The Families First Coronavirus Response Act was passed in the House last week and the Senate this week. It focuses on the immediate economic needs for workers and families like paid emergency leave for millions of Americans. The #FamiliesFirst Act provides for free coronavirus testing for everyone who needs a test, including the uninsured and strengthens nutrition security benefits on which millions of school children, seniors, and families depend.
Earlier this month, we passed the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, which allocated $8.3 billion to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. This bill was passed on a bipartisan basis and provided funding for:
- Public health preparedness and prevention, including funding for state and local public health agencies;
- Vaccine research and therapy development, and;
- Medical supplies and equipment
Help Flatten the Curve!
On March 16th, Governor Lamont issued an Executive Order taking the following actions:
- A prohibition on large gatherings to a capacity of 50 people, and adds religious gatherings to the list of activities subject to the limit.
- Limits restaurants to non-alcoholic beverage and take-out/delivery services only.
- Requires closure of on-side operations at off-track betting facility operations.
- Requires closure of gyms, fitness studios, and movie theaters.
Even though schools throughout the state are closed, the state government the State Department of Education is working with school districts on developing distance learning plans and ensuring students have access to nutritious meals. Anyone under the age of 18 can pick up meals at designated locations in their city or town. Consult your city or town’s municipal website for more information.
I am committed to doing everything I can to make sure you and your family have the resources you need during this difficult time, which includes making sure you have information about the virus, how it spreads, and steps we can all take to reduce its transmission:
According to the CDC, this virus is primarily transmitted by person-to-person contact. Transmission typically occurs when:
- Someone with the virus sneezes or coughs on you, leaving respiratory droplets on your skin or clothing, or you touch someone who has the virus on their skin or clothing.
- You then touch your face, which gives the virus an entry point via your mouth, nose, or eyes.
Avoid Transmission and Stay Informed
- Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds frequently throughout the day.
- Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if you don’t have access to soap and water. Look for a product that’s at least 60 % alcohol.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Limit your person-to-person contact by practicing social distancing (maintain at least 6 feet of distance between you and another person) at all times when in public.
- STAY HOME. Social isolation will help us slow the spread of this virus (i.e. flatten the curve). We should all do our best to limit our interaction with other people. Even if you are experiencing no symptoms of the virus, you can still be a vector for it and can transmit the virus to others.
- If you are experiencing symptoms or need medical assistance, please contact your primary care provider first. Do not go to the emergency room.
- Stay up to date with CDC guidelines as they are issued by checking their website and signing up for their alerts
- Check the state of Connecticut’s website daily to stay up-to-date with what is being done at the state level to address the virus
- The state of Connecticut has set up a 24/7 information hotline for general questions no answered on the website related to COVID-19. You can dial 2-1-1 for assistance. This hotline is intended to be used by individuals who are not experiencing symptoms.
- Anyone experiencing symptoms is strongly urged to contact their medical provider immediately.
The state of Connecticut has set up a website with the most up-to-date information for Connecticut residents.
Please visit regularly for the latest updates: https://portal.ct.gov/coronavirus
If you have been laid off or furloughed as a result of the coronavirus, you can apply for unemployment immediately.
Connecticut businesses and nonprofits impacted by the coronavirus are now eligible to apply for loans from the SBA.
Coronavirus Relief Efforts
The State of CT COVID-19 Donation Site
The State of CT has set up a website for individuals and organizations to donate critical medical supplies currently in need. Visit the website to donate items that are currently in demand.
Bridgeport Rescue Mission
1088 Fairfield Avenue, Bridgeport
Donations of hand sanitizer, wipes, tissues, soap, cough drops, and disposable gloves may be placed in a Ziploc bag and brought to 1069 Connecticut Ave unit 2A; you can also donate on their website.
The Fairfield County Community Foundation
40 Richards Avenue
Norwalk, CT 06854
The FCCF launched the Fairfield County COVID-19 Resiliency Fund that will rapidly deploy resources to trusted, frontline community organizations that meet the basic needs of local residents in Fairfield County. The Fund’s purpose is to help alleviate the social and economic consequences of this global pandemic and to prevent the widening of disparities in education, employment, housing, and health. The Fund’s resources will be directed to organizations serving high need, vulnerable populations, including low-income individuals and residents without health insurance and/or access to sick days; immigrants; persons with disabilities; and communities of color, among others. Any new gifts up to $10,000 to the Resiliency Fund will be matched, dollar-for-dollar up to $100,000, by an anonymous FCCF donor-advised fundholder. Donations can be made on their website.
