Family COVID-19 Resources
Here are some useful resources for you and your family during the COVID-19 crisis. We are all in this together and I am committed to making sure that Congress and the State of Illinois work together to protect your families and give you the resources needed to get through this crisis.
Child Care Resources
In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect our children, Governor Pritzker issued a "shelter-in-place" order in effect until the end of the month that includes the closing of all K-12 schools, private or public. The most up-to-date information about school closures can be found on the Illinois State Board of Education's website, here.
With schools closed across Illinois, you may be searching for affordable and safe child care options. The State of Illinois' Child Care Resource and Referral Agency was launched to help connect essential workers and their families to emergency child care during this pandemic. More information can be found here.
If you are an essential worker who needs emergency child care, you can call the toll-free helpline at 888-228-1146 or visit the Office of Governor JB Pritzker's COVID-19 Emergency Provider Search, here.
More information from the Governor's office on emergency child care can be found here.
Affordable & Free Food Access:
If you and your family are facing new or worsened food security challenges as a result of COVID-19, there are resources available to help you provide for your family.
You can find a food pantry using Feeding America's locator, here.
The Illinois State Board of Education has obtained a waiver from the federal government to continue distributing meals to all children who qualify for free and reduced lunch. Gov. Pritzker is also encouraging schools to expand their meal distribution program to all children under 18 or any student enrolled in an Illinois school, regardless of their age.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act passed several weeks ago, strengthened nutrition programs including SNAP benefits. You can learn more about the Illinois Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) here or by calling 800-843-6154.
To determine if you are eligible for Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), you can use the WIC PreScreening Tool found here.
To find food assistance near you, you can also call the USDA National Hunger Hotline at 1-800-3-HUNGRY.
No one should face eviction or foreclosure during a global pandemic. Thankfully, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac have suspended evictions and foreclosures during this crisis.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency has created a website to offer information to homeowners who need mortgage help due to COVID-19 that can be found here.
Last week, I joined a letter urging Congressional leadership to protect the most vulnerable Americans by putting a temporary nationwide moratorium on essential utility disconnections, including electricity, heat, water, telecommunications, and internet, until the COVID-19 threat has passed and the American economy has stabilized. This letter also requests the next phase of COVID-19 relief legislation to require services already cut off to be safely reconnected and allow all late fees and bill payments for low-wealth families to be forgiven through the end of a grace period.
Illinois residents experiencing stress and mental health issues related to COVID-19 can text "TALK" or "HABLAR" to 552020. Within 24 hours, you will receive a call from a counselor employed by a local community mental health center to provide support.
My Work on Family COVID-19 Resources
With the hours dwindling until Joe Biden is sworn in -- officially taking the helm of the US government during its worst health crisis in 100 years -- a sense of nervousness has set in among those advising the incoming President on the pandemic.
Washington, DC – Today, at a hearing of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL) highlighted the work done and investments made during the Obama administration that are directly responsible for the successes of current vaccines in development. Specifically, Foster pointed to President Obama’s decision to invest in mRNA vaccine research, which is one platform being used to develop potential vaccines in record time.