Apply for Growing Home’s Paid Production Assistant Job Training Program

Apply by August 21st to join Growing Home’s paid Production Assistant job training program.

Growing Home’s urban organic farm is once again hiring for its Production Assistant job training program.

Based in Englewood, Growing Home is Chicago’s leading expert in farm-based training for people with employment barriers.

Growing Home knows that when people have jobs, they have financial stability in their lives. Financial stability helps people eat healthy and live a healthy lifestyle.

Also, when communities have access to healthy food options, the overall well-being and health of the community improves.

Job Training Program Highlights

Growing Home’s paid Production Assistant job training program combines time spent working on the on-site urban farm with lessons on work readiness and environmental literacy, an emotional resilience curriculum, and ongoing support for career success post-graduation.

  • Applicants who are accepted begin with a job training program that pays $16/hour for 16-20 hours per week.
  • The job training program will be via remote learning due to COVID-19.
  • Applicants must be 18 years or older, unemployed, and Chicago residents.
  • Participants are meant to transition into permanent, full-time employment after graduation.

Program participants also have opportunities to earn professional certifications, gain access to free legal consultation for record sealing and expungement, and receive the support of a case manager available to provide referrals for supportive services.

COVID-19 Considerations

Growing Home will continue to facilitate the 2020 program as a blended virtual and in-person curriculum.

  • Farm-based portions of the program will still be held on-site with heightened health and safety measures.
  • All traditionally classroom-based lessons will be facilitated virtually over Zoom.

Attached to this email is an updated Production Assistant Job Description that provides more detail on exactly what the blended on-site/remote job training program will look like.

Applying

Application Deadline for Cohort 3: August 21st, 2020

The application process will be run entirely remotely. It is outlined at the end of the Job Description flyer.

If you have any questions about the remote application process or the program, you can reach out to Amelia Nawn, Growing Home’s Program Operations Coordinator, at anawn@growinghomeinc.org

See this link for more details and check out the flyers below!


Emergency Rental and Mortgage Assistance from Illinois Housing Development Authority

The Illinois Housing Development Authority is offering emergency rental and mortgage assistance to help Illinois residents during COVID-19.

The Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) will soon be offering emergency rental and mortgage assistance to help Illinois residents during COVID-19.

The Illinois General Assembly has dedicated $396 million in Coronavirus Relief Funding to IHDA to fund affordable housing grants for emergency rental assistance and emergency mortgage assistance.

When to Apply:

  • IHDA will accept Emergency Rental Assistance Program applications August 10 through August 21.
  • IHDA will accept Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program applications August 24 through September 4.

Please see below for more information, videos, and printable flyers on IHDA’s Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) and Emergency Mortgage Assistance (EMA) Programs.

Contents

Click a link below to quickly go to a specific section!

  1. Emergency Rental Assistance Program
  2. Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program
  3. ERA and EMA Background

Emergency Rental Assistance Program

Summary

The Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program will give $5,000 to renters impacted by COVID-19 for back rent and prepay through 2020.

  • IHDA will accept Emergency Rental Assistance Program applications August 10 through August 21.
  • You must have an unpaid rent balance that began on or after March 1, 2020 due to loss of income related to COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information, please see the video links and flyers below or go to https://era.ihda.org/.

To apply, please click the button below.

Return to Table of Contents


Videos

Emergency Rental Assistance Video

Programa de Asistencia de Renta Video

Return to Table of Contents


Flyers




Emergency Mortgage Assistance

Summary

The Emergency Mortgage Assistance (EMA) program will provide homeowners impacted by COVID-19 up to $15,000 to reinstate their mortgage and prepay through 2020.

  • IHDA will accept Emergency Mortgage Assistance applications August 24 through September 4.
  • You must have a past due balance or a forbearance balance that began sometime on or after March 1, 2020 due to loss of income related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information, please see the videos and flyers below or go to https://ema.ihda.org/.

To apply, click the button below.

