As we are adjusting to the current state of affairs, we want to keep our participants, volunteers, and supporters updated about what is going on at Inspiration Corporation. We will be posting weekly updates about our programs and any news we have to share. Included at the end of this post are the ways you can support us during this difficult time.

General Agency

  • We are planning our first All-Staff Zoom meeting on Monday, April 6.
  • Staff are adjusting to the new reality of working remotely.
  • We also hosted our first virtual board meeting on Wednesday, April 1.


  • Attendance at daily pickups is increasing as word is beginning to spread.
    • We had more than 50 participants stop by Inspiration Cafe over the noon hour on Monday, March 30.
  • We have entered in to a partnership with North Side Housing and Supportive Services to provide an additional 20 hot meals a day for their clients.
  • We are working on tackling significant logistics issues with this programming shift, including: 
    • Our ability to keep enough staff scheduled to manage the daily work while also maintaining social distancing policies.
    • Difficulties getting supplies due to supply chain issues with ordering for restaurant supplies like to-go food boxes. 
  • We know from reports in the press that more than 100 food banks in Illinois have closed in the past three weeks due to difficulties maintaining volunteer schedules and staffing.
    • Participants have also shared that many shelters are no longer providing hot meals and they are struggling to access hot, nutritious food.
    • We are working hard to fill that gap.

Inspiration Kitchens 

  • We are acting as a partner for Rick Bayless’ food distribution program with US Foods at Inspiration Kitchens to provide boxes of groceries for food industry workers who have been laid off or are unemployed.
  • The weekly newsletter for students has launched to provide resources and online learning opportunities.
    • This week’s included three videos from Chef Alisa.
  • We’re starting to think about how our work might change as the stay-at-home order comes to an end and businesses start re-opening.


  • We still have an urgent need for cleaning supplies for households.
  • We have 3 upcoming vacancies and will be pulling names from the Chicago Coordinated Entry System list to fill them.


  • We are working to support individuals in our caseloads who are in mental health crisis due to social isolation.

Lori Jericho Memorial Fund Scholarships

  • We have a small set of scholars who are moving to online-courses through their City Colleges courses.
    • We’re connecting with them to make sure they have the technology solutions they need.
  • Individuals who were planning on vocational programs are on hold due to the stay-at-home order.

Ways to Help

If you are interested in contributing to Inspiration Corporation during this difficult time, please reach out to

  • We are in desperate need of donations or supplies of to-go containers to keep operating our food distribution work out of Inspiration Cafe.
  • We still need cleaning supplies for our housing participants.
  • We created an Amazon Wishlist of items we are most in need of, and orders will ship directly to the Cafe (“Gift Registry Address” at checkout).