With inflation on the rise, and federal pandemic assistance expiring, food pantries and distributors say food insecurity across the city is spiking.
Child poverty in the U.S. more than doubled and median household income declined last year when coronavirus pandemic-era benefits expired and inflation kept rising, according to figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau.
More than 233,000 Cook County residents applied to be part of the $42 million program, and 3,250 households won a lottery to participate in the two-year program.
In Cook County, Black youth account for more than 70% of the child welfare system. Meanwhile, Black residents make up only 23% of the county’s total population. As of February 2022, there are more than 4,000 Black children in foster care in Cook County.
Over Thanksgiving week, hundreds of Robbins residents were left with dry homes following two water main breaks. It is just part of a long history of water infratructure problems in the town.
For families already stretching to make ends meet, higher food prices means seeking help from local food pantries. Many Chicago-area pantries are reporting a significant increase in demand.
At an enrollment event this week, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle welcomed some of the more than 3,000 participants in the Cook County Promise guaranteed income pilot. The participants, who were selected by lottery, are set to receive their first monthly payment of $500 on Dec. 15.
Approximately 62% of applicants have jobs, and nearly half have sought medical attention at a hospital’s emergency room in the past year, officials said. An initial lottery will identify 10,000 applicants to verify the information contained in their applications.
Funded by the American Rescue Plan Act, the program will pay 3,250 residents of Cook County $500 a month for two years. It is the largest publicly-funded guaranteed income pilot in the nation to date.
The guaranteed income pilot program, known as Cook County Promise, began accepting applications this week. Funded by the American Rescue Plan Act, the program will pay 3,250 residents of Cook County $500 a month for two years.
President Joe Biden spoke to an auditorium full of public health officials, private companies and Americans who have experienced hunger. They were gathered for the first White House conference on hunger, nutrition and health since 1969.
The program, which is expected to include 3,250 households, will launch a test of a basic-income program with $41.5 million from the federal COVID-19 relief package signed into law by President Joe Biden in March 2021, Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle said.
The first payments began to flow nearly nine months after the Chicago City Council approved the program’s funding as part of its 2022 budget.
The $31.5 million program has enough funding to send just 5,000 Chicago families $500 per month for 12 months, officials said. Approximately 64% of applicants live below the poverty line, which is $26,500 for a family of four. An additional 40% of applicants live in households that earn half that amount, officials said.
Those who are selected for the program, which will prioritize residents of suburban Cook County, will get monthly payments of $500 to 3,250 residents for two years. The first checks are expected to be cut by the end of the year, officials said.
The $31.5 million program has enough funding to send just 5,000 Chicago families $500 per month for 12 months, officials said.