Together we are facing something most of us have never seen in our lifetimes. The COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic has us all seeking answers through this uncertainty. We know the pandemic will affect your personal and work life. APS is here to help.
If you are having difficulty paying your energy bill during this time, they will not shut off power for non-payment, and are waiving late fees as well. We thank them for their comfort and support during this time.
In addition, APS is setting up a Customer Support Fund that will be available starting Wednesday, March 18th.
Assistance for SNAP recipients
These are unprecedented times, and it's inspiring to see communities rising to the challenge. However, not everyone has the resources to "shelter in place" especially the millions of people in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Living paycheck to paycheck is hard when millions of businesses around the nation are closing down indefinitely, and hourly workers (including those dependent upon tips) are the hardest hit. In particular, families with kids whose primary meals happen at school are especially vulnerable when those schools shut down.
With this in mind, Expensify.org is going to temporarily redirect all of its charitable funds to Expensify.org/hunger. With its ability to reimburse volunteers directly in real-time, Expensify.org is uniquely positioned to help families in need immediately. Until today, this fund was focused on paying off kids' "lunch debts", but with schools closed around the nation, that isn't the top priority. Instead, we're devoting everything to a new program: matching SNAP grocery purchases up to $50 per family. It works like this:
1. Purchase food as normal with your SNAP card.
2. Download Expensify on iOS or Android, for free.
3. Join the Expensify.org/hunger policy.
4. SmartScan the receipt, which will tell us how much you paid and show that it was paid for with an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card.
5. Submit it to email@example.com.
6. Set up your bank account to receive the funds.
7. So long as we have funds available, we will reimburse up to $50 per family (one time), the very next day.
To be clear, we can't commit to reimbursing every single person in need — we have no idea how many people will do this, and unfortunately, we don't have unlimited funds. We also don't know how long this crisis will last and how far our brand new charity's resources will stretch. But we're going to do what we can with the funds donated on behalf of Expensify Cardholders via the Karma Points feature, as well as by the extremely generous donors who have signed up for our Corporate and Personal Karma programs.
This is a truly global crisis, and it is only beginning. We all need to work together to weather the storm, and on behalf of Expensify.org's many generous members, we're eager to help. - David, President of Expensify.org
PS: While you may not personally be on SNAP, please forward this along to anyone based in the US (where the SNAP program operates) you know that may need food assistance — or to any other groups or organizations who might be able to spread the word that help is available. Helping our local communities is what Expensify.org is all about!
Governor Ducey Announces Arizona Together Initiative,
Linking Arizonans To Resources During COVID-19 Outbreak
PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey today launched the Arizona Together initiative to support Arizonans during the COVID-19 outbreak, connecting individuals and businesses to resources, raising money for community organizations and providing information on volunteer opportunities. A website, ArizonaTogether.org, serves as the centralized location for Arizonans to find help or provide support.
“As we work to combat the spread of COVID-19, access to resources that can help support families and businesses in this time of need is critical,” said Governor Ducey. “We’re calling on Arizonans to be informed, get engaged, and support organizations doing important work to keep our communities safe and healthy. Arizona will get through this together.”
The AZ Coronavirus Relief Fund, established by Governor Ducey as part of the initiative, will provide financial support to organizations working to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 in Arizona. Initially, the fund will focus on the following immediate needs:
- Funding of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for frontline medical personnel.
- Supporting non-profit organizations that help vulnerable Arizonans through food banks, homeless shelters, domestic violence facilities and other services.
- Expanding technology access for low-income students to help them transition to online learning.
Michael J. Bidwill, Chairman and President of the Arizona Cardinals, has stepped forward to provide a generous founding contribution to the fund of $1 million.
“Like so many in our community, this unprecedented crisis has us asking what we can do to help and what might have the greatest impact,” said Cardinals Chairman and President Michael Bidwill. “We are grateful for the creation of this relief fund, are proud to support its critically important mission and hope that others throughout the community can join this effort in whatever way that they are able. As a team, we will continue to work on additional ways to make a difference and know that as a community we will get through this challenging time together.”
The Arizona Together initiative brings together the growing list of resources and information being offered by state agencies and community partners. Individuals who register to volunteer through the ArizonaTogether.org website will be connected with organizations across the state seeking community assistance.