Return to Table of Contents


Videos

Emergency Mortgage Assistance Video

Asistencia Hipotecaria de Emergencia Vídeo

Return to Table of Contents


Flyers


Return to Table of Contents


ERA and EMA Program Background

Lawndale Cares: Helpline and Financial Support

Lawndale Cares helping residents in Lawndale and surrounding neighborhoods find resources and meet their needs.

Lawndale resident sews masks at Stone Temple Missionary Baptist Church.
Picture Credit: Pidgeon Pagonis

The newly created Lawndale Cares Virtual Helpline is now helping residents in Lawndale and surrounding neighborhoods find local resources and meet basic needs.

  • The helpline is available to North Lawndale residents and those in nearby communities, including Little Village.
  • Residents can request help online by…
  • Residents can also call the helpline at 800-655-1626.
    • Volunteers and helpline staff are available 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday for immediate assistance.

Additionally, the Lawndale Cares mutual aid network has created The Compassion Fund for North Lawndale residents to get help paying for food, child care, transportation assistance and housing.


Check out this Block Club Chicago article for more details about these awesome grassroots resources.

Racial Equity and Hunger Resources

The Racial Equity and Hunger National Learning Network has an upcoming webinar, a podcast, and a website for organizations and individuals fighting hunger.

About Racial Equity and Hunger

Racial equity is fundamental to addressing hunger in our community. Without looking at hunger through a racial equity lens, we will have no hope of creating sustainable and just solutions to hunger.

“Racial equity is both a process that focuses on centering the needs, power and leadership of people of color, and the goal of achieving equal outcomes.”

Racial Equity and Hunger Learning Network
  • Communities of color (namely African American and Indigenous communities) are consistently 2-3 times more likely to experience hunger as their white counterparts.
  • This was the case even before the recession, and this disparity has only grown in the midst of COVID-19.
  • When it comes to food, race matters.

The Racial Equity and Hunger National Learning Network is a network of individuals, organizations, agencies and policy makers who care about ending hunger. We recognize that to achieve this goal, we must discuss race and apply a racial equity lens. The Northwest Food Partners Network is a member of this network.

Resources

The Racial Equity and Hunger National Learning Network has an upcoming webinar, a podcast, and a website that should serve as resources for organizations and individuals fighting hunger.


Upcoming Webinar: Identifying and Dismantling White Supremacy

Webinar series starts August 18th. Register here.

From August to November, the Racial Equity and Hunger Learning Network will host a 5-part webinar series on identifying and dismantling white supremacy.

This 5-part series will begin to equip participants with the tools, practices and language to feel confident speaking about white supremacy and related concepts (race, racism, anti-black racism, etc.), as well as in their ability to disrupt white supremacy and racism.

After the first four webinars, participants will have the opportunity to practice what it means to disrupt white supremacy with other Network members in their area.

The webinar series will conclude with a final webinar that will highlight the experiences of network members who started to implement these practices and help network members refine their toolbox to continue disrupting white supremacy.


Podcast: Race, Hunger and COVID-19 in African American Communities

With COVID-19, our country is seeing that communities of color are experiencing the impacts of hunger and the impacts of dying from the coronavirus at higher rates.

Many are not sure what to do and very much need guidance in how to apply a racial equity response in their programs, policies, and so forth.

The Racial Equity & Hunger National Learning Network Podcast is designed to educate, inspire and enable those interested in advancing racial equity and ending hunger through sharing experiences, expertise and recommendations from experts around the country.


The Racial Equity and Hunger Website

Learn more about the Racial Equity and Hunger Learning Network and access resources on racial equity and hunger by visiting https://www.racialequityhunger.org/.

Chicago COVID-19 Rental Assistance: Apply by August 14th

COVID-19 Rental and Mortgage Assistance applications will now be accepted until Monday, August 14th at 11:59PM.

Photo by Ryan Maia

The City of Chicago recently announced an additional $25 million in COVID-19 rent and mortgage relief funding this month for Chicagoans impacted by coronavirus.

Deadline: COVID-19 Rental and Mortgage Assistance applications will be accepted from Monday, July 27 at 10:00AM until Friday, August 14th at 11:59PM.

Note: The original deadline was Monday, August 10th. It has been extended to Friday, August 14th.

