March 19, 2020

Citadel Mobilizes to Address Food Insecurity in Chicago Amid the Ongoing Covid-19 Outbreak With $2.5 Million In Support

Sustains Over 500 Chicago Public Schools Temporary Food Distribution Sites; Supports Chicago’s Citywide Emergency Food Distribution Plan
Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

CHICAGO - Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot announced today that the partners at Citadel and Citadel Securities have mobilized $2.5 million in aid to help Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and the Greater Chicago Food Depository combat food insecurity amid the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. The initiative includes $1 million in aid to sustain the food distribution locations at more than 500 CPS schools and $1.5 million to support the Citywide Emergency Food Distribution Plan to serve other vulnerable Chicagoans.

“COVID-19 threatens not only the health and safety of our residents, but it also creates deepened food insecurity — especially for our most vulnerable Chicagoans,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “I applaud the Citadel team for stepping up to provide our students, and those who most rely on food assistance, the resources they need during this challenging time. With this generous aid, Citadel has demonstrated the true spirit of our city, rising up as one Chicago to help our neighbors.”

The support designated for CPS’ food distribution effort will provide the supplies needed to safely distribute family food packages at all of the Chicago school distribution sites. All 355,000 CPS students are eligible to receive meals while schools remain closed during the COVID-19 outbreak.  A family food package contains three days’ worth of breakfasts and lunches for each child in the household, and to date, CPS has provided more than 90,000 packages to families across Chicago.

The remaining aid will enable the Greater Chicago Food Depository to provide the equivalent of 4.5 million meals as part of the Citywide Emergency Distribution Plan. As part of this effort, the Food Depository is ramping up operations to produce thousands of pre-packaged boxes of groceries, which allow food pantries and mobile distributions to serve people more quickly while practicing social distancing.

“My partners and I are proud to join Governor Pritzker and Mayor Lightfoot in helping our neighbors in need,” said Ken Griffin, Founder and CEO of Citadel. “I applaud our city’s medical professionals, first responders and community leaders for their tireless efforts in the face of extraordinary challenges.”

“Working families across Illinois are facing unprecedented challenges as this virus continues to spread, but together, we can lift our communities up and I’m grateful for the generosity from business leaders like Citadel in our community,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Ensuring our students have the resources they need despite the challenges we’re facing is our top priority. When this is all over, we will still have each other. Let’s hang onto that comfort — and allow the bonds that connect us to carry us through.”

As the city continues to respond to COVID-19, it will pursue additional measures as needed to contain the virus. The City urges residents who are mandated to stay at home, and those who do not otherwise have access to food, to contact 311 to be connected with food options.

This announcement will support the city’s exhaustive response to COVID-19, which is intended to help keep the public safe, contain the spread of the virus, and provide relief to the healthcare system. In recent days, Mayor Lightfoot’s administration has announced a number of measures to enhance the city’s emergency response to COVID-19, with new guidelines built to reduce non-essential services, increase teleworking to protect the health and safety of the workforce, and lift the economic burden placed on residents — all while ensuring that essential city services can be continued.

More information and updates on COVID-19 can be found on the IDPH website (dph.illinois.gov), the CDPH (chicago.gov/cdph), and the CDC website (cdc.gov). Residents can seek more information and updates on COVID-19, by tuning into Mayor Lightfoot’s Facebook or Twitter for “The Doctor Is In” livestream Mondays-Fridays at 11 a.m. For mobile updates, text COVID19 to 78015 or email: coronavirus@chicago.gov.

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