Food insecurity is a significant problem in Cook County.

It’s estimated that one in seven Cook County residents experience food insecurity each year, meaning they’re not quite sure where or when their next meal will be coming from.

Access to food is critically important to our patients. Food gives them the energy to heal and the nutrients they need to stay well. A nutritious diet is also key to ensuring that children grow up healthy and strong, and mitigating chronic diseases in adults.

That’s why the Cook County Health & Hospitals System (CCHHS) has launched several initiatives to make sure food-insecure Cook County residents have consistent access to healthy food.

Those include:

Fresh Trucks

In partnership with the Greater Chicago Food Depository, CCHHS hosts the Fresh Truck, a mobile resource that provides CCHHS patients with fresh produce. CCHHS patients should talk with their healthcare provider about how to get connected to the Fresh Truck and other resources to help access healthy and nutritious foods.

You must be a CCHHS patient to get access to the Fresh Truck. For more information or to schedule an appointment with a CCHHS provider, please contact the Patient Support Center at 312-864-0200.

The Fresh Truck visits the following CCHHS health centers on a regular basis:

Location Address Dates (through 2017) Time
Cottage Grove Health Center 1645 Cottage Grove Ave. Ford Heights, IL August 8, October 10 and December 12, 2017 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Logan Square Health Center 2840 W. Fullerton Ave. Chicago, IL July 25, September 26 and November 28, 2017 017 9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Oak Forest Health Center 15900 S. Cicero Ave. Oak Forest, IL July 27, September 28 and November 30, 2017 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Robbins Health Center 13450 W. Kedzie Ave. Robbins, IL August 15, October 17 and December 19, 2017 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Englewood Health Center 1135 W. 69th St. Englewood, IL August 17, October 19 and December 21, 2017 9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Prieto Health Center 2424 S. Pulaski Rd. Chicago, IL September 7 and November 2, 2017 9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
CORE Center 2020 W. Harrison St. Chicago, IL July 21, September 15 and November 17, 2017 9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Austin Health Center 4800 W. Chicago Ave. Chicago, IL August 3, October 5 and December 7, 2017 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Cicero Health Center 5912 W. Cermak Rd. Chicago, IL August 1, October 3 and December 5, 2017 9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Woodlawn Health Center 6337 S. Woodlawn Ave. Chicago, IL July 18, September 19 and November 21, 2017 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Fresh Food Markets

This summer, Fresh Food Markets will be hosted weekly at three Cook County Health and Hospitals System health centers in South Suburban Cook County.

Black Oaks Center, a local nonprofit, is partnering with CCHHS to make fresh fruits and vegetables available for sale at CCHHS health centers. Cash, credit, and Link cards (SNAP/EBT/food stamps) are accepted as forms of payment. Persons using their SNAP/Link card benefits to purchase will receive a Link Match Coupon, as part of the Link Up Illinois program, good towards the next purchase of fruits and/or vegetables.

If you have Medicaid or receive a medical card, you may be eligible for SNAP. Our partners at the Greater Chicago Food Depository can assist with SNAP applications. Visit their website or call 773-843-5416 to reach their Benefits Outreach team.

All markets will be open from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Location Address Date of First Market
Oak Forest Health Center* 15900 S. Cicero Ave. Oak Forest, IL Wednesday, July 12, 2017 Markets will continue every following Wednesday
Robbins Health Center 13450 W. Kedzie Ave. Robbins, IL Friday, July 21, 2017 Markets will continue every following Friday
Cottage Grove Health Center 1645 Cottage Grove Ave. Ford Heights, IL Monday, July 24, 2017 Markets will continue every following Monday

*The Oak Forest Health Center Market will take place near the entrance to the Oak Forest Campus, off 159th Street, just past the security checkpoint.

Summer Meals Available for Kids

Free healthy summer meals will be available for children 18 and younger at the following Cook County Health & Hospitals System’s health centers this summer while school is out:

Site Name Address Start/End Dates Days/Times of Operation
Cottage Grove Health Center 1645 W. Cottage Grove Ave Ford Heights, IL 60411 May 30 through August 25 Monday – Friday 11:30am – 12:30pm
Englewood Health Center 1135 W. 69th St Chicago, IL 60621 June 26 through September 1 Monday – Friday 11:30am – 12:30pm
Robbins Health Center 13450 W. Kedzie Ave Robbins, IL 60472 June 5 through September 1 Monday – Friday 11:30am – 12pm

You do not need to be a current patient of CCHHS to access Summer Meals.

Other Summer Meals sites can be located by calling 1-800-359-2163 or visiting
www.SummerMealsIllinois.org.

CLOCC Webinar: Bringing Healthy Corner Stores to Your Neighborhood

Want to learn what’s involved in bringing healthy corner stores to your neighborhood?

The Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children (CLOCC) is hosting a web seminar on July 31 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. to explain how community organizations can identify, recruit and work with local retailers to create a healthy corner store environment. CLOCC staff will also share additional resources for undertaking healthy corner stores in your neighborhood.

During the seminar, participants will be invited to explore a new Healthy Corner Store Toolkit , which was created as part of the Cook County Department of Public Health’s Healthy Hotspot initiative.

You can register for the web seminar here.