A lottery (randomized) system will be used to select applications that will receive funding through this program.

This is intended to create a level equity and fairness. A first come, first serve system would favor applicants who happen to be more experienced using the Internet or who have all the required documents readily available.

Since a lottery system will be used, applicants who apply first will not receive higher priority.


Apply

To learn more and apply online, click here.

You can also apply in person at one of six Chicago Community Service Centers:

  1. Englewood Community Service Center
    • 1140 West 79th Street, Chicago, IL 60620, 312-747-0200
    • Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  2. Garfield Community Service Center
    • 10 South Kedzie Avenue, Chicago, IL 60612, 312-746-5400
    • Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  3. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Center
    • 4314 South Cottage Grove, Chicago, IL 60653, 312-747-2300
    • Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  4. North Area Community Service Center
    • 845 West Wilson Avenue, Chicago, IL 60640, 312-744-2580
    • Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  5. South Chicago Community Service Center
    • 8650 South Commercial Avenue, Chicago, IL 60617, 312-747-0500
    • Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  6. Trina Davila Community Service Center
    • 4312 West North Avenue, Chicago, IL 60639, 312-744-2014
    • Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Deadline: COVID-19 Rental and Mortgage Assistance applications will be accepted from Monday, July 27 at 10:00AM until Monday, August 14th at 11:59PM.


More Info

Required Documents: The City of Chicago will ask for documentation to verify identity, social security number, income amount, and proof of housing. For more information about required documents, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions: For answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the City of Chicago’s COVID-19 Rental and Mortgage Assistance Program, click here.

Expanded Financial Relief for Illinoisans

Illinois households with income up to 200% of the federal poverty level are now eligible to receive assistance with utility bills, rent, temporary shelter, food, and other household necessities.

The State of Illinois just authorized an expansion of the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) program. This expansion will help Illinoisans get emergency assistance to cover costs of utility bills, rent, temporary shelter, food, and other household necessities.

Households with income up to 200% of the federal poverty level are now eligible to receive financial assistance. Increased income eligibility thresholds aim to assist additional households needing support due to COVID-19.

Here are the services covered by this newly expanded financial relief:

Here is the income eligibility chart for these expanded services:

Family Size
(total number in household)
30-Day Income
Total to Meet Eligibility​
1$2,127
2$2,873
3$3,620
4$4,367
Add $747 monthly income per person above 4 people

This new funding means approximately 1 million more residents are now eligible for this program – with about 3.5 million residents eligible in total. For an average family, that amounts to hundreds of dollars.

What documentation do I need to prove eligibility? For each household member, please have the following documents ready to confirm eligibility with your LAA or CAA:

  • Social security card
  • Proof of past 30-day income (such as a paystub, check, or copy of check showing fixed income amount [e.g. SSA, VA, DHS benefits] or other proof of documentation for any income source)
  • Utility bill if seeking utility bill assistance or lease if seeking rental assistance

Residents seeking emergency relief can visit helpillinoisfamilies.com to determine their eligibility and submit a pre-application.

COVID-19 Relief Fund for Immigrant Families in Illinois

The COVID-19 Immigrant Family Support Project will provide funds to low-income immigrants in Illinois who are not eligible for the federal stimulus package, unemployment insurance, or public benefits.

UPDATE: According to ICIRR, the $2 million in funds have been exhausted. ICIRR is no longer accepting applications for emergency assistance.

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.

How to Apply

Applicants will have to contact selected community-based organizations, who will screen applicants, determine eligibility, and assist in the application process.

Immigrant households should text “COVIDIL” to 52886 to receive more information and updates. Applications will be accepted until June 30th or when funds run out.

For information on how to apply, go to www.icirr.org/covidil or text “COVIDIL” to 52886. Please also see the infographics at the bottom of this blog post for more information.

Eligibility

  • You must not be eligible for federal stimulus, unemployment insurance, or public benefits.
  • You must live in the state of Illinois.
  • You have experienced income disruption due to COVID-19.
  • Priority will be given to households with income below 200% of the Federal Poverty Line. Please see the Income Guidelines infographic below for more details.

