To find a school meal site in your community, our Summer Meals map now shows where families can get meals for kids during the COVID-19 pandemic. To find information regarding a specific School District, check this comprehensive list of links to school meal plans during the closures.

Updated April 2, 2020

On Friday, March 13, Oregon woke up to the news that beginning Monday, our schools will be closed for the remainder of the month. Some of us learned that people in our lives are sick. Our workplaces are closing down. All of the sudden, this pandemic is far more personal than many of us ever imagined.

For most of us, this news also comes alongside worries about how we’re going to put food on the table.

How will we show up for each other in the days and months to come? Government can play an essential role in providing food to families, caring for the vulnerable, and compensating lost income–it’s our responsibility to make sure that it does so. People are experiencing stigma and racism during this pandemic–together we’ll hold them center. We’re also quickly learning how truly interconnected we are–we’ll each do the things we can. Though today feels so overwhelming, I’m hopeful that we look back on this moment in our lives as the time communities came together in extraordinary, unimaginable ways to care for each other.

How to Find Food in a Pandemic

We have compiled this list of resources and information to access basic needs and are updating it as we get more information.

  • Everything is normal with SNAP and benefits will continue to be available on their regular schedule. We’ll let you know if lawmakers plan to increase SNAP benefits to help those impacted. You do not need to go into a Department of Human Services office to get service. You can call or email a DHS office to access an application (or you can apply online), submit information or paperwork, report changes and/or to conduct an interview (for some households like those with no income, they will not need to do an interview). Find DHS office information including phone numbers here.
    • If you have recently been laid off or had work hours cut, you may be eligible for SNAP. You can apply for SNAP even if your last 30-days of income are not representative of what your income will be moving forward. DHS takes recent changes in your situation into account right away when determining benefits.
    • There will be no recertifications or interim change reports (the yellow letter that comes during your 5th month) required for SNAP participants during March, April, and May. These are delayed until six months from now.  
    • DHS can mail a SNAP EBT cards to you, this just needs to be requested. One way to request an EBT card mailed to you and to set-up your pin is to call the toll-free Oregon EBT Customer Service Help Line at 1-888-997-4447. Make sure DHS has an accurate mailing address for you that you can access. DHS offices are still open and they have implemented social distancing practices, so you can pick up an EBT card in-person if that is preferred (some offices are even providing curbside service).
  • You can now use EBT to order food online through Amazon and Walmart for home delivery across Oregon. Please note that there are delivery fees (which SNAP benefits cannot pay for).  For those 60+, Area Agencies on Aging can cover delivery fees for SNAP online purchase, please reach out to the office in your area directly about this, find this information at adrcoforegon.org.
  • Time limits are now suspended across Oregon. This means that those considered Able Bodied Adults without Dependents (ABAWDs) do not need to meet work requirements in order to continue receiving SNAP. No SNAP benefits will be reduced or cut off for participants because of not meeting work requirements. If you have been cut off SNAP because of time limits in the past, please reapply as you may now be eligible.
  • To find a school meal site in your community, our Summer Meals map now shows where families can get meals for kids during the COVID-19 pandemic. To find information regarding a specific School District, check this comprehensive list of links to school meal plans during the closures.
  • Free meals are available to all children ages 1 to 18 to pick up “grab and go” style. To receive a school meal:
    • You do not have to attend that specific school or district to have access to these meals.
    • No application or income verification is needed.
    • Children do not need to be present when picking up a meal, as this requirement was recently waived by the USDA, but school districts will need to verify parent or guardian status
  • Please check in with your school or district regarding their meal plans during the Coronavirus school closures as the way that meals are delivered can vary by district including: providing breakfast and lunch for multiple days (up to a week) and home delivery directly to students. Please note that this is only for certain schools or districts.
  • For metro area supports: Select schools in Multnomah County are providing school meals and food distributions in partnership with Oregon Food Bank.  The list of school food access sites is now posted on the SUN Service System website.
  • Schools are working hard on planning, and we will share more with you as it’s available. Contact your school or call 211 to stay up to date.
  • WIC is available and working on ways to provide services without visits to their offices including that WIC clients no longer need to show up in-person for appointments. Some other requirements have been altered or waived, including signatures and between visit information collection.
  • Some offices are providing drive-by services.
  • An online version of the WIC application is available. You can find that here. WIC staff will contact you after you fill out and submit the online form.
  • WIC-approved infant formula should be available at all major grocery stores and pharmacies. If you don’t see it stocked on the shelves, visit customer service to check-in.
  • For more information, visit the WIC site here.
  • The Hope Center put out a guide for College Supporting Students During COVID-19 that contains tips that can help administration support students as they are working on managing the COVID-19 situation. We know college closures are impacting students access to food, healthcare, and housing, so please consider connecting students to emergency funds, continuing to operate your food pantry or creating other service models for this food, and connecting students to SNAP.
  • If you have federal student loans, your monthly federal student loan payments will be suspended until September and, during this time, no additional interest will accrue.
  • If you participate in a federal work study program, but that work has been disrupted by COVID-19, you will still receive your payments.
  • If you drop out of school because of the coronavirus, this academic term won’t count toward your lifetime subsidized loan eligibility or Pell Grant eligibility. Also your grades will not affect your grant or student loan eligibility. You are also not required to return unused Pell funding or federal student loans should you drop out of school because of coronavirus.
  • Meals on Wheels People dining centers will be providing take-home meals to its constituents in Multnomah, Washington and Clark counties beginning Friday, March 13, in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
  • Meals on Wheels home-delivery will continue uninterrupted using a non-contact delivery method.
  • For up-to-date information on what is happening at Meals on Wheels People during this health emergency, call their COVID-19 Hotline at 503.953.8158.
  • Aging and Disability Resource Connection of Oregon has information on statewide senior meal access and delivery.
  • We, along with the Oregon Hunger Task Force, hosted an Emergency Webinar: Creating Food Access in a Pandemic on Thursday, March 19, 12:00 – 1:00 pm PST. With schools closed and jobs suspended due to coronavirus, Oregonians are finding ourselves not only in the midst of an urgent public health crisis, but also wondering how we will put food on the table. This webinar invited anti-hunger organizations, direct service nonprofits, community groups, and individuals to gather online to share information, identify problems, build solutions, and coordinate our efforts. The recording is available here.
  • As a response to COVID-19, Familias en Acción is sharing food resources available for the Latinx Community. They are hosting webinars in the coming weeks, to learn together how to access food during this pandemic. These webinars will be in Spanish. For more information and to register, please contact Alejandra Gurrola at [email protected]
  • We have compiled information on employment and bill resources, including unemployment benefits, utilities and day care resources.  Read more here.
  • Rep. Earl Blumenauer’s (OR-3) office has put together a comprehensive spreadsheet of emergency relief resources in the Portland metro area. Access that here.
  • Some of our partners have built a nationwide spreadsheet of resources for undocumented communities.  A local resource page is being developed and will be made available when finished.
  • Project Access NOW is providing support to those seeking health coverage in Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas Counties. Get help with healthcare access here.

We are working on finding out more and will share more with you. Use 211 to stay up to date.

Ways to Take Action

  • Our partners at Oregon Center for Public Policy have created an action alert to tell Congress that as the economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic intensifies, we need a bold economic recovery package from the federal government. Take action here.
  • Call or email your school district to ask what the plan is for school meals during this school closure. We will share information as we have it and your local school is the best way to find out what is available locally.
  • Day laborers work in temporary low-wage jobs where they do not have access to sick leave and cannot work remotely. Voz has put together an Emergency Solidarity Worker Fund to ensure worker access to medical care, sick leave, good hygiene, mental health, housing, and food security. Please donate and support workers.

211info can help you find services and answer your questions about Coronavirus

CALL 211 or 1-866-698-6155TEXT your zip code to 898211 (TXT211)EMAIL [email protected]HOURS 7 days per week,  8am-11pm

How is COVID19 impacting your life? Know of other resources we should add to this page?