“We continue to see a need for donations and volunteers to help Arizona beat this pandemic,” said Dr. Cara Christ, Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services. “Our food banks, hospitals, youth centers, and nonprofits serving the community all need support. We’re calling on Arizonans to come together and help where they can, while continuing to follow safe practices and the guidance of public health.”
Please visit ArizonaTogether.org to learn more, donate and find volunteer opportunities.
Safety Tips to Help Prevent the Spread of COVID-19
Click any image to expand it.
All of the Free Meals and Food Deals Available Nationwide
All of the Free Meals and Food Deals Available Nationwide
Pizza: All healthcare workers and hospital staff get a free pizza with a valid hospital ID or texting 200-03 #HERO for free delivery.
Boston Market: All online and app orders come with free delivery. Get a free cookie when you join Boston Market's Rotisserie Rewards program.
Burger King: Get two free kids meals with any purchase on the Burger King app. Orders $10 and up are eligible for free delivery, depending on location.
Chipotle: Now through March 31, all orders over $10 come with free delivery.
Cracker Barrel: Now through April 1, get free, contactless delivery for all orders over $15.
Del Taco: All orders are eligible for contact-free delivery on Grubhub, Postmates, and Doordash.
Denny's: Now until April 12, get $5 off orders of $20 or more, and free delivery.
Dunkin': Now through April 6, get free delivery and $3 off on Grubhub orders of $15 or more from participating Dunkin’ restaurants.
IHOP: Now through April 19, use code IHOP20 at checkout to get 20% off your first online order. Free delivery with no minimum required.
Jersey Mike's: Get free delivery on all orders placed through the app until further notice.
KFC: Now through April 26, all orders come with free delivery. With Grubhub
delivery orders, you can select the option for contact-free delivery at checkout.
Little Caesars: Now through March 29, get free delivery on online orders over $10.
McDonald's: Select locations are giving free meals to kids. Call your local chain to get more information.
Moe's Southwest Grill: Now through April 12, get free delivery on orders over $10.
O'Charley's: For $5, get the Bacon Cheddar Burger, Classic Cheeseburger, or Hamburger with fries. All orders are eligible for free delivery.
Olive Garden: Get two meals for the price of one — $12.99 — with their "Buy One, Take One" promotion. Free, no-contact delivery is available on orders with a $40 minimum.
Panda Express: Now until April 17, feed the whole family with a $20 Family Meal when you order online or through the Panda Express app.
Red Lobster: Now until April 12, all orders come with free delivery.
Smoothie King: Any kid 12 and under will receive a free, 12 oz. kid’s smoothie with the purchase of any 20 oz. smoothie using the Smoothie King Healthy Rewards App.
Taco Bell: Get free Grubhub delivery on all orders over $12.
TGI Friday's: Use code FREEKIDS to get a free kids entrée with online orders of $20 or more.
Wendy's: Get a free Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit with any breakfast purchase. All orders $10 are eligible for free delivery on Grubhub and Postmates.
99 Restaurant and Pub: Now through April 26, use code HERE4YOU online for 20% off to-go orders.
Free Grab-and-Go Meals
Southwest Human Development is offering free grab-and-go meals starting March 23rd through the end of school closures for families with children.
Come receive breakfast and lunch all in one bag to-go!
1300 N. 48th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85008.
Monday-Friday from 9am-11am
- Arizona Department of Health Services: State current recommendations, spread of disease by county, and other information.
- Get the latest Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) updates here.
- Coronavirus in the U.S.: Latest Map and Case Count – New York Times interactive reporting.
- Johns Hopkins Corona Virus Resource Center – An very powerful interactive map of the Coronavirus COVID-19 cases by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.
- Testing and Monitoring: Centers for Disease Control (CDC) – Provides for updated information on testing, and mitigation strategies to slow the spread of the disease.
- Maricopa County COVID-19: Here you can find updates on efforts to control the spread of the virus.
- Banner Health: The state’s largest hospital network has a good amount of information to help guide you during this health crisis and beyond.
- Home Delivered Meals for Seniors: City of Phoenix Home delivered meal program – The City of Phoenix Human Services Department provides home-delivered meals for elderly and disabled Phoenix residents, through a contracted meal provider, and is funded in part by the Area Agency on Aging, Region One.
- Food and nutrition assistance: Food stamps, Medicaid (AHCCCS) and cash assistance.
