December 11, 2020

Resources for Students and Families During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Local and national resources for students and families facing financial and economic instability as a result of the COVID19 pandemic. This page will be continually updated. If you have a resource that you would like added to this list, please contact lauren.vincent@bostonpic.org.

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For more frequent updates, please follow the PIC on Instagram @the_pic_boston (be sure to regularly check our "stories"). We also recommend following @mamutualresources and @roulhac_enterprises, where we get a lot of the resources that we share on our own account.

Boston Double Up Food Bucks: If you have an EBT card, you can get 50 percent off fresh fruits and vegetables at participating stores.

Free Groceries every Saturday: The Food Project has free groceries available at 555 Dudley Street every Saturday.

JFK Cares: The Kennedy Center has expanded its Community Services Department to better serve the Charlestown community, and offers grab & go meals every Tuesday and Thursday from 10am-2pm at 55 Bunker Hill Street. Visit the link for more information.

Health Meals To Go: Codman Academy, USDA, and MA DESE are offering free, homemade, hot meals to-go for anyone who has a child under 21 years old at home. No ID required. Visit the link for more information.

FOOD/HOUSEHOLD NEEDS

City of Boston – Map of Meal Sites for Children and Youth: Directory of sites that are serving free breakfast and lunch to Boston youth and adults.

BPS Sites Providing Free Meals: Locations will be open Monday - Friday from 8:30 am - 11:30 am at the schools listed. Families who need delivery service can reach out to mealdelivery@bostonpublicschools.org.

Cambridge Food Pantries: Check out the link for hours and locations.

Catholic Charities Food Pantries: Catholic Charities operates food pantries in Dorchester, Somerville and the South End. Click the link for hours and other information.

Combined Jewish Philanthropies: If you’re in financial distress, call the CJP Warmline at 1-800-CJP-9500.

Foodcare Boston Covid-19 Relief: Elevate Boston, in partnership with Wilahmena's Place and the Breakfast Spot, are supporting families in need with food care packages (including fresh food, nonperishables, toiletries and PPE). All families are required to pre-register here. For Boston residents only.

Food Not Bombs: Wednesday grocery pickup at Brazilian Worker Center in Allston is available on a first-come first-serve basis.

Free Hot Meals: Tuesdays and Wednesdays at multiple sites throughout Dorchester, Mattapan and JP - click the link for detailed information.

Free Store for the People: Solidarity Supply Distro holds these regularly (including Sunday, December 13) at the Lucy Parsons Center at 358 Centre Street in Jamaica Plain. Winter clothes of all sizes, coats (limited to one per visitor), books, and appliances. PLEASE CHECK THE LINK FOR UPCOMING DATES.

Fresh Produce Bags: Every Wednesday, 4-6pm at the Vietnamese American Community Center (42 Charles Street in Dorchester). Must wear a mask and maintain distance. NO ID required.

Greater Boston Food Bank Partner Directory: This is a directory of all of the food pantries and soup kitchens GBFB works with in the greater Boston area

Haley House: Open to the public, free breakfast can be picked up weekdays + brunch on Sundays.

ICNARelief Specialty Pantry: Free healthy meals available for pickup on Tuesdays from 1 to 3pm at the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, with vegetarian and halal options.

Makeshift Boston: Open to the public, free groceries can be picked up on Mondays at 5:30pm.

Meal Sites for Adults: Free meals for adults at sites in the city.

Pandemic EBT: All families with a child attending Boston Public Schools or charter schools in the city of Boston will receive financial assistance for food under the Pandemic EBT or PEBT program. Cards will arrive in the mail. If you have an EBT card, funds will be added to your account. Using a P-EBT card will not impact you or your child’s immigration status.

Project Bread’s FoodSource Hotline: 1-800-645-8333 - hotline counselors can screen for SNAP availability and connect callers with resources.

Union Capital Boston: Free fresh bread and vegetables at UCB's office in Roxbury every Sunday from 10:30am-12pm organized by Wise Men Marketing and Promotions & Rounding The Bases, Inc.

EMPLOYMENT/HIRING

Instructions on how to file for unemployment.

The Union of Minority Neighborhoods offers a hotline for help with unemployment issues, housing instability and utility assistance. Call 1-888-271-2298 anytime Monday through Friday, 10AM-3PM.

Lawyers for Civil Rights is connecting workers affected by the ongoing crisis with volunteers who can help complete the unemployment application.

FAQ For Job Seekers and Unemployment Insurance: The City of Boston's Department of Economic Development created handy guide to filing for unemployment, as well as jobs that are currently hiring. The document will be continually updated.