The United Way of Greenwich
The Greenwich COVID-19 Community Relief Fund has been established to be used for the relief of economic hardship due to the COVID-19 crisis to agencies located in Greenwich providing aid, assistance and relief to Greenwich residents. Donations can be made on their website.
83 Lockwood Ave
Stamford, CT 06902
Accepting donations of money, non-perishable foods, personal care and household items such as soap, toilet paper, cleaning products, diapers, etc. $25 AMEX, VISA, Shoprite, and Stop & Shop gift cards. You can also contribute to their Amazon wish list at http://a.co/hQNdt4l. Donations can be dropped off at 83 Lockwood Ave or can be made online at domuskids.org/donate.
Person to Person
Norwalk, Darien, and Stamford
Person to person provides individuals and families throughout lower Fairfield county with assistance for essential needs. They are currently accepting donations of non-perishable food items and gift cards, call the number listed above to confirm where to drop these items off. You can also donate online at their website.
The Red Cross
Hospitals are experiencing severe blood shortages, but the Red Cross has made it possible for individuals to continue to donate blood in a safe environment. Visit their website to find out how you can make an appointment to give blood.
The Restaurant Workers Community Foundation
RWCF is a nationwide community dedicated to making the restaurant industry more hospitable to everyone. They have created a fund to provide immediate direct relief to individual restaurant workers, non-profit organizations serving restaurant workers in crisis, and zero-interest loans for restaurants to get back up and running. You can donate online at their website.
The Valley Community Foundation
In response to COVID-19, the Valley Community Foundation (VCF), Valley United Way (VUW), Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce (GVCC), and the Valley Health & Human Service Council (Council) have come together to establish the Valley Community COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund to rapidly deploy resources to organizations who support those in the area who are most significantly affected by the pandemic. The Fund will provide flexible resources to organizations throughout the Valley that serve the Valley region, especially to those who are disproportionately impacted by coronavirus and the economic consequences of the outbreak. You can donate online.
Americares is a non-profit disaster relief and global health organization providing immediate response to emergency medical needs and supporting long-term health care initiatives for people in the United States and around the world. You can make a donation to Americares and find out different ways to give on their website.
New Canaan Community Foundation
In response to COVID-19 and the impact it will have on our community, NCCF has launched the COVID-19 Response Fund. It is intended to mobilize private resources to New Canaan residents, local nonprofits, and support critical services in lower Fairfield County. Donations can be made on their website.
Neighbor to Neighbor
Because of COVID-19, the people served by Neighbor to Neighbor are at extreme risk due to loss of income and increased food insecurity. You can make a donation to their virtual foodbank online. Because they buy in bulk, a donation of $1.00 purchases $2.50 worth of food.
Monroe Department of Social Services
980 Monroe Turnpike
Monroe, CT 06468
Monday: 2:00PM – 5:30PM
Wednesday, Thursday: 9AM – 1PM
Donations of nonperishable food, household cleaning products, and laundry detergent are needed. Food donations can be received during regular business hours or left in the red bin on the left side of the food pantry after hours. Monetary donations can be received at the Food Pantry during business hours or mailed to the Monroe Food Pantry at 7 Fan Hill Road, Monroe, CT 06468.
Homes with Hope Food Pantry
45 Jesup Rd
Westport, CT 06880
Monday–Friday: 9:00AM – 5:00PM
Accepting donations of nonperishable food at the Gillespie Center and monetary donations online.
North End Community Council
555 Trumbull Ave
Bridgeport, CT 06606
Friday: 10:30AM – 12:00PM (Dropoffs only)
Saturday: 8:30AM – 12:00PM (Give out only)
In need of meats, canned goods, diapers, baby wipes, cleaning products (gloves, etc.); juice boxes (+ other food for kids staying at home); anything helps. Drop off donations at their trucks during the times allotted.
