Food Security


For Seniors:

To assist in protecting against coronavirus, several retailers have created dedicated shopping hours for seniors to purchase groceries without crowds. This includes:

  • Whole Foods: One hour before stores open every day
  • Target: First hour of every Wednesday
  • Jewel-Osco: 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays
  • Mariano’s: 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. every day
  • Walmart: One hour before stores open on Tuesdays 
  • Tony’s Fresh Market: 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays

SNAP (Food Stamps) Application:

mRelief is a non-profit that can help you sign up for food stamps.  Find out if you qualify and start your application here

Did you know SNAP benefit requirements are being changed?

Per the recently-enacted Families First Coronavirus Response Act, work requirements are currently suspended. This suspension applies during the period of April 1, 2020, through the end of the month subsequent to the month in which the public health emergency declaration by the Secretary of Health and Human Services based on an outbreak of COVID-19 is lifted. Read full details here.

  1. Starting in 2020, Cook County will be required to implement work requirements for its SNAP program. 
  2. Able-bodied adults must be working or participating in a job training program for a minimum of 80 hours a month.  There are exceptions such as caring for a dependent household member.
  3. Able-bodied adults age 18-50 with no dependent children that are not meeting the work requirement will only be able to collect SNAP benefits for three months within a three-year period.
  4. Questions about your individual benefits can be answered by Illinois Department of Human Services by calling 1-800-843-6154.
  5. Food pantries are an option to supplementing a household’s food budget.  Great Chicago Food Depository and Feeding America have a “pantry locator” tool on their websites. 

CHA is continuing the fight against childhood hunger through its annual participation in the Summer Food Service Program by hosting Summer Food sites in or near CHA developments.

The Agency’s Annual Summer Food Service Program sites provide breakfast and lunch in partnership with the Greater Chicago Food Depository through its grant from the Illinois State Board of Education, which receives federal funds for distribution from the USDA.

There is no cost.  All summer meals offered through the  ISBE/USDA Summer Food Service Program sites are FREE to youth ages 18 and younger and to persons 18 – 21 who have a mental or physical disability.  The program typically runs from mid-June through the end of August.  Food distribution is handled by CHA residents who are hired as Nutrition Aides through the Transitional Jobs Program, funded by CHA.

Find your nearest 2021 CHA Summer Food Site listed here.

To find out how to bring a Summer Feeding site to your community, please visit the Illinois State Board of Education’s website at         

CHA's Golden Diner Partnership with Chicago's Department of Family & Support Services offers healthy meals citywide for Chicago's seniors

Many older adults do not want to eat alone. The Golden Diners Program offers them a way to get a healthy meal each day and enjoy the company of friends. Hot, nutritious lunches are served to older adults (over 60 years of age) at over 55 sites throughout Chicago, including at 19 CHA Senior Buildings. In addition to enjoying a meal with friends and neighbors, seniors can participate in the many activities scheduled at the sites. For instance, health education sessions, exercise classes, and speakers are sometimes offered at sites.

CHA and Catholic Charities Team Up to Provide Seniors with Healthy Food Options:

For the last 15 years, Catholic Charities and CHA have teamed up to bring the Senior Food and Nutrition Program (SFNP) to our residents.  The program is designed to improve the health residents over 60 years of age by supplementing their diets with free, nutritious foods.  Cooking demonstrations, recipes and nutritional information is available to all participants in addition to health and social service referrals.  The SFNP Outreach Program was developed to target and assist elderly residing in senior buildings who have a difficult time obtaining program services during regular operating hours. 

Catholic Charities delivers commodities boxes to many CHA senior buildings once a month.  Eligible participants must apply annually to receive services from the SFNP.  All applicants are required to provide documentation of age, current income and residency to be eligible for the program.