FREE MEALS FOR CHILDREN
Many school districts are providing free breakfast and free lunch for any child age 18 or younger. In most cases, you do not need any identification or proof of age for the children, but the children do need to be present in order to receive a meal. Additionally, children can receive a free meal even if they are not enrolled in that school or district (for example, if your child is homeschooled or attends a private/charter school). For more information about meal times and locations, visit the website for the school district in which you live. Some districts are linked below, but this is not an extensive list.
EMERGENCY FOOD ASSISTANCE
If you or someone you know is in need of food, you can find a food bank in your area by visiting the Arizona Food Bank Network. It is recommended you contact the food bank directly for their current hours and availability due to the COVID-19 situation.
CHILD CARE RESOURCES
You can contact the Arizona Child Care & Referral for help finding childcare that meets your current needs. Information and help can be found by visiting their website at Arizona Child Care & Referral or by calling 1-800-308-9000.
Additionally, the following programs have indicated they remain open despite school closures. This list is not exhaustive. It is recommended you contact each agency directly for program information, locations, hours, and rates.
For general community resources, including utility and rental assistance, you can contact Community Information and Referral by call 2-1-1 from your phone or visiting their website at www.cir.org.
Additionally, the Arizona Department of Economic Security has set up a special page for those negatively affected by COVID-19. Individuals or families can apply for a variety of benefits, including unemployment, cash assistance, and nutrition assistance. For more information or to apply for these services, visit https://des.az.gov/services/coronavirus.
SHELTER & HOUSING ASSISTANCE
If you or someone you know is in need of housing assistance, contact the Family Housing Hub, located at UMOM family shelter. Please note, they do not provide emergency shelter. For additional information or to access their resources, call 602-595-8700. You can also visit their website at https://umom.org/find-help/.
MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES
Life in general can be stressful, and even more so in times of crisis. If you are feeling overwhelmed, or are worried about a loved one, it is important to speak up and ask for help. You are not alone. Many employers offer counseling resources through an EAP (employee assistance program) or through health insurance benefits. You can contact your EAP provider or your insurance provider for a referral to a counselor that accepts your benefits. If you do not have mental health support coverage, or if you are worried about someone else, you can contact the Crisis Response Network. Someone will answer your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and they will connect you to the support that is most helpful for you or your loved one. The crisis line is free, confidential, and is for anyone who needs help. Call 602-222-9444, or visit their website at https://www.crisisnetwork.org/ for more information.
Teens who are in need of support or who are worried about a friend can contact Teen Lifeline. Trained peer counselors are available to listen and offer help. Teens can call or text 602-248-8336 (TEEN). Parents can feel comfortable knowing the peer counselors receive extensive training and are supervised by a Master’s level clinician, and that the hotline is accredited by the American Association of Suicidology. Their website also has resources for parents who want information about risk factors and warning signs for depression, suicide, and self-harm in teens.
The National Association of School Psychologists has put together some helpful information for parents about how to talk to your children about COVID-19. You can find this information at NASP Parent Resources.
The Arizona Department of Child Safety also has helpful information for how to support your children during this time of crisis. You can find the information at AZ Department of Child Safety Tips for Parents.
Additionally, the Center for Disease Control has information to help individuals and parents manage anxiety and stress. The information includes common responses to stress, information about coping skills, and tips for how to support your children during this crisis. All of the information can be found at Center for Disease Control: Managing Stress & Anxiety.