by Jessica Giles | March 20, 2020

Need Food, Childcare or Beer During the Coronavirus Pandemic? Find It Here.

Nonprofits, restaurants and even breweries are finding ways to support the community during these uncertain times.

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Beach Closed on a yellow warning sign with wooden post at the beach
Local officials around the state are closing beaches due to coronavirus. Photography courtesy of iStock

It goes without saying that times are scary. People are facing job loss, sickness and so many other uncertainties as COVID-19 sweeps across the globe. But if there’s one thing all those hurricanes have taught us, it’s that the Sunshine State is stronger together. If you find yourself struggling and in need of support, whether it be financial help, food, or special services, we’re compiling a list of places you can turn to. Below, you’ll find a roundup of resources organized by region. This list is being continuously updated. If you know of a resource that isn’t listed, please email jessica@flamingomag.com


STATEWIDE RESOURCES

  • School districts across Florida are offering grab-and-go meals at various locations around the community to support families affected by school closures. Refer to your county’s website for updates on school closures & meal services. 
  • United Way is working to connect people who are struggling with essential resources. If you or someone you know is in need of assistance, call 211 or text your zip code to 898-211. Find your United Way branch here
  • Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried activated the Summer BreakSpot program, which provides free meals and snacks to children when school is out over the summer. Check their website to find a location near you. 
  • Publix will open early on Tuesdays and Wednesdays to offer a senior shopping hour from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. for customers 65 and over beginning Tuesday, March 24.
  • Farm Share is hosting free food giveaways all throughout the state, from Jacksonville to Miami. Bring boxes or bags and food is first come, first serve. Check the organization’s Facebook page or website for a list of event locations.
A volunteer helps at a Farm Share mobile food giveaway in South Dade on Friday. Photography courtesy of Farm Share

NEED A BREAK FROM HOMESCHOOLING?

  • Disney has created a free online program called Imagineering in a Box, where your child can learn what it takes to build a theme park. Find the course here
  • Kennedy Space Center is streaming Facebook live videos on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9:30 a.m. for younger children and 1 p.m. for older kids. These videos will cover everything from how to live in space to the inside of the space shuttle Atlantis. Watch the videos on their Facebook page. 
  • The Loggerhead Marinelife Center in Juno Beach is conducting educational livestreams Monday through Friday at 2 p.m. These 15–20 minute videos will cover an array of sea conservation topics and bring viewers face-to-face with some of the center’s sea turtle patients. Access worksheets and lesson plans online to help your child follow along. Learn more here

BY THE REGIONS:

NORTH FLORIDA

  • Although Governor Rick DeSantis ordered all bars and nightclubs to close for 30 days, Tallahassee breweries understand that in stressful times, you need a drink. Proof Brewing Company, Ology Brewing Company, Deep Brewing Company and Lake Tribe Brewing Company have all set up systems for to-go orders and curbside pick-up. Check each brewery’s website for details. 
  • Need some new reading material to pass the time in quarantine? Midtown Reader in Tallahassee is offering free home delivery to their customers. Even better news: If you order by noon, you’ll have your book in hand that same day. 
  • On Saturday, March 21, Tallahassee locals are encouraged to participate in Rally for Tally, a means to support small businesses while practicing social distancing. The idea, which started on the Facebook group Tallahassee Foodies, is to have community members order curbside pickup from a list of participating restaurants on Saturday to keep small businesses alive during this difficult time. There may even be a little surprise in it for you—like an extra chicken tender or two! Check the Facebook page for updates on participating restaurants.
  • Emerald Republic Brewing in Pensacola is giving away purified water to those who need it. Community members can take home up to 10 gallons of water. Bring your own containers. The brewery is asking for a $1 donation from those who pick up water.
  • Pelican Oyster Company, just south of Tallahassee, has created an online shop where you can order hundreds of Salty Bird oysters and have them shipped directly to your door. The best part? $1 shipping! Order here and support local oyster farms.
  • Cinotti’s Bakery in Jacksonville is offering a free breakfast or lunch sandwich to all medical professionals. Arrive in uniform or show appropriate ID to claim your free meal. The bakery is also offering free meals to the elderly. Call in a to-go order, pick it up and deliver to your homebound neighbor.

CENTRAL FLORIDA

  • Pinellas County public buses are free to ride beginning today to prevent crowding at the fare box and help those who depend on public transit.
  • Although YMCAs across the state have closed, more than 20 Tampa Bay locations will offer full-day free childcare for healthcare workers and first responders beginning Monday, March 23. Check here for more details as they’re released.
  • Copper Bottom Craft Distillery is making and distributing free hand sanitizer to the public. Bring a 4-ounce bottle. Pickup begins at noon while supplies last.
  • Service industry personnel in the New Smyrna Beach area who have been negatively impacted by the pandemic can apply for an SIP Grant. These grants will come in the form of payments for utility bills. The mayor of New Smyrna Beach has suspended his salary and directed the funds to be used for this grant program. Apply for the grant here.

SOUTH FLORIDA

  • On top of normal to-go food service, Oceans 234, a waterfront restaurant in Deerfield Beach, is now offering grocery delivery for the next 30 days. You can order everything from a New York strip to Nathan’s hot dogs and have it delivered straight to your door. Order by 3 p.m. for a delivery or pick-up the following day. All orders must be a minimum of $25. Order here
  • Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Miami is now delivering hot meals to the elderly through its congregate meals program. Visit their website to learn more.
  • Beat Culture Brewery and Kitchen in Miami is offering free to-go food for anyone that needs it. Meals are available daily from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., or as long as supplies last. Learn more here.
  • Grails and Spanglish, two bars in Wynwood, have banded together to provide hot meals for people in need. You can order a starter and entree online for $15 per person, and for every meal that they sell, they will donate a meal to an out-of-work hospitality employee. You can order through UberEats, Postmates or GrubHub or call (786) 870-4313.
  • Out-of-work restaurant employees can apply for a $250 grant from the Miami Restaurant Employee Relief Fund. Employees must be full-time, employed for three months or longer at the same location and submit their last two pay stubs. Apply for the grant here.
  • Order everything from a skirt steak to a roll of toilet paper online from Cafe Maxx in Pompano Beach. Delivery and curbside pickup available.

WHICH BEACHES ARE STILL OPEN?

  • St. John’s County beaches are open but all public beach parking lots are closed.
  • Volusia County beaches are open but no vehicle access is allowed. Off-beach county parking lots are still open.

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