LINCOLN SQUARE — The Lincoln Square Ravenswood Solidarity Network is sending groceries to people on the South and West sides unable to shop after local business were destroyed by looters.
Supplies can be dropped off 5-7 p.m. Mondays and Fridays at Ravenswood Fellowship Church, 4511 N. Hermitage Ave. For the most up-to-date information on drop-offs, go to this link.
The group started as a mutual aid network in March and initially focused on collecting groceries for people who are food insecure. They’ve also delivered food to homeless encampments in the area and picked up prescription medications for people who can’t safely leave their home due to the coronavirus pandemic, said organizer Marie Akerman.
Since then, the group has expanded to help people with housing insecurity and is sending supplies to organizations in Washington Park, Austin, Englewood and other neighborhoods.
“As the pandemic has gone on and people have lost jobs and emptied their savings, we’ve had more people reach out to us worried they have to choose between paying rent and buying their meds,” said organizer Sarah Schaffer.
Schaffer fears that when the state’s eviction moratorium ends at the end of the month, many people could become homeless. That’s why the mutual aid group has directed people to Autonomous Tenants Union, a volunteer group that advocate for tenant’s rights.
The city is now in Phase 3 of its reopening plan, but Akerman said Lincoln Square Ravenswood Mutual Aid plans to continue helping people even after the coronavirus is under control.
“Mutual aid networks are essential to having a thriving community,” Akerman said.
Below is a list of the supplies the group needs most:
- Staple food items, especially peanut butter, jelly, canned veggies. Shelf stable is best, but they also need bread and tortillas, eggs, lunch meat, pasta and sauce, apples and oranges.
- Easily grabbed individually-wrapped snacks, like fruit snacks, granola bars, chips, etc.
- Hygiene and health items such as hand sanitizer, body wash, wipes, lotion, shampoo for various hair types, tooth brushes, toothpaste, menstrual products, laundry detergent and masks.
- Baby food, wipes, diapers
- Bleach, toilet paper, paper towels
- First aid items
- Water bottles
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