6/18/20 - IDHS Weekly Bulletin

6/19/2020

SNAP SUPPLEMENTS AND ONLINE PURCHASING

Last week the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) announced that the federal government approved continued Emergency Allotments through June for all Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) households. These allotments ensure that families receive maximum SNAP funds for their household size during the pandemic. No action is required by the customer, and June 2020 SNAP Emergency Allotments will become available to active SNAP households between 06/19/20 and 06/30/2020.

IDHS is also proud to now offer online purchasing for groceries for more than 1.9 million Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) customers across roughly one million households. This makes gaining access to food a little easier for so many families, both during this time of crisis and beyond.

Amazon and Walmart are the first retailers to provide online SNAP in Illinois as this program gets started. We are glad, as national retailers with large delivery areas, that they are initial partners on this and will reach so many people right away. IDHS is also encouraging other grocery retailers to participate to deepen and broaden the reach of this program across Illinois communities.

To apply for SNAP benefits, please visit abe.illinois.gov.

CALL 4 CALM

The Illinois Department of Human Services continues to administer "Call4Calm," a free-of-charge emotional support text line designed to help Illinoisans experiencing stress related to COVID-19. People can text "TALK" (or "HABLAR" for Spanish) to 552020 to receive a call from a caring counselor in a community mental health center who can be a listening ear for the challenges people are now experiencing.

In addition, the text number can help Illinoisans find help and guidance on other critical issues during the pandemic. Residents can text keywords like "UNEMPLOYMENT," "FOOD," or "SHELTER," to 552020 to receive additional information in response.

CENSUS

Every person in Illinois needs to be counted! The IDHS Census Office's May Report indicates "As of April 27, 2020, Illinois ranked ninth in the country for Census self-response rates." Legislators and constituents can learn more about response rates in their areas by visiting the U.S. Census Bureau's (USCB) Response Rates page.

As a reminder, the U.S. Census Bureau extended the self-response deadline to Oct 31, 2020. Visit My2020census.gov to complete the census online or call 1-844-330-2020. For more info text 987987 or go to census.illinois.gov.

REDESIGNED IDHS WEBSITE

The Illinois Department of Human Services is happy to reveal its redesigned website which can be found at www.DHS.illinois.gov. The new site is more user-friendly and to easier to navigate than ever before.

IDHS COVID-19 INFORMATION

All Illinois Department of Human Services guidance, communications, updates, links, resources, announcements, and releases regarding COVID-19 are still available on the IDHS Coronavirus Information Page.

CHILD CARE RESTORATION

Governor JB Pritzker announced a $270 million Child Care Restoration grant program that will support Illinois' vast network of child care providers as they continue to provide care to children across the state during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Child Care Restoration Grants will be administered by the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (INCCRRA).

An "Intent to Apply" survey launched is available online. The information gathered will help to inform the development of the program to be released this July, with providers receiving their first grant installments later this summer.