State Rep. Mark Walker
Walker Encourages Community Help during COVID-19 Closures
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill.– In the wake of schools, restaurants, bars and other community services closing due to COVID-19, state Rep. Mark Walker, D-Arlington Heights, is encouraging his district to support those impacted by highlight food delivery programs and encouraging residents to donate to food pantries and homeless shelters.
“This is undoubtedly a difficult time for us all,” Walker said. “However, as we face this virus and its impacts, it’s important now more than ever that we help our neighbors wherever possible. Our area schools are ensuring children who depend on in-school breakfast and lunch are fed. And, if possible, we need to donate food and other resources to our food pantries and homeless shelters as they face an increased demand for their vital services.”
Local school districts including Arlington Heights School District 25, Mount Prospect School District 57 and Community Consolidated School Districts 59 and 21 have organized food pickup programs for their students qualifying for free or reduced meals. Township High School District 214 has also donated their food students, the Elk Grove Township food bank and Northwest Compass, an area crisis-intervention center. CCSD 59 is also accepting District 214 students who live in 59’s district. Parents are encouraged to contact their school district to learn more about these food service programs.
Walker is also asking residents to consider donating to and volunteering at area food pantries and homeless shelters, assuming it is safe for them to do so. While many have closed due to concerns over COVID-19, others like JOURNEYS The Road Home and Northwest Compass are continuing operations to care for the most vulnerable in the area. Specifically, JOURNEYS and Northwest Compass need cleaning supplies and protective gear in addition to monetary donations to help pay staff overtime hours, house additional clients who have nowhere else to go and to buy food which they can purchase at a lower cost. More information can be found on each organization’s websites.
“Of course, we can’t forget about our restaurants, bars and other local businesses currently closed,” Walker said. “If possible, I encourage residents to purchase gift cards which can be used after the self-quarantine orders have lifted. And remember that delivery and curbside pickup is still available, so you may still be able to enjoy the great food our area restaurants offer from the safety of your home.
“Remember, we are all in this together. Our communities are strong, resilient and dedicated. By correctly practicing social distancing, staying on top of our health and supporting one another, we will pull through.”
Residents with concerns about COVID-19 may call the Illinois Department of Public Health’s hotline at 1-800-889-3931 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.