I need help with food security

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Your first order of business is to get SNAP.


The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, is money that gets loaded onto a special debit card that you can use at most grocery stores in the city. This is very good and if you meet the requirements you should get it; IL is pretty permissive about what you can buy with it. Many farmers' markets accept SNAP!

If you're sitting here like "oh but I'm not the neediest person in the world, I shouldn't—" yes you should. Shhhh. If you're scared of forms, some food pantries have people who will help you apply.

If you're pregnant, just had a baby, or are nursing, or have children under the age of 5, you are likely eligible for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) EBT program. You need to apply through a DHS office.

Food Pantries

The Greater Chicago Food Depository is like, huge. They have a whole searchable map and probably there's at least one distribution location within walking distance of you, and they're committed to non-discrimination. I really cannot emphasize enough how many locations there are. They also have people at some locations who can help you apply for SNAP and Medicaid, and some locations also have diapers if you need those. They will give you a LOT OF FOOD.

Brave Space Alliance Free Store, Pantry Partner Network and Pantry Delivery Program - Prioritizes black and brown queer and trans people but does not limit to them (I have successfully gotten them to deliver to a white trans woman); the delivery program is just a google form you fill out to request food be delivered. Note that you have to keep requesting food if you do that; it doesn't auto-renew or anything. You can also request it on someone else's behalf, as a side note. Great option if you have difficulty getting to a specific location for one reason or another.