Updated April 23, 2020
The breakout of COVID-19 has put the importance and impact of public health front and center in our lives. We all find ourselves facing unknowns, including loss of jobs and income, canceling of schools, empty shelves at the grocery store, social distancing, and facing the anxiety about the health of loved ones and ourselves.
In these unprecedented times, the strength and resilience of our system is being tested, while the long-term economic and cultural impacts remain unknown. We stand with partners, families, farmers, food service workers, teachers, and officials as we work together to mitigate the spread, protect the vulnerable, and decrease strain on healthcare infrastructure. Our important work continues and efforts to feed the vulnerable and mobilize resources are underway. We are truly humbled by the innovative, inspiring, and selfless work of those in our food system.
Pinnacle Prevention is here to support both the immediate response and recovery in the following ways.
As grocery store shelves go empty, and families face loss of income, fear about getting enough food is common. There is enough food and our local grocery workers are working around the clock to make sure our shelves are restocked as soon as possible. In the meantime, here is a list of resources, by population, families can turn to for support.
SNap/ebt and wic Covid-19 program changes
The SNAP/EBT program (f.k.a. "food stamps") in Arizona has gone through some major changes recently. If you or a loved one has an EBT card (perhaps for the first time), you likely have seen an increased balance, or you will soon. It's real. Here are some of the other changes you'll be seeing:
🥕 skipping eligibility interviews that are usually required after submitting your app; they are also taking signatures over the phone instead of in person
🥕 extending certification periods, meaning that usually going into the office/calling for an interview every 6 months will be postponed
🥕 loading EBT cards w/ the maximum benefit amount for the household size (that's where the increased balance comes from - usually other factors lower that max amount)
🥕 providing $5.70 per day of school closure to families with kids eligible for free/reduced price meals (a.k.a. P-EBT/Pandemic EBT)
The Arizona WIC program for mamas and babies has also gone through some changes, including not requiring office visits thru 5/31/2020, and counting fluid milk of any available fat content as eligible due to store stocking issues.
Farmers markets, farms, and CSAs have been incredibly responsive and adaptive to changing need by initiating delivery, pre-orders, online sales, delivery, drive-thru, and increased sanitation practices. Our local grocery store partners and food bank staff have been working tirelessly to address gigantic needs.
If you have questions about any of this, Email Us and we would be happy to help you find the answers! If you live in a state other than Arizona the rules/waivers are likely different but we are here to help each other navigate this complex system and get food to the people who need it.
Pregnant Moms and Families with Young Children
Many young families rely on childcare to allow them to continue to work and as a source of food for their children. Many families find themselves facing closed centers or having to provide meals as centers are faced with limited availability of food.
Though many schools are closed, child care assistance may be available as a relief to some families. More information may be found at the Arizona Child Care Resource and Referral Line: https://www.azccrr.com/ or 1.800.308.9000
Families struggling to find care, or in need of additional services can also contact the Birth to Five Helpline at 877-705-KIDS (5437.)
WIC is another important resource for pregnant moms and families. WIC remains open, and is offering remote ways of providing services to promote social distancing and avoid office visits. Those looking to enroll or find their nearest clinic can find more info at: www.azwic.gov
There have been reports of limited stock of formula at stores. Efforts are currently underway to increase distribution and ensure families are getting the formula they need.
For those facing a shortage, or concerned about special formulas, contact the State WIC Office at 1 (800) 252-5942.
Double up food bucks is now unlimited
In response to community need during the COVID-19 outbreak, we are temporarily removing the $20 daily Double Up Food Bucks incentive limit, effective immediately at all active Double Up sites.
Additional Resources for Families and Individuals
SNAP offices are operational and the program remains a critical resource for families facing loss of income. Information on SNAP and other programs available to families during the COVID-19 response can be found on the DES website:
AZ seniors face higher rates of hunger, compared to the national average. Isolation and transportation remain some of the biggest barriers seniors face, and are only further exacerbated during this time of social distancing. Some grocery stores have announced adjusted hours to allow seniors special access. In addition, food banks remain open and are continually modifying delivery and services to best meet needs. Many seniors rely on congregate meals or home-delivery. Though congregate meal programs have been suspended to follow CDC guidelines, many programs have increased home delivery to meet needs.
Seniors can call the Arizona Area Agencies on Aging hotline to find services near them:
24-Hour Senior HELP LINE – 602-264-4357 (HELP)
Though demand on food banks has increased to unprecedented levels, food banks have food and are able to respond rapidly. Individuals in need of food are encouraged to find a food bank or pantry near them.
