Chicago Designates Salvation Army as Lead Agency for Mass Care in Coronavirus Response

Mar 21, 2020

The Salvation Army is actively supporting the City of Chicago’s COVID-19 response efforts through mass feeding and social services. Our Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) is ready to provide food to individuals who are considered among the most vulnerable in quarantine in the City of Chicago. 

The EDS team has been planning for the COVID-19 response for weeks, with a standing seat at the table for crisis planning at the Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communication.

EDS has 4,000 meals in the freezer, ready to go, and continues to build its resources for an immediate and long-term response. EDS will obtain and prepare food, and drop it off at city-designated sites for distribution.

“The health and safety of the people we serve is our top priority. We are here to provide hope and help to our neighbors in Chicagoland during this uncertain time,” said Commissioner Barry Swanson, divisional commander for The Salvation Army Metropolitan Division. “With 29 sites in our division, we are uniquely positioned to meet the needs from COVID-19 in each community. And, we are prepared to serve for as long as it takes.”

  • The Salvation Army is prepared to provide food and bottled water to all first responders.
  • The organization will continue to use its 15 City food pantries as a means for distributing pre-packed food boxes to those in need.
  • EDS is also sharing its support plan for mass care with the emergency management departments in Cook, DuPage, McHenry, and Lake counties, at the counties’ request.
  • The Salvation Army is prepared to offer long-term support to affected individuals as needed. This includes access to emergency assistance, such as funds to offset the cost of rent and utilities, for people who suffer financial hardship, including lost wages or employment due to COVID-19. Those in need of financial and other support can call 773.205.3520.
  • The Salvation Army will be setting up an 800-number anyone can call for emotional and spiritual care.

Additionally, for the last seven weeks, EDS has been providing thousands of snacks and bottles of water to passengers who have been undergoing screening by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at O’Hare International Airport. The organization has also been supporting the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communication, Cook County Emergency Operations Center, and 311 dispatchers with food and hydration.

The Salvation Army recognizes COVID-19 will have a long-term impact, and we are prepared to assist for as long as necessary. But, public financial support is needed to ensure everyone is helped. Please donate at:

Help The Salvation Army Do the Most Good

Donate to Our COVID-19 Response      Fundraise for Good

For tax purposes: The Salvation Army Metropolitan Division EIN is 36-2167910.

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