What delivery services are there for nutritional meals for elderly 1SPRINGFIELD - State Senators Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) and Steve McClure (R-Springfield) are issuing an urgent call to action for Central Illinois residents to fill the Area Agency on Aging for Lincolnland’s (AgeLinc) volunteer shortage.

AgeLinc needs volunteers to assist with meal preparation and delivery for seniors in multiple cities, as well as help to package meals for delivery at the Senior Services of Central Illinois meal preparation site.

There is currently a waitlist of 244 seniors who need meals delivered to their homes and not enough volunteers to make the deliveries. The service area most in need encompasses Springfield, Lincoln, Jacksonville, Taylorville and Litchfield and all areas in between.

Healthy individuals who want to help should email Jennifer Hopper, the Volunteer Coordinator at Area Agency on Aging for Lincolnland at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.​ or call her at 217-787-9234, ext. 115​.

Hospitality Emergency Grant Program

The application period for the Hospitality Emergency Grant Program closed on April 1. This grant program supports the hospitality industry and is providing up to $25,000 to eligible bars and restaurants and up to $50,000 for eligible hotels. According to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, businesses will be notified on April 4th if they have received an award.

 Grant winners werer notifed on April 4.

Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund

This $60 million fund will support low-interest loans of up to $50,000 for small businesses in every industry outside of Chicago.

DCEO and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) are partnering with Accion, the Illinois Bankers Association and the Community Bankers Association of Illinois to create this fund. Loans will be supported by a $30 million loan loss reserve, consisting of $20 million of DCEO funds and $10 million in funds secured with the partnership with the Illinois banking community.

Businesses with fewer than 50 employees and less than $3 million in revenue in 2019 will be eligible to apply. Successful applicants will owe nothing for six months and will then begin making fixed payments at 3% interest for the remainder of a five-year loan term.

Applications are available on DCEO's website.

Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program

This is a $20 million grant program for small businesses in downstate and rural counties across Illinois.

This $20 million grant program will support small businesses in rural and downstate counties across Illinois. It will provide grants of up to $25,000 to small businesses that employ 50 people or less and are located in communities that already qualify for Community Development Block Grants. With the exception of the Cities of Decatur and Springfield and Madison County, which are considered metro or urban areas, every community in the 48th Senate district is eligible. Only eligible units of local government can submit applications on behalf of small businesses. The grants will be offered on a rolling basis.

More information and application materials are available here.

mask donationBUNKER HILL - ​To contend with a potentially dire shortage of personal protective equipment, State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) is asking Central Illinois residents to donate unused gear to their local health departments, hospitals, and first responders, or consider making hand-sewn masks for non-clinicians.

"In times of crisis, unity creates community resilience," Manar said. "Now is the time to unite behind our medical personnel and first responders who are on the front line in the fight against COVID-19. Their PPE supply is dwindling, and without adequate gear, they cannot fully protect themselves or their patients."

Health workers are in need of the following items:

  • Masks (N-95, earloop, and surgical)
  • Gowns (isolation and non-descriptive)
  • Gloves (nitrile, sterile and surgical)
  • Face shields and goggles
  • Infection control kits
  • Hand Sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol)
  • Disinfectant wipes
  • Thermometers (forehead only)

Individuals who have items on hand that they wish to donate should email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and include their address and the quantity of each item.

Individuals who would like to donate hand-sewn masks should use the following tutorials indicated by HSHS Medical Group and Memorial Health System:

Below is a list of area hospitals that have announced they are currently, or will soon begin, accepting hand-sewn face masks that have elastic or cotton straps, as well as their guidelines and instructions.

Sangamon County

PPE and hand-sewn masks donations to Memorial Health System, HSHS St. John's Hospital and HSHS Medical Group, Springfield Clinic, SIU Medicine and Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach can be dropped off 4930 LaVerna Rd. in Springfield starting March 25 from 1-4 p.m. After Wednesday, Mar. 25, donations will be accepted on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays until April 3.

Montgomery County

For donations to St. Francis hospital in Litchfield, individuals can drop off their items at the Litchfield McDonalds restaurant and the Holiday Inn Express and Suites of Litchfield. Community members should not bring them into the hospital. Please use the designated drop off areas listed above. Bundle masks in no more than 25 increments in a sealed zip lock bag.

Madison County

Handmade mask donations to Anderson Hospital in Maryville can be dropped off at First Baptist Church Maryville, located at 7110 State Route 162 in Maryville. The collection bin will be available inside the main entrance Monday-Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. beginning Monday, March 30th. Please place masks in a sealed zip lock bag. Each zip lock bag will include seamstress name, address, email, and contact number.

Macon County

The Macon County Crisis Communication Team announced on Tuesday that it is accepting donations of homemade masks on Thursday, March 26, 2020, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and each of the two following Thursdays (April 2 and April 9, 2020) at the Decatur Civic Center drive-thru located at 1 Gary K. Anderson Plaza in Decatur. The donations will be given to Crossing Healthcare, Decatur Memorial Hospital and HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital. Do not bring donations directly to the hospitals or clinics.

Macoupin County

Carlinville Area Hospital is accepting donations of PPE and handmade masks. Items can be dropped off at the hospital’s entry screening area between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. seven days a week. For large donations, call Melissa at 854-3141 x264 ahead of time to make arrangements.

Christian County

Taylorville Memorial Hospital has announced it is finalizing its donation process for homemade masks in cooperation with its community healthcare partners.

Springfield2BUNKER HILL - State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) is calling on healthy, eligible individuals in Central Illinois to help replenish the state’s blood supply, which is facing a sharp decline due to the high number of canceled blood drives and appointments in response to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

"As the blood supply in Central Illinois declines to critical levels, patients continue to rely on blood transfusions to stay alive or make it through emergency surgery for ongoing medical challenges unrelated to COVID-19," Manar said. "This pandemic has led to a dramatic drop in the number of donations, and that could directly threaten the lives of individuals who need blood. So we need healthy people to step up in a safe way to help their neighbors.​"

Medical professionals at the American Red Cross have reiterated that blood donation is safe and does not pose any risk of contracting the virus.

Due to its critical need for donations, the Springfield-based Central Illinois Community Blood Center has extended its donor center’s operating hours.

“This crisis is going to present a number of challenges to our healthcare system that will require a strong community effort. This is one of them,” Manar said. “I encourage all healthy, eligible individuals to step up and help fill the void of blood donations.”

To make an appointment to donate blood with the Red Cross, residents can visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 800-733-2767. For an appointment with the Central Illinois Community Blood Center, call 217-753-1530 or visit bloodcenter.org.

COVID19 Updates


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