Thomas Merton Center
43 Madison Ave
Bridgeport, CT 06604
The Thomas Merton Center Food Café is continues to serve breakfast and lunch 6 days per week. Meals are now being served in a “take-out” format. Food pantry is open 3 days per week providing 10 days of groceries per month for low income families.
The Thomas Merton Center is open but is in critical need of support. You can make a donation via our website or view our wish list of food and supplies needed.
Community Centers, Inc. / CCI
61 E Putnam Ave
Greenwich, CT 06830
CCI is a Greenwich-based social service agency dedicated to building skills that empower clients to overcome educational, social and economic barriers. We serve families and elderly residents who live in Greenwich Public Housing. We are providing food twice weekly to families and senior citizens who live in subsidized housing in Greenwich. These are our most vulnerable citizens who face food insecurity during “normal” times. We are in need of unused or gently used grocery bags; food and snacks for kids; financial support to keep our doors open.
New Covenant Center
174 Richmond Hill Ave
Stamford, CT 06902
New Covenant Center Food Café is continues to serve lunch and dinner 7 days per week. Meals are now being served in a “take-out” format. Food pantry is open 3 days per week providing 10 days of groceries per month for low income families.
New Covenant Center is open but is in critical need of support. You can make a donation via our website or view our wish list of food and supplies needed.
Town of Westport Department of Human Services
Town Hall Lobby
110 Myrtle Ave
Westport, CT 06880
Friday: 8:30AM – 4:30PM (Food pantry)
The Westport Woman’s Club, Inc. Food Closet
44 Imperial Ave
Westport, CT 06880
Monday–Friday: 9:00AM – 12:00PM / 1:00PM – 4:00PM
Assists residents of Westport with emergency food. Accepting donations of Stop n Shop gift cards and checks at this time.
Town of Wilton Social Services Department
Comstock Community Center
180 School Rd
Wilton, CT 06897
Tuesday & Thursday: 9:00AM – 4:00PM, 12:00PM – 3:00PM (Food pantry)
Call to arrange drop-off time. Accepting monetary and non-perishable food items as donation. People on the east side of the county should call with their name, phone number, and number of people in their household before pick-up. The community center is also delivering food and prescriptions to seniors.
United Way of Coastal Fairfield County
855 Main Street, 10th Floor Bridgeport, CT 06604
The United Way of Coastal Fairfield County has launched the Neighbors in Need Emergency Fund. This fund will provide support directly to those who so desperately need it–first responders, out-of-school children, and people working, facing additional demands, and struggling to make ends meet. The fund will accept donations through June 30, 2020. Gifts can be made to, “United Way Coastal Fairfield County,” with a check sent to 855 Main Street, 10th Floor, Bridgeport, CT 06604 or online at www.unitedwaycfc.org.
Women's Mentoring Network, Inc.
141 Franklin Street Stamford, CT 06901
WMN is accepting donations of hand sanitizer, wipes, soap, tissues, disposable gloves, supermarket gift cards, non-perishable foods. For direct financial assistance to families, visit: www.wmninc.org. Donations may be dropped off in the lobby at 141 Franklin St. in Stamford (the Inspirica building). Any questions, please contact Lana Gifas at (203) 348-3828 or [email protected]
Building One Community
75 Selleck Street, Stamford, CT 06902
Hundreds of our local immigrant families are facing a chaotic and stressful time. Many have been living paycheck-to-paycheck and do not have savings or support systems to help them. Their hourly jobs as cleaners, childcare providers, restaurant workers, and landscapers have been cut and they are not earning wages.We are working around the clock to help our vulnerable community.You can support our efforts to work together not to let our community down when they need us the most. Your donation to B1C’s COVID-19 Response Fund will:
- Organize food distributions in partnership with Stamford Public Schools and Person to Person
- Keep our building open for emergency appointments.
- Provide urgent case management and health, food, and safety referrals
- Connect ELL students with their teachers so that they can continue learning
- Teach children and parents how to access their schoolwork online
- Provide video and phone immigration legal consultations
The Child and Family Guidance Center
Locations in Bridgeport, Norwalk, Stratford
