According to the Proviso Herald, free money is available to area residents. West suburban residents have until 5 p.m. Friday to apply for disaster food stamps at the Illinois Department of Human Services office, 2701 W. Lake St., Melrose Park.
The aid is available to any resident affected by the September flooding.
Applicants must reside in one of the following towns to apply at the Melrose Park site: Bellwood, Broadview, Brookfield, Lyons, Maywood, North Riverside, Oak Park, River Grove, River Forest, Riverside, Schiller Park and Willow Springs.
The one-time food stamp amount is usually between $300 and $600, said IDHS spokeswoman Marielle Sainvilus.
Applicants must be the head of household and bring identification, documentation of other family members living in the household and proof of flood damage, such as a letter from an insurance company or from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Sainvilus said.
IDHS is focusing on the seven-county area hardest hit by the flood and declared by President George Bush to be a federal disaster area, according to an IDHS press release.
The aid was first offered between Oct. 9 to Oct. 17, then extended to Oct. 22 before the most recent extension to Friday.
The extension was due to the extremely high demand, Sainvilus said.
At the Melrose Park location, the line often stretched one to two blocks long. Applicants waited several hours before they were able to enter the building.
As of Oct. 21, the state had accepted applications from more than 11,000 households, representing more than 43,000 individuals, Sainvilus said.
The turn-out, Sainvilus said, "is a testament to the current state of the economy we're in, coupled with a natural disaster."
For more information, call (708) 338-7600.