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Pilsen, Little Village, Back of the Yards

Free Coronavirus Testing, Food And More Available At Museum Event Friday

People can enjoy free food and local art while registering to vote, filling out the census and receiving free coronavirus and HIV tests.

Mauricio Peña/ Block Club Chicago
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PILSEN — People can enjoy free food and local art while registering to vote, filling out the census and receiving free coronavirus and HIV tests Friday at the National Museum of Mexican Art.

The events art part of Survival Day at the museum, 1852 W. 19th St., which is being hosted by Healthy Hood, a Pilsen-based non-profit, and Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th).

Coronavirus testing will run 10 a.m.-4 p.m. An appointment or ID is not required, but people are encouraged to register online for testing to reduce wait times.  

Participants will also receive free tacos, agua fresca and meal kits, as well as hand sanitizer and masks. The food, art by local artists and census registration will be available noon-4 p.m.

Tonya Lozano, the founder of Healthy Hood, said Survival Day was a chance to address the “major gap” in COVID-19 resources for Black and Brown communities while highlighting their cultures.

“We don’t want to lose what makes the heart of our community, the culture of our community — food, art, architecture — while we’re still in the middle of a pandemic,” Lozano said. “We really want to encourage people to do their social responsibility to take care of the people that are in their neighborhoods, and you only do this by being informed and totally understanding what’s going on with you.”

Lozano said the event was formatted to have important resources in one place and spread credible information about testing and civic registration.

Lozano said it is critical for Black and Brown communities to fill out the 2020 Census. She said it is especially important for Latinos to be counted to counter the stigma undocumented people should not fill out the census.

The census is meant to check the population throughout the United States. The count is used when lawmakers and agencies decide where to send billions of dollars each year, impacting funding for resources like hospitals, schools and roads.

“There’s a reason why our communities are underserved and there’s no funding — because we don’t get counted,” Lozano said.

Nono’s Deli will sell empanadas and agua frescas at the National Museum of Mexican Art starting at 8 a.m. Friday-Sunday. A portion of their profits will go to Healthy Hood and Dish Roulette Kitchen, a non-profit serving restaurant owners and staff.

Nono’s Deli is a food truck parodying the closed Nini’s Deli that recently raised more than $10,000 for My Block, My Hood, My City, an organization focused on Black and Brown youth, and Center on Halsted, the Midwest’s largest LGBTQ center.

Block Club Chicago’s coronavirus coverage is free for all readers. Block Club is an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom.

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