Please visit the websites of MassHire Boston Career Center or MassHire Downtown Boston Career Center for online resources and remote guidance for job seekers.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA): PUA provides up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits to individuals who are unable to work because of a COVID-19-related reason but are not eligible for regular or extended unemployment benefits.

FUNDS/CASH

Asian Community Emergency Relief Fund: Call one of the hotline numbers listed at the link, which are available in 4 languages, for more information.

Betancourt Macias Family Scholarship Foundation: National fund offering grants to undocumented individuals.

ONE FAIR WAGE — Emergency Coronavirus Tipped and Service Worker Support Fund (WAITLIST ONLY): Temporary cash gifts for tipped workers and other service workers.

Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation COVID19 Crisis Relief Fund: Temporary cash gifts for restaurant workers.

The Leadership Brainery (WAITLIST ONLY): $100 'mini' grant towards education. Students must be racially/ethnically diverse and/or LGBTQ+ first-generation college students who are currently enrolled as undergraduate at accredited college/university in Greater Boston and have been ordered to vacate on-campus housing.

MUTUAL AID NETWORKS

Residents can request what they need/offer help to others in need.

General Boston

Allston-Brighton

Dorchester

East Boston

Jamaica Plain/Roxbury

Roslindale

TECHNOLOGY

BPS - Request a ChromeBook: Free ChromeBooks for all BPS students.

City of Boston - Internet Connectivity & Technology Assistance: IT help for anyone quarantined and working from home during this time.

Comcast Affordable Home Internet for Eligible Households: Two months of free internet for families who are eligible for public assistance programs.

Massachusetts Lifeline Program: A free Android smartphone plus 350 voice minutes, unlimited texts, and 3 GB of data each month is available to income-eligible individuals/anyone that qualifies for public assistance programs. See website for full eligibility requirements.

NDIA List of Free & Low-Cost Internet Plans: Variety of additional resources for free/low-cost internet options.

PCs for People: PCs for People offers low-cost Wi-Fi hotspots and computers for households that qualify for public assistance programs lke SNAP, Mass. Health, etc. See website for full eligibility requirements.

Safelink Wireless: Option to use your current cell phone plus 350 voice minutes a month, 3 GB of data, and unlimited text for income-eligble individuals/anyone that qualifies for public assistance programs. See website for full eligbility requirements.

HEALTH

COVID-19 Testing Sites: Testing is free regardless of insurance or immigration status. Residents are encouraged to call the Mayor's Health Line at (617) 534-5050 to help with health insurance applications, navigating Boston's health care system, and with COVID-19 questions.

Crisis Text Line: Free 24/7 support. Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor.

MassHealth: If you have experienced a loss of wages due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and think you may be eligible for MassHealth benefits, you can apply for MassHealth online as long you are under the age of 65 and do not require long term care.

National Mental Health Alliance COVID-19 Resource Guide: Guide to different national resources for mental health.

Samaritans 24/7 Crisis Services: Samaritans offers non-judgmental mental health support from trained volunteers. Call or text (877) 870-4673 or live chat with them any time.

HOUSING/UTILITIES

Please note the state of Massachusetts' temporary ban on non-essential evictions has expired. However, the national moratorium still protects some tenants.

Here is a Mass. Legal Help guide on what to do and who to contact if your landlord tries to evict you or make you move out during this time.

In addition, Governor Baker has temporarily prohibited utility shutoffs during the state of emergency. Also, please note that both Eversource and National Grid offer discount rates for those who meet certain income limits.

BPS Homeless Education Resource Network (HERN) for Boston Public Schools students and families experiencing homelessness.

COVID-19 DHCD Website: More info on housing from the Department of Housing and Community Development.

STUDENT LOANS/TUITION

Federal Loan Forbearance for Students, Borrowers, and Parents: Federal student loans are temporarily suspending monthly loan payment requirements until December 31, 2020. No interest will accrue during the suspension period

More information on student loans is available here.

NEWS AND UPDATES

To receive text updates about the pandemic, text BOSCOVID to 99411 for the city of Boston. For updates from the state, text COVIDMA to 888777.

The Boston updates are also available is five other languages:
Text BOSEspanol to 99411 for Spanish/
Text BOSKreyol to 99411 for Haitian Creole
Text BOSFrancais to 99411 for French
Text BOSKriolu to 99411 for Cabo Verdean Creole
Text BOSPortugues to 99411 for Portuguese

OTHER RESOURCE LISTS

ASA Education & Career Planning Services: Educational and career exploration resources, including access to virtual industry chats.

BPS List of Resources: General COVID19 and school-from-home resource page for BPS students and families.

EMPATH COVID-19 Public Resources: List of resources filtered by category.

Madison Park Development Corporation: Additional resources for Boston residents.

MIRA Coalition: Resources in multiple languages (includes immigration policy and enforcement updates).


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