- Community Action Agencies (CAA) – Services include rental assistance and general casework
- Find Meals on Wheels Near You: Meals on Wheels operates in virtually every community in America through our network of more than 5,000 independently-run local programs.
- Take advantage of food takeout opportunities, including app-based delivery of food from locally-owned restaurants.
- Get informed on COVID-19 and create a plan for your household.
- Food Banks – The Arizona Food Bank Network is a good source for local food banks near you including St. Mary’s Food Bank open and operating and serving the needs of our community during this extraordinary time. Volunteer help if you are able and willing.
- Centralized AZ Updates: Office of the Arizona Governor – Most current State of Arizona information. Governor Doug Ducey has launched the Arizona Together initiative to support Arizonans during the COVID-19 outbreak, connecting individuals and businesses to resources, raising money for community organizations and providing information on volunteer opportunities. The website, ArizonaTogether.org, serves as the centralized location for Arizonans to find help or provide.
- Federal responses and updates:Federal Emergency Management Administration – FEMA is working with the Department of Health and Human Services and state, local, tribal and territorial governments to execute a whole of government response to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and protect the public.
- Hardship Support: AZ Department of Economic Security Services https://des.az.gov/services/coronavirus which outlines all services including the economic relief for those facing financial hardship because of COVID-19, increasing access to unemployment benefits. These resources are applied retroactively to hardships experienced after March 11, 2020.
Latest COVID-19 Update from Muncipalities located in AZ CD6
- City of Phoenix: Latest updates.
- City of Scottsdale: Latest updates.
- Town of Paradise Valley: Latest updates.
- Town of Fountain Hills: Latest updates.
- Town of Carefree: Latest updates.
- Town of Cave Creek: Latest updates.
- Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation: Latest updates.
- Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community: Latest updates.
- Statewide Services: Arizona 211 is a vast and very useful site providing information on where to find help with housing and shelter, counseling, food clothing and help to pay the bills, and a number of other resources.
- Financial support/loans: Affected companies may apply for up to $2 million through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program.
- Arizona SBA District Office: Provides more details on local assistance and support.
Schools & Education
- COVID-19 Guidance for Schools and Families. The latest from the Arizona Department of Education.
- Gov. Ducey and Superintendent Kathy Hoffman have announced all schools in Arizona closed through April 10th. View the announcement.
Due to the recent school closings, many districts are providing FREE grab and go breakfast and lunch to kids 18 and younger. Get details about the school districts that are participating.
Free and low-cost internet plansThe essentiality of internet service has been highlighted by the current crisis, but for many people it is financially out of reach. Please see the following two lists of free and low-cost internet plans, updated daily:
The food pantry will be open on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9-11 AM. Please bring your ICM Blue Card or a photo ID to receive your groceries.
La despensa de alimentos estará abierta los lunes, martes, jueves y viernes de 9 a 11 de la mañana. Traiga su tarjeta azul ICM o una identificación con foto para recibir sus compras.
501 S. 9TH Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85007
Please see website for updates: www.icmaz.org
While in a time of crisis, many service providers focus on caring for their clients. It’s also important service providers care for themselves. Here are a few ideas:
Focused breathing – take long, slow deep breaths and pay homage to the sensations you are accustomed to ignoring
Body scan – pay attention to each body part one at a time from head to toe
Guided imagery – visualize yourself within a calming environment
Meditation, Yoga, or Tai Chi – physical movement helps the body as well as the mind
Take a short break with herbal tea, like ginger or chamomile
Try aroma therapy with essential oils like lavender
Write in a journal
Take a long walk
Call a friend
Play music that you love
Facetime with people who make you smile
Watch your favorite funny movie or tv show
Go for a bike ride
Play your favorite board game
Get good sleep
From the National Association of Social Workers (NASW; www.socialworkers.org) - As social workers, we understand the ongoing need to take care of ourselves and each other as we approach our work. This may include:
Free Self-Care Activities
Below are just a few examples of free activities you can enjoy and that can bring some beauty and joy into your day as part of your self-care practice.
1) Essential item shopping and delivery (groceries, toiletries, etc)
2) Medication pick-up and delivery
3) Childcare for families in need at NO COST.
Do you know of any members of your church who would benefit from these services? Additionally, are there any members of your church who would be willing to serve as volunteers? Feel free to pass my name and this email along.