaboration-enabled conference rooms, and host video webinars. A Zoom Basic plan is free and allows you to host meetings up to 40 minutes long.
    • When hosting Zoom calls with the public or external stakeholders, make sure to follow these tips, for your safety and comfort:
      • For large, public access calls, disable the setting that lets all participants share their screen.
      • Disable “Join Before Host” so people can’t cause trouble before you arrive.
      • Enabling “Co-Host” so you can assign others to help moderate.
      • Disable “File Transfer” so there’s no digital virus sharing.
      • Disable “Allow Removed Participants to Rejoin” so booted attendees can’t slip back in.
      • Consider adding a password for both scheduled and instant meetings. Otherwise, someone only needs the link to join in on your call.
      • Be wary of unsolicited Zoom invitations from groups you’ve never interacted with before.

Return to Table of Contents


What about the 2020 Census?

Bureau outreach kicked off in early March, and invitations to complete the Census continue to arrive in mailboxes. Over 11 million households had responded as of March 18th.

Return to Table of Contents

Census Bureau Updates

The 2020 Census is still proceeding as constitutionally mandated. However, the Census Bureau has taken a number of steps to slow the spread of coronavirus.

  • Census field operations will be suspended until April 1st.
  • The Census is working with service providers at emergency and transitional shelters, soup kitchens, and regularly scheduled mobile food vans to adapt plans to count the populations they serve.
    • The Census Bureau is now contacting service providers to determine…
      • Whether they will be open between March 30 and April 1
      • Whether they would be able to provide a paper listing of census response data for each person served or staying at the facility
        • This would be instead of Census-conducted interviews.
  • Census Bureau is contacting group quarters facilities to see if they will be able to take down Census information on March 30th or April 1st at their facility.
    • Group Quarters Operation includes places like college dorms, nursing homes, group homes, halfway houses and prisons.
  • College students will be counted where they live most of the time around April 1st
    • The Census Bureau is asking schools to reach out to students to remind them to complete the Census.
    • If a student lives mostly at school, they should be counted as living there, rather than at home.
  • Census takers will begin visiting non-responsive households in late May.
    • To reach non-responsive households, the Bureau will emphasize phone calls instead of in-person visits.
    • If necessary, Census takers will knock on doors in accordance with public health guidance.

The most recent updates to the Census Bureau’s plans and strategies can be found via the Census Bureau’s press releases.

Relevant Press Releases as of 3/19/2020:

Return to Table of Contents

Census Community Outreach

As community organizations, we have an obligation to our neighbors to promote an accurate and fair 2020 Census count. However, COVID-19 presents obvious challenges to that imperative.

But don’t worry – with some creativity and ingenuity, there are some ways we can still connect those we serve with Census info and resources.

  • Social media posts, including paid, geo-targeted ads, can help connect thousands of local community members with information about when and how to complete the Census.
  • Mailers can send Census outreach printouts and goodies to community members, such as…
    • Fact sheets
    • Small posters
    • Buttons
    • Pledge cards
  • Supermarkets and other stores that people regularly access can be valuable Census outreach partners. You can contact local businesses and see if you use the following at their location:
    • Posters
    • Plastic or paper bags with Census information
    • Flyers
    • Census info stamps on eggs and egg cartons
  • Pre-packaged food assistance pickups can be stuffed with Census outreach info and goodies.
  • Online events, such as games, webinars, and livestreams, can be used to speak to community members about the Census through the internet.
    • Facebook Live is a way to livestream video for free. You can use a Facebook event and targeted ads to get the word out.
    • Zoom and other free videoconferencing tools can be used to host public webinars.

Return to Table of Contents


How can I make sure my organization has enough volunteers?

Due to the importance of social distancing, many organizations may be experiencing volunteer shortages. There are digital tools available to help your organization try to recruit new volunteers.

  • The NFPN Volunteer Recruitment Hub is a way for our network to connect with volunteers in our community. Download and complete this sign-up form and email it to rmaia(at)lacasanorte.org to have your organization’s opportunities added to the hub.
  • VolunteerMatch allows you to list your volunteer opportunities online for potential volunteers to find. Click on the link above to visit their site and register your organization.
  • The Greater Chicago Food Depository has offered to potentially connect emergency food providers with volunteers. Call them at 773-247-3663 for more info.

Return to Table of Contents


Resource Repositories

Many organizations and networks have already created lists, documents, and hubs chock full of information and resources related to COVID-19. Check them out below!

Return to Table of Contents


Stay Positive!

Self-care is key to your productivity and wellbeing, especially during a crisis. Without taking care of yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally, you won’t be an effective community change agent. Here are some ideas and resources aimed at helping you care for yourself.

Return to Table of Contents

Building Resilience

COVID-19 is a huge stress on the resilience of community organizations and community members alike. The San Diego Diplomacy Council recently hosted a webinar titled How U.S. Diplomats Thrive in Adversity.

