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Pilsen, Little Village, Back of the Yards

Pilsen Neighbors Sign Up To Grocery Shop For Older Folks As Coronavirus Spreads

A Rush University medical student created a Google doc so neighbors could sign up to help immunocompromised people avoid crowded places.

A shopper at Costco, 2746 N. Clybourn Ave.
Bob Chiarito/ Block Club Chicago
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PILSEN — In an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus, Pilsen residents are building a network of neighbors to help make grocery or pharmacy store runs for vulnerable people and older folks.

Sofia Armengol

On Thursday, Sofia Armengol, a Pilsen resident, put out a call on social media, asking neighbors to help check in on elderly or immunocompromised neighbors during a critical time when officials are working to the flatten the virus’ curve through social distancing.

Soon after, the Rush University medical student created this crowd-sourced Google document, a list of neighbors willing to grocery shop, dog walk and even babysit for those in need. She got the idea from neighbors in New York who set up a similar document to help grab groceries.

To date, more than 30 Pilsen residents have shared their names, cross streets, contact information and availability to help via the doc, creating a resource for people in need.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty right now. If we can just stick together and help each other out. We’re going to be OK,” Armengol said.

Armengol shared the doc with her Rush classmates to maximize its impact.

“At this time, I’m not able to take care of people as a [credentialed] doctor, but I still will do whatever I can to help my community out,” she said.

On Friday, Armengol went on a grocery run for her neighbor who has multiple sclerosis.

“As a healthy 27 year old, I can help my neighbors by going on a grocery store run to help prevent the spread of infection,” she said. “I want to make sure this document gets out early so when people need help, they know where to go and they are prepared.”

As of Sunday afternoon, 93 cases of coronavirus have been found in Illinois — double the number of cases Illinois was reporting on Friday.

Gov. JB Pritzker ordered all schools in Illinois to close starting Tuesday, and bars and restaurants are closed starting Monday morning to anything but drive-thru, curbside pickup, and delivery.

Individuals looking to help or in need of help can find the document here.

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