Today, Governor JB Pritzker‘s briefing focused on state efforts to maintain necessary operations including for veterans, child welfare, and human services. Brief presentations by Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs Director Linda Chapa LaVia, Illinois Department of Children and Family Services Director Marc Smith, and Illinois Department of Human Services Director Grace Hou.
This morning, the Illinois Department of Human Services t received approval for its Emergency SNAP Allotment Plan. The state applied for emergency benefits for the months of April and May. There will be two different allotments per month: one for emergency additional benefits for current SNAP clients and the other for families with children that are eligible for the free school lunch program. The Department is gearing up to have the money start hitting clients’ accounts on Wednesday, April 8th. There is about $78 million scheduled for this allotment. This first allotment, the emergency additional benefits for current SNAP clients, is expected to be delivered according to the schedule below:
PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT THESE NUMBERS ARE THE DEPARTMENT’S BEST ESTIMATES OF HOW THE ADDITIONAL BENEFITS WILL BE DISTRIBUTED. They expect some fall off as some of the benefits will not go through for a variety of reasons. But it is safe to assume that fall off on any particular day will be about 10%. Remember, these number are in addition to the benefits that clients currently receive.
There is another round of additional benefits that have yet to be put into circulation. The second group of benefits will go to families with children that are eligible for the free school lunch program, also known as P-EBT. These benefits will total to about $95 million and the department hopes to spread that as evenly as possible between 20th-30th of the month. When IRMA receives an actual estimate of how those benefits will be distributed, we will send that to you.
ALL IN ILLINOIS
Yesterday, the State of Illinois launched a public awareness program All In Illinois. It is designed to give citizens practical tips and tools to keep themselves and those like medical professionals and retail workers safe. Citizens can also use it to change their social media profiles, print a sign for windows/doors, and share stories of those who are going above-and-beyond to meet the needs around them.
IRMA encourages you to visit All In Illinois and to make your employees aware as well.
IRMA has published a comprehensive guide to federal and state resources available to Illinois employers. View the guide here. IRMA strongly encourages employers to apply immediately – you can always decide not to utilize the assistance.
CONSUMER SOCIAL DISTANCING
The Illinois Department of Public Health has issued this guidance to educate consumers on the role they need to play in social distancing. It is an excellent info-graph IRMA members are strongly encouraged to utilize this info-graph to educate consumers. You can find the guidance here.
RETAILERS & SOCIAL DISTANCING
Building upon the proactive work many of Illinois retailer have already done, IRMA created this best practice guidance. If you have not done so already, retailers, but particularly grocers and convenience stores, are strongly encouraged to implement some or all of these best practices as quickly as possible. You can also find this document and other valuable information on IRMA’s web page. Additionally, the Illinois Department of Public Health issued a similar but not identical guidance.
What has become abundantly clear is a one-sized-fits-all approach is counter-productive. Grocers throughout Illinois are experimenting with different approaches. Their experience will help inform everyone. However, what works and doesn’t work will vary a great deal based on sales volume, size of store, flexibility of store’s layout, etc.
ILLINOIS COVID-19 IMPACT UPDATE
Dr. Ngozi Ezike, MD, Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health announced 1,209 new cases in Illinois, including 33 more deaths. Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 10,357 cases, including 243 deaths, in 64 of Illinois’ 102 counties. Additional information can be found here.