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CHICAGO — The University of Chicago and the Greater Chicago Food Depository will provide 225,000 meals to South Side residents over the next 10 weeks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Volunteers were busy Monday morning preparing on-campus dining facilities to provide meals that will be distributed in Douglas Park, Grand Boulevard, Greater Grand Crossing, Hyde Park, Kenwood, Oakland, South Shore, Washington Park and Woodlawn.

At least 3,000 breakfasts, lunches and dinner will be provided seven days a week through June 12, according to U of C.

“The epidemic or pandemic is really hitting communities very hard — particularly those that were more vulnerable to begin with on the south side we’re seeing the issue with food and hunger,” said Derek Douglas, University of Chicago, Civic and Engagement and External Affairs.

The Greater Chicago Food Depository will coordinate with local aldermen and community partners to ensure residents are aware of the pickup locations.

U of C also announced Monday $1 million in small business bridge grants to help support employees and clients stay afloat.

“We have a lot of small businesses that are struggling — waiting on federal and state resources to flow. So we’re going to be working with our community partners to identify small businesses and give them bridge grants up to $7,500 each for costs they’re incurring because businesses have basically been locked down,” Douglas said.

There is also a separate university COVID-19 response fund. That money will be used for hospital costs including technology to help connect patients and families during visiting restriction.

For a list of sites U of C meals will be distributed click here.