Infographics

Overview

Apply

Eligibility

Income Guidelines

Northwest Food Partners Network Distributes over 40,000 Pounds of Produce in Humboldt Park

On 6/6/20, the Northwest Food Partners Network and Kells Park Community Council successfully distributed over 40,000 pounds of produce to our community.

About the Giveaway

On Saturday, June 6th, the Northwest Food Partners Network (NFPN), Kells Park Community Council, and La Casa Norte successfully distributed a shipment of over 1600 boxes of produce to Chicagoans living in Humboldt Park and surrounding neighborhoods.

The 1620 boxes of produce were provided to us by Food Rescue US, which received the boxes through the USDA Farmers to Families Food Box program.

Strict social distancing and mask-wearing practices were put in place during the giveaway, minimizing the possible spread of COVID-19.

Each box was filled with approximately 25 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables. Altogether, over 40,000 pounds of produce were distributed, promoting the health and happiness of hundreds of households.

Block Club Chicago wrote an article sharing our event, leading to an enormous turnout. Within two hours, all 40,000 pounds of produce were distributed.

Addressing COVID-19

In the community we serve, food, socioeconomic status, and health are inextricably linked. During COVID-19, the health and nutrition of our community have become especially vulnerable. Our produce giveaway was an effort to address these vulnerabilities.

A woman receiving produce for her family from a volunteer at our June 2020 Produce Giveaway

Due to layoffs and other unemployment situations, demand at food pantries and hot meal programs in our community has skyrocketed. This April, traffic on NFPN’s emergency food resources page went up 1000% compared to this February.

While donations have risen, finding the PPE and volunteers necessary to safely distribute food has not been easy. Some emergency food providers in our community have been forced to shut down or operate in a reduced capacity during the pandemic. Health concerns have made it difficult for elderly and medically vulnerable community members to safely access emergency food.

Volunteers at La Casa Norte’s Nutrition Center.

By distributing over 40,000 pounds of fresh produce (and practicing social distancing while doing so) we took a small step towards food and health equity in our community. But there’s still much to be done, which is why we are currently coordinating future produce donations and distributions.

Why We Fight Hunger

In terms of food access, health outcomes, and socioeconomic status, the neighborhoods that NFPN focuses on (Humboldt Park, Hermosa, East Garfield Park, Belmont Cragin, West Town, and Logan Square) are among Chicago’s historically underserved communities.

The households we serve are largely located in food and transportation deserts. “L” train stops are few and far between, and supermarkets aren’t as abundant as they are in other parts of Chicago. This makes it difficult for community members to access fresh, nutritious produce.

In addition, household reliance on SNAP (i.e. “food stamps”) in our community is high, as depicted by the map below. Unfortunately, “junk food” often offers more calories per dollar and has a better shelf life than fresh fruits and vegetables.

SNAP (Food Stamp) Usage in Chicago (Map by Ryan Maia, NFPN)

Severe Housing Cost Burden rates are also well above the citywide average in many of the neighborhoods we serve. Families dealing with severe housing cost burdens are often forced to choose between paying the bills and buying nutritious food. Recent gentrification and soaring rent prices have only exacerbated this issue.

Severe Housing Cost Burden in Chicago (Map by Ryan Maia, NFPN)

As a result of these and other socioeconomic factors, the community we serve is seriously affected by nutrition-related health issues.

For example, Humboldt Park has a staggering 27.7% child obesity rate, almost 10% higher than the national average. Heart disease—”the nation’s top killer”—causes death among East Garfield Park residents at a rate of 309.4 per 100,000, significantly higher than the national rate of 163.6 per 100,000.

In addition to these health concerns, COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted communities of color in Chicago. Both contraction and mortality rates have been notably higher for black and brown community members.

What Comes Next?

The Northwest Food Partners Network will continue to fight for an end to hunger in our community.