The webinar featured a former U.S. diplomat who shared 5 key factors that everyone should incorporate into everyday life to sustain resilience during a crisis:

  1. Self-care,
  2. Problem solving,
  3. Having a positive outlook,
  4. Finding a meaning or a purpose, and
  5. Maintaining social support.

Watch the presentation here for advice on how to implement these key factors during the COVID-19 crisis.

Return to Table of Contents

Taking care of your mental health

It’s hard to sift through the messages and information coming at us. Worse, the “unknown unknown” (not knowing what you don’t even know) can cause even greater anxiety for those of us who are panic-prone.

Call4Calm

The Illinois Department of Human Services’ Mental Health Division has launched Call4Calm, a free-of-charge emotional support text line for Illinois residents experiencing stress and mental health issues related to COVID-19.

  • Individuals who would like to speak with a mental health professional can text “TALK” to 552020.
  • For Spanish, individuals can text “HABLAR” to 552020.
  • Call4Calm is free to use, and individuals will remain anonymous.
  • Once a resident sends a text to the hotline, within 24 hours they will receive a call from a counselor employed by a local community mental health center to provide support. 

Individuals can also text 552020 with key words such as “unemployment” or “food” or “shelter” and receive information on how to navigate and access supports and services.

Return to Table of Contents

National Alliance on Mental Illness

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has published a collection of COVID-19 information and resources which can be found here.

If you are in need of mental health assistance, NAMI has a dedicated helpline that can provide assistance

  • NAMI Helpline
  • Monday-Friday, 9:00AM to 5:00PM CDT
  • (800) 950-6264

Return to Table of Contents

Supporting local businesses

Countless research studies have illustrated the strong connection between economics and hunger. Small and local businesses play a critical role in ensuring food security for our communities. By supporting these businesses as they grapple with the financial implications of COVID-19, you can help promote food security while also treating yourself to something nice.

Return to Table of Contents

Silver linings

The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic is not to be taken lightly. But in the interest of raising collective spirits, here are some “silver linings” that have resulted from the disease outbreak.

  • In Venice, without pollution from boats, swans and dolphins have visited the canals for the first time in nearly 60 years!
  • Reduced air pollution in China will potentially save the lives of tens of thousands of people, according to a professor at Stanford.
  • Many organizations and companies are offering frequent webinars in place of events that would usually require you to attend in person, saving us all time and money. Plus, you can attend meetings in your pajamas!
  • Some schools are developing useful remote learning resources for parents to explore with their children.

Return to Table of Contents

Just for fun

  • Chicago’s Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN) launched InnerNet Cyphers, a series of interactive virtual Cyphers with intimate audiences for artists to share performances or live demos of their artistic process, workshops, or conversations about relevant topics. Register for an upcoming virtual experience here.
  • NPR has a constantly-updated list of online concerts and performances that are being livestreamed.
  • Netflix Party is a free Google Chrome extension that allows you to watch Netflix with your friends online, synchronizing video playback and adding group chat.
  • See below for more uplifting COVID-19 content.
Neil Diamon’s COVID-19 “Sweet Caroline” Remix

Return to Table of Contents


Latest COVID-19 Hub Updates

Most Recent Updates

  • 6/19/20: Added IDHS COVID-19 Resources for Immigrants and Refugees.

Past Updates

6/10/20: Added links to guide on How to Use Your Link Card to Buy Groceries Online, the City of Chicago Grocery Store Status Map, and ICIRR COVID-19 Immigrant Family Support Project Funds. Updated GCFD Pop Up Pantry links and locations.

5/29/20: Added “Social Media while Social Distancing” webinar recordings and slides. Added NAMI COVID-19 Information and Resource Guide.

5/20/20: Added “Get Your Stimulus Check” resource. Rearranged resources into new sections – there are now distinct sections for Financial, Housing, Employment and Unemployment, Family, Legal, and Additional Resources.

