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(WTTW News)

Both Chicago and Cook County are in the process of launching guaranteed income programs that will provide more than 8,000 residents with $500 a month, no strings attached. While applications for Cook County residents will open in the fall, Chicago residents have started receiving monthly payments.

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Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks at the April 27, 2022, Chicago City Council meeting. (WTTW News)

Eligible applicants will be entered into a lottery to determine who will get $500 a month for one year. Ultimately, 5,000 households will receive checks in one of the largest tests of guaranteed income across the country.

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The Greater Chicago Food Depository supplies food pantries across the Chicago area. (WTTW News)

The Greater Chicago Food Depository, which supplies food pantries across the area, says in its more than 40-year history it has never seen a hunger crisis like the one caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. We discuss the issue as part of WTTW’s Firsthand initiative exploring poverty.

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(Courtesy of the Greater Chicago Food Depository)

A recent poll found that 17% of households in Chicago can’t afford to pay for both their food and bills. How COVID-19 has impacted food security in Chicago six months into the pandemic.