Benefits Assistance
Need help applying for SNAP or Medicaid benefits?

Call us at 773-843-5416 for a short, free, confidential interview. We will help you through every step of the process: determining your eligibility, applying for benefits, recertifying your eligibility, and managing your case.

Need assistance with other kinds of benefits?

We can also help identify whether you may be eligible for other benefits. These benefits include:
Benefits for Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
Assistance with electricity and heating (LIHEAP)
Tax credits (EITC)
While we cannot process your application for these programs, we can tell you the closest place to apply. Call our Benefits Hotline at 773-843-5416 for more information.

Our Benefits Hotline is open Monday through Friday between 8:30am and 5:00pm. Calls received outside of that window will be returned within 48 hours.

Privacy Note: The Food Depository respects your privacy. We only share the information you give us with the Illinois Department of Human Services to help process your benefits. We never share information with any immigration or law enforcement agencies.

Here’s How We Help

Public benefits help people afford healthy food and overcome poverty. Our Benefits Outreach team works in the community to increase access to benefits:

  • We train staff at food pantries and shelters to provide SNAP application assistance.
  • We work with local partners like schools and healthcare providers to raise awareness of benefits.
  • We help people find out if they’re eligible for benefits at special events like community fairs and Veterans Stand Down.
  • We provide general training on SNAP for community organizations.


Don’t Lose Your SNAP Benefits!

You must take action to extend SNAP benefits that expire at the end of October 2020.

If you receive a renewal notice from the IL Department of Human Services (DHS) in September, you must submit documents to continue receiving benefits in November. Your benefits may be canceled if you do not submit a renewal.

•  Complete and sign renewal form (received with renewal notice)
•  Submit required documents listed in the renewal form
•  Fax to the DHS Central Scanning Unit at 844-736-3563
•  You can also renew online at by using/creating a Manage My Case account

If you miss the deadline, you can still continue your benefits, but you should take action as soon as possible:
•  If you submit the renewal form and documents before the end of October, you will receive full November benefits, though they may be delayed.
•  If you submit the renewal form and documents in November, you will receive partial month benefits for November.
•  If you don’t take action before the end of November, you will have to reapply for SNAP and you will not receive benefits for November.

If you are due for renewal, you should receive a letter in September. If you did not receive a renewal form but you think you might be due to renew, you can create a Manage My Case account on and check online or call the IL Department of Human Services at 800-843-6154.

If you are a resident of Cook County, call the Greater Chicago Food Depository’s Benefits Outreach Team for further assistance at 773-843-5416.


Your unemployment insurance benefits may decrease after July 25

If you are signed up for unemployment benefits during the pandemic, you probably received a temporary $600 per week boost on top of regular unemployment benefits. This temporary boost is scheduled to expire at the end of July.
If you need help with food, there are two ways to get help:


SNAP provides a debit card to purchase groceries. To find out if you are eligible or to get help with your application, call the Food Depository’s Benefits Outreach Team at 773-843-5416 or apply online with the Illinois Department of Human Services at

Food Pantry

You can get groceries from a food pantry near you. To locate the nearest pantry, call 773-247-3663 or visit

National Council on Aging logo

Thanks to National Council on Aging for their partnership in our outreach to older adults.