  • 5/12/20: Added COVID-19 Rights and Resources for Youth and Families Experiencing Homelessness. Added Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program info. Added Chicago Homelessness Prevention Call Center.
  • 5/11/20: Added COVID-19 funding opportunities for nonprofits (Emergent Fund, Open Road Alliance, and Eat the Change Impact Grants). Added Contact Tracer Training Program.
  • 5/7/20: Added bilingual NFPN Food Delivery Resource Guide.
  • 5/6/20: Added GCFD COVID-19 Pop-Up Pantries info and flyer. Added Rentervention chat bot/text line for free help with housing legal issues. Added CUB utility consumer hotline. Added new Documenters training date.
  • 5/1/20: Added COVID-19 Food Safety and Hygiene Resources section.
  • 4/28/20: Added Housing Resources Guide by Latino Policy Forum. Added COVID-19 testing guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health. Added Paying Resources during COVID-19 section. Added Resources for Undocumented Immigrants and their Families During COVID-19.
  • 4/27/20: Added unemployment benefits as a 1099 or gig worker. Added SNAP online/telephonic applications flyer. Added Chi COVID Coach app info.
  • 4/22/20: Added Elegibilidad de Inmigrantes Para Programas Públicos (Immigrant Eligibility for Public Programs). Added P-EBT update. Added City Bureau COVID-19 Resource Finder.
  • 4/20/20: Added Legal Aid Chicago SNAP application help and other resource info to Food Resources and other resources sections. Updated the fact that No Kid Hungry and Center for Community Health grant applications have closed.
  • 4/15/20: Added section on Getting Tested for COVID-19. Added Spanish hygiene inforgraphic. Added Call4Calm text/hotline to mental health section. Added resources for disability community. Added Lurie Children’s Call Center. Added link to South Side Weekly map of Chicago coronavirus deaths.
  • 4/14/20: Added SNAP Changes section with links to NFPN SNAP blog posts. Added Protecting Immigrant Families funding opportunity.
  • 4/13/20: Added Chicago Tribune Coronavirus Guide. Alphabetized resource repository list. Added Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund. Added “Framing COVID-19” guide to External Communications section. Added Tufts COVID-19 Connector Platform.
  • 4/9/20, 5PM: Adding Building Resilience webinar. Added section on how to make and use masks.
  • 4/8/20, 1PM: Added COVID-19 Food Resources Guide update. Added Loans Available for Nonprofits in the CARES Act. Added COVID-19 Community Recovery and Response Fund. Revised “Federal Relief for Nonprofits” section to be titled “Financial Aid for Nonprofits.”
  • 4/6/20, 4PM: Added $1 Childcare for Essential Workers. Added Federal Relief for Nonprofits section.
  • 4/3/20, 11AM: Added “CARES Act: How Can Your Nonprofit Take Advantage?”
  • 4/2/20, 2PM: Added links to ICIRR COVID-19 resources for immigrants. Created Immigrant and Refugee Resources section.
  • 4/1/20, 12PM: Added Block Club Chicago Resources. Added Chicago Vintage Shops support link. Added Chicago Help Initiative COVID-19 Meal Resource Guide.
  • 3/31/20, 2PM: Added IMAN’s Innernet Cyphers entertainment events. Reorganized page to have food resources separate from housing/financial/health resources. Added news of Illinois’s stay at home order extending to April 30th.
  • 3/31/20, 12PM: Added Little Village Environmental Justice Organization COVID-19 Resources. Added “The Coronavirus Collection: Fact-Checking COVID-19” by Snopes. Added Chicago Housing Assistance Grant.
  • 3/30/20, 3PM: Added Logan Square Mutual Aid. Added Modern Farmer’s List of CSAs in 50 States. Added DO312’s list of local Chicago business offers. Added “The Ultimate Guide to Remote Work.” Added Chicago and Illinois COVID-19 Resource Page. Added Illinois SNAP Advocates’ Rolling SNAP Policy Updates Google doc.
  • 3/27/20, 12PM: Added Cradles to Crayons Family Resource Map and COVID-19 Resource Guide.
  • 3/26/20, 2PM: Added United Way 211 hotline. Added University of Illinois COVID-19 Resources link. Added link to NFPN COVID-19 Assistance page.
  • 3/25/20, 4PM: Added Howard Browth Sliding Scale Telehealth. Added Chicago COVID-19 Hardship and Help Page.
  • 3/25/20, 1PM: Added emergency funds and resources for undocumented communities affected by COVID-19. Added info about supporting Chicago Board Game Cafe.
  • 3/24/20, 5PM: Added 8 Tips for Communicating with Employees During a Crisis. Added Forefront COVID-19 Resources and Policy Updates.
  • 3/23/20, 5PM: Added WHO link to COVID-19 Symptoms section. Added Breaking News regarding hotels being used to house residents experiencing homelessness.
  • 3/23/20, 3:PM: Added WBEZ Coronavirus Live Blog. Added Neil Diamond “Sweet Caroline” COVID-19 Remix. Added link to Legal Aid Chicago unemployment benefits fact sheet.
  • 3/23/20, 10:00AM: Added Round-Up of Multilingual COVID-19 Resources
  • 3/20/20, 12:30PM: Added No Kid Hungry Emergency Grant. Added Illinois Hunger Hotline. Added NAMI Chicago mental health hotline.
  • 3/19/20, 6:30PM: Added “Taking care of your mental health,” which highlights a collection of COVID-19 resources and info from the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Return to Table of Contents



[1] https://www.chicago.gov/content/dam/city/depts/cdph/HealthProtectionandResponse/COVID-19%20Guidance%20for%20Community-%20and%20Faith-based%20Organizations%2002.28.2020.pdf

[2] https://www.chicagosfoodbank.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/COVID-19-Partner-Communication-03122020.pdf

[3] https://www.chicagosfoodbank.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/COVID-19-Partner-Communication-03122020.pdf

[4] https://www.wcvb.com/article/ag-warns-mass-residents-of-covid-19-scams-misinformation/31345272#