Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates and Information
The Food Depository prioritizes the health and safety of our community, volunteers and staff. We are taking extra precautions around our facility, and we are prepared to respond to increased needs for food related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
If You Need Food
- Food pantries are available: The majority of our partner agencies and programs remain open. Find a food program here. We recommend calling before you go to confirm program hours and requirements.
- Food assistance is an essential service. The Food Depository and community partners throughout our network will stay open during the Illinois ‘Stay-at-Home’ order. While some programs have temporarily closed, we’re working closely with our network to support continued operations.
- School meals: Many schools are providing take-home meals that families can pick up. Some schools are providing curbside pick up to support social distancing. Some schools are providing several days’ worth of meals. Call your child’s school or visit the Chicago Public Schools website for more information.
- Starting April 6, the Chicago Public Schools locations providing meals will change. CPS meal sites will not be open on Friday, April 10. Please visit this page for full details.
- Public benefits: Our Benefits Outreach team can help you apply for SNAP and Medicaid and make referrals for other public benefits. Call our hotline at 773-843-5416 for a free confidential interview, or fill out our form and receive a call back.
- Visit our community partners, not our facility: The Food Depository distributes food through a network of community partners. We do not give out food at our facility. If you need food today, call 773-247-3663 or 311 for help finding food.
How You Can Help
- The economic impact of COVID-19 is likely to increase food insecurity in our community. Closures of businesses and schools could affect lower-income families and people with hourly wages in particular.
- Make a donation: While all support is appreciated, financial support lets us use your gift to meet the greatest needs. A donation of any amount helps us continue to respond.
- Volunteer in our warehouse: Volunteers aged 18-60 are needed to pack food boxes. Volunteering is an essential service during Illinois’ “Stay-at-Home” order. Sign up here for volunteer sessions.
- Sign up for our email list to stay informed on our latest news and updates.
- Watch and share our response in the news.
- Please read our latest communication to the network here. This document includes recommendations for serving our community while protecting the health and safety of everyone involved in food distributions. (Updated March 12)
Volunteering and Events
- The safety of our staff, volunteers and community remains our highest priority. We are taking extra precautions, including increased cleaning and sanitizing of our facility.
- All Chicago’s Community Kitchens training and information sessions are currently on hold. Please check this page for updates on when the program is expected to resume. (Updated March 16)
- At this time, volunteer sessions are planned to run as scheduled. We have updated the volunteer repack schedule to allow for two repacks a day. See the schedule here.
- We are setting up volunteer projects to allow social distancing.
- We are currently recommending that only those between the ages of 18 and 60 volunteer.
- We are asking volunteers and staff to stay home if they experience any symptoms of illness, or if they have traveled to high-risk locations within the last 14 days.
- We have postponed the Chicago Commercial Real Estate Awards Dinner – our largest annual fundraising event – which was scheduled for March 19. We look forward to rescheduling this event for a later date in 2020.