  • We’ll continue distributing nutritious food to our community and rescuing food that would otherwise end up in our landfill. Recognizing that food access intersects with so many other socioeconomic challenges, we’ll continue to create platforms that spread employment, housing, immigration, finances, and legal help—like our COVID-19 Hub and The NFPN Blog.
  • We’ve continued to add partners to our network during the ongoing pandemic, and we have no doubt our membership will only continue to expand. As our network grows, so will our capacity to fight—and ultimately end—hunger in our community.

Join Us in the Fight Against Hunger

Use your Link Card to Order 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!

NOTE: As of 6/10/20, it appears that Amazon online grocery ordering with Link is working! Please email us at northwestfoodpartners@gmail.com if you encounter any issues.

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

Availability

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.


How to Order Groceries from Amazon

  1. Log In: Go to amazon.com to log in or create an Amazon account.
  2. Add Link Card: Go to amazon.com/snap-ebt to add your Link card to your payment options.
  3. Add Eligible Groceries: Go to amazon.com/snap-ebt and click on one of the circled links below to view and choose groceries that are eligible to buy with your Link card.
  4. Checkout: Click “Proceed to Checkout” to select your shipping address and finish your order. If you meet the free shipping order minimum, you will not need a credit card.

How to Order Groceries from Walmart

  1. Order: Order groceries at walmart.com/grocery or on the Walmart Grocery mobile app.
  2. Checkout: During checkout, select “EBT Card” as payment method.
  3. Pickup: Swipe your Link card with the Walmart associate when you arrive at the pickup location.

Please download the flyer below and share with your community!

Meal Sites for Families in Need This Week

A list of locations offering free meals for families in need this week in response to program stoppages

Photo credit: Chicago Mayor’s Office

This blog post was adapted from this article by Block Club Chicago.

Chicago Public Schools suspended its free meal program on Monday, June 1st, but the program will return Tuesday, June 2nd. Here’s a list of CPS meal sites. All previously scheduled meal deliveries will still be delivered. People who want to sign up for future deliveries from CPS can call 773-553-KIDS.

In response to food program stoppages, neighborhood groups and local restaurants are coming together to offer relief. Here is a list of locations offering free meals for families in need this week.

  • The 40th Ward Neighbor Network will deliver meals from CPS schools to families that need them Monday, according to Ald. Andre Vasquez. You can sign up to help here.
  • Humboldt Park Montessori, 2540 W. Division St., will have bagged lunches for families needing food starting at 12:15pm until they run out.
  • The Pilsen Food Pantry was calling for volunteers to help with additional food distribution Monday.
  • Cesar’s Killer Margaritas, 3166 N. Clark St. is distributing boxed meals for families in need from 2:30-4:30 p.m. in light of the CPS news. “We ask you practice social distance, and have a face mask,” the restaurant’s owners posted on Facebook.
  • Urban Grill Chicago, 1132 W. Wilson Ave., is offering free lunches to CPS students from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Christ Lutheran Church at 3253 W. Wilson Ave is providing food for families. If you can donate, you can bring by groceries before 1 p.m. The most useful items are bread, sandwich toppings, peanut butter & jelly, rice, soups, non-perishables, microwavable meals and fruits (other than apples).
  • The Rogers Park Community Response Team is working with local food pantries and restaurants for CPS families in need of food assistance. Those in need can contact the response team’s hotline at 773-831-7668.
  • A small group of people are giving away prepared and canned food 1-3 p.m. Monday ay 3000 N. Kedzie Ave.
  • 39th Ward Alderman Samantha Nugent’s office is also working with neighbors in need of food assistance. Please call her office at 773-736-5594 if you or someone you know is in need.
  • New Life Community Church at 3729 W. Leland Ave. is giving out food, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Tuesday.
  • Mexican restaurant Mi Tocaya — in partnership with Logan Square Neighborhood Association and The Power of 10 initiative — is giving out free meals to  Logan Square families in need each week. On Tuesday, the giveaways start at 11 a.m. at Monroe Elementary, 3651 W. Schubert Ave. Check lsna.net for a full pickup schedule.
  • Teachers and staff at Brentano Math & Science Academy, 2723 N. Fairfield Ave., are giving out food. Contact: (773) 534-4100