Community Resources & Help: Response to COVID-19
Community resources and help for a healthy and resilient community where we all can thrive.
We want everyone to feel safe and supported. Together, our network of community partners will coordinate resources to further support and augment the changing government and private measures that are being developed. In times like this, philanthropy can truly shine as a beacon of hope.
This page will be updated regularly to provide you with the most up-to-date resources from trusted community partners that ensure everyone in our community has access to the support they need.
Our Initial Response:
Support from Season of Sharing
As an initial response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are relying on the time-tested and trusted Season of Sharing partnership with the Herald Tribune Media Group and our multiple nonprofit agencies to quickly and proactively help the most vulnerable individuals and families with immediate basic needs such as payments for utilities, childcare, and rent. Our longtime partner, The Patterson Foundation, has committed up to $1 million to strengthen this important safety net, including an immediate $500,000 contribution, along with an additional dollar-for-dollar match that you can be a part of up to $500,000.
In just 26 days, our community raised nearly $2 million with gifts ranging from $15 to $250,000, far surpassing the initial match and encouraging additional matching gifts. This includes another $200,000 dollar-for-dollar matching gift from an anonymous donor and a $100,000 from the Community Foundation’s Board of Directors. This match was also met in record time and that through Season of Sharing an additional $2.4 million is here to help individuals and families with rent and mortgage payments, as well as utility bills and childcare. In the days ahead, this support will be so needed as our community grapples with record high unemployment.
We appreciate every gift of any size that can be made at this time to help our friends and neighbors. Please make a gift today.
How can I request help through Season of Sharing?
The Community Foundation provides grants directly to nonprofit agencies. To receive funds from Season of Sharing, individuals must be working with a case worker at a social service agency. United Way 2-1-1 assists potential clients in finding the appropriate agency. Visit United Way 2-1-1's website to begin your search.
Local Community Resources
The Community Foundation of Sarasota County along with other foundations will continue to work through our network of nonprofit partners and community leaders to ensure continued community resilience.
United Way Suncoast: Assistance Center
There are networks to support people in this time of crisis and the best way to find them is through United Way’s 2-1-1, a free 24 hour, 7 day a week, year-round service that connects area residents to critical health and social service resources. There are multiple ways to access this resource:
By phone – Dial 211
By Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
By Online Chat at – https://211.gs-humanservices.org/
By Text – Text zip code to 898-211
United Way Suncoast has also created a helpful resource page that is updated frequently with the latest COVID-19 responses and resources.
Food Site Services
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sarasota County Schools will provide meals for children 18 and under beginning March 23, the week after spring break. Meals will be given via drive-thru service, to avoid any unnecessary contact, and will run Monday through Friday each week until schools reopen. Parents and guardians can pick up a meal for their child each day between 9 a.m.- 1:00 p.m.; children must also be in the car in order for parents and guardians to receive meals, which include lunch and breakfast for the next day. The county’s Food & Nutrition Services department will try to accommodate allergies, and parents and guardians can email email@example.com with allergy considerations, their location for meal pick-up and the approximate time of pick up.
All Faiths Food Bank is organizing two mass food distributions in Sarasota County this month to help residents impacted by COVID-19. The events will take place in the parking lots at CoolToday Park (18800 South, W Villages Pkwy, Venice) on May 9 and Ed Smith Stadium (2700 12th St., Sarasota) on May 16. Both distributions – which are first come, first-served – will begin at 9 am and continue until food runs out or 2 pm The National Guard will provide on-site assistance with the massive effort. Food distribution schedules can be found here. They have partnered with Sarasota County Food and Nutrition Services, Boys & Girls Clubs and Girls Inc. to provide meals to children and families affected by the temporary school closures. Visit their website for updates.
Sarasota Chamber of Commerce
The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce is able to assist you with connections, resources, and up-to-date information for your business. Recently, they have shared a CARES ACT Guide & Checklist for Small Businesses to help your business navigate through the process.
Sarasota County Government
For individuals seeking resources and information about the COVID-19 pandemic, Sarasota County Government has created a webpage sharing the latest local and state updates, helpful guides, and videos. To learn more, visit our "Community Resources & Help for COVID-19" Link in Bio.
Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County
As community needs change daily, it can be overwhelming to stay informed and up-to-date with the latest information. To help with this, the Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County has put together a webpage that is updated daily with information and links that are intended to provide assistance to business owners, employees, and the unemployed.
Women's Resource Center
The Women's Resource Center is sharing a comprehensive list of resources that includes: food service sites, financial help and support, employment, talking to kids about COVID-19, home learning, and even self-care.