More info and a food bank locator are available on the Arizona Food Bank Network website:
Young, healthy individuals are also encouraged to aid in the distribution of food by volunteering at their local food bank.
Arizona is here for you.
We are committed to making sure Arizonans have access to the resources they need as we work to get our state through the COVID-19 outbreak. We’re in this together.
For more information about COVID-19 in English or Spanish, dial 2-1-1.
If you need public assistance, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“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. 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.” - Doug Ducey, Governor of Arizona
Families with School Aged ChildreN
Governor Ducey has announced a state-wide closure of public schools throughout the end of the school year. Many schools are serving free grab and go meals during the COVID-19 outbreak.
For a complete list, visit the AZ Health Zone School Meal Sites
All children under 18 can pick up two meals, breakfast and lunch, at their nearest school district. Children do not have to be attending that school district, but must be present at the time of pick up. Contact your nearest local school district for more information. You can also use the meals mapper at:
Click on the location name for contact information and meal times. If no locations are listed in your area, call the AZ Hunger Hotline at 602-528-3434 or 1-800-445-1914.
NOTE: The map does not reflect the total number of schools that are offering school meals at this time. For a complete list, visit School Meal Sites.
To find what is available in your area, visit your districts website or Facebook page. A list of approved meal sites, more information about funding and how the schools are operating meal service can be found on the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) website, here.
FInd childcare for covid-29 frontline workers
To ensure Arizona’s first responders, critical healthcare workers, and essential public sector employees have the support they need to continue combatting COVID-19, the Governor’s office has partnered with local child care providers, nonprofit, education, and faith-based organizations to offer child care through Arizona Enrichment Centers.
For those who meet the eligibility criteria, here is how to register:
No Kid Hungry Grants Available to Support Coronavirus Response
As coronavirus is closing schools and workplaces nationwide, vulnerable children are losing the school meals they depend on, and low-income families are struggling with lost wages. No Kid Hungry is offering emergency grants to support local school districts and nonprofit organizations in their efforts to ensure kids get the nutritious food they need.
USDA AMS: 2020 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program
The purpose of the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) is to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. Specialty crops are defined as “fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture).” The agency, commission, or department responsible for agriculture within any of the 50 States, DC and the US territories is eligible to apply directly to USDA for grant funds. Organizations or individuals interested in the SCBGP should contact their state department of agriculture for more information.
Regional food system partnerships
USDA AMS's Regional Food System Partnerships (RFSP) program supports partnerships that connect public and private resources to plan and develop local or regional food systems.
AMS is soliciting applications from eligible partnerships, which include at least one eligible entity and at least one eligible partner. Visit the website to see eligibility partners and entities.
The 2020 RFSP grant application period is now open. The deadline for submitting applications for the 2020 Request for Applications has been extended until May 26, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time.
COVID-19 Related Funding for Nonprofits
Grant Station has compiled a list of current funding opportunities for nonprofits in the area of COVID-19, updated each business day and listed by deadline date. It includes funding available nationally as well as geographic-specific funding opportunities. Note that these funding sources cover a wide range of nonprofit functions, not just health and huger relief.
Ben & Jerry’s Foundation Social and Environmental Justice Projects
Pre-Application Deadline: April 15
Grants of up to $25,000 will be awarded to 501(c)(3) nonprofit community-organizing groups working to advance social and environmental justice and support sustainable and just food systems. Pre-applications are due April 15. Upon review, selected applicants will be invited to submit a full application.
State of arizona Executive order prohibiting the closure of essential services
Arizona Governor recognizes farmers’ markets, farm and produce stands, as well as food production, processing, and cultivation as an essential service to remain operational to ensure food access for all amid COVID-19. Download the full document below.
Governor Ducey Announces $6.7 Million In Funding To Support Vulnerable Arizonans
This critical investment ensures we are helping families stretch their food dollars to put more healthy food on their tables during this uncertain time. We applaud the Governor’s office and the Department of Economic Security for this support and effort.
See the press release HERE
USDA Makes it Easier to Feed Kids and Those Who Need Food During the COVID-19 National Emergency
Today’s announcement is the latest in a series of actions that USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service has taken to uphold the USDA’s commitment to “Do Right and Feed Everyone” during this national emergency. USDA will continue to provide technical assistance to help state agencies swiftly implement these actions among others:
Governor Ducey Announces Launch Of 2-1-1 COVID-19 Hotline
The line will respond to calls in English and Spanish and will provide important information, including:
USDA Approves Program to Feed Kids in Arizona and Illinois
Today’s announcement is the latest in a series of actions that USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service has taken to uphold the USDA’s commitment to “Do Right and Feed Everyone” during this national emergency. Other actions include: