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Niles Township COVID-19 UPDATES

Monday, March 30, 2020
Special to suffredin.org

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COVID-19 UPDATES

The Week of March 30, 2020

Niles Township is committed to providing our community with updated information about the response to the Covid-19 virus in this time of local and national challenge.

Those who have signed up for our email subscriptions will receive regular updates on new developments. Please let people know that they can sign up at nilestownshipgov.com.

Updates are also provided on our social media pages — Facebook, Instagram and Twitter — and on our website where you’ll also find important local and national links to the most current and reliable information.

In this email, you can learn about this week’s plans for supplementary food distribution, how a popular program we host in the Lee Tamraz All Purpose Room is carrying on — only VIRTUALLY — and see video and photos from our supplementary food distribution events.

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??Supplemental Food Distribution: April 1??

Niles Township Government will distribute additional groceries to families with children who usually receive free/reduced lunches at their schools during two events this week —both on Wednesday, April 1.

Assembled boxes of groceries will be available from 11 a.m to 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 1 at our new Pop Up Food Pantry at 8300 Lehigh Ave., Morton Grove. The boxes will contain a week’s worth of groceries.

Drivers do not have to exit their vehicles as boxes of food will be delivered to them when they pull up, thereby minimizing person-to-person contact.

The same boxes will be distributed from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 1 behind the Niles Township Government building at 5255 N. Lincoln Ave., Skokie near the Niles Township Food Pantry.

Although drivers briefly leave their vehicles to pick up boxes, contact is minimal and those distributing food are taking maximum precaution to ensure safety.

Families should choose one pickup date.

The supplementary boxes of food are also available to seniors (60 and older) who are in need. Groceries have included peanut butter; trail mix; canned chicken; tomato soup; canned vegetables; canned beans or vegetarian chili; spaghetti sauce; pasta; dried fruit; dried beans; brown rice; juice; water; crackers; and cereal bars.

Dates and times for supplemental food distribution for each week will be announced by the prior Friday at the latest.

You can also sign up to receive information by email by subscribing to our email list from our website at www.nilestownshipgov.com.

Niles Township launched its Pop Up Pantry and supplemental grocery distribution at the Township in response to the COVID-19 virus. The population of children receiving free or reduced lunches in the Township is considerable, and we want to be a reliable resource for them at such a difficult time and with the temporary closing of our schools.

**My Go-To Place: The Show Must Go On — Virtually**

The CJE SeniorLife My Go-To Place program, which usually meets every week in the Lee Tamraz All Purpose Room in Niles Township, will continue on — only VIRTUALLY for now, program leaders said.

The Niles Township building is now closed to public access, and programs such as the popular My Go-To Place for seniors, are not being physically held because of the COVID-19 virus.

But My Go-To Place is back in business at 1 p.m. Thursdays with virtual editions.

Participants will use Zoom, an online meeting program that allows people to see and/or speak to one another, and they can access the program through computer, smartphone or telephone.

Here is the basic information:

**From a computer:

• Go to www.zoom.us
• Click Join a Meeting
• Enter Meeting ID: 358-048-8078
• Once participants have joined the meeting, they can click to use computer audio and computer video.

**From a smartphone or tablet:

• Access https://cje.zoom.us/j/3580488078
• Participants can choose whether to use their camera so they can be seen or just be heard through the built-in microphone.
• Participants can download the free Zoom app and enter the Meeting ID (358-048-8078) and connect the same way as from a computer.

From telephone (audio-only):

• Dial (312) 626-6799. When asked, type in the Meeting ID: 358-048-8078

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NTG Services: What’s Open, What’s Not

The Niles Township Government building at 5255 N. Lincoln Ave., Skokie, is closed to public access until at least April 13 because of the COVID–19 virus.

Food is still being distributed by the Food Pantry, but changes have been made to the process to protect both clients and staff.

For the time being, the Pantry will distribute pre-packaged food in boxes rather than have people inside shopping for food.

Food Pantry Hours:
• Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Hours 9:30AM until 3:30PM and closed for lunch from 11:30AM until 1:00PM. (Tuesday we reopen from 4:30PM to 6:30PM.) Closed Thursday.

Staff will come out of the Food Pantry building and put food boxes on a nearby bench so clients can pick them up. This process will limit physical contact and adheres to guidelines developed by state and national health officials.

While some Township services (such as issuing passports) are suspended until at least April 13, other services are available in a temporarily different way.
Face-to-face appointments with General Assistance and Emergency Assistance clients during this time are cancelled.

But General Assistance recipients will be contacted by phone and their grants will be mailed to them. Emergency Assistance requests will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Forms for assistance are still available online at www.nilestownshipgov.com

Those who need additional assistance should call the Township’s General Assistance office at (847) 673–9300.

Niles Township is committed to the health and safety of its community and its own employees. We are closely monitoring information about COVID–19 and taking necessary precautions. We will update you on further developments in as timely of a manner as possible.

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Coming Together in a Time of Need

Community Steps Up When it Counts

Niles Township has been running a new Pop-Up Food Pantry in this difficult time of the COVID-19 virus to provide additional food for families with children who usually receive free or reduced-price school lunches.

The pantry, located at 8300 Lehigh Ave., Morton Grove, had its first day Tuesday, March 17 with many dedicated volunteers coming out to help. Niles Township also distributes supplementary food weekly at its Food Pantry. This is what a community coming together in difficult times looks like!

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From Supervisor Bonnie Kahn Ognisanti

Dear Niles Township Neighbors,

As both Niles Township supervisor and also as a neighbor and friend, I hope you are staying safe during this unusual and challenging time for all of us.

The spread of the COVID-19 virus has created unprecedented circumstances in all of our lives, greatly heightening the need to look out for each other and especially those most vulnerable.

As many know, looking out for our most vulnerable neighbors has always been at the heart of why Niles Township exists. In this time of national emergency, we take our mission very seriously and continue to provide essential services as best we can while at the same time protecting our valued staff and volunteers.

We have created our first Pop-Up Food Pantry in Morton Grove so that families with children who usually receive free and reduced lunches can still get food even with schools closed.

Although public access to our building is temporarily closed (as well as Passport service and some other day-to-day services), our regular Food Pantry continues to operate with some altered hours and a temporary change from shopping to prepackaged food.

Face-to-face meetings at the Township are cancelled, but we still are administering General Assistance and Emergency Assistance through phone service and on-line.

Please visit our website, social media pages or sign up for our email list (from our website) to receive our latest updates.

Our Niles Township team is so grateful to have community partners and volunteers who have stepped up and worked with us at such a critical time. We continue to monitor Gov. Pritzker's directives to make sure we are adhering to the latest safeguards that are being put into place.

For now, though, please make a special effort to look out for each other until we come out the other side. Make sure your neighbor or someone you know who may be vulnerable is safe and getting what he or she needs.

If you have questions or need more information, contact us at (847) 673-9300 or email me at bkahnognisanti@nilestownshipgov.com. We are so proud to serve Niles Township and to be of help in any we can.

Thank you, and please stay safe,

Bonnie

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How To Keep Up To Date

Dates and times for supplemental food distribution for each week will be announced on social media and on our website (www.nilestownshipgov.com) by the prior Friday at the latest.

You can also get information through these email notices by subscribing to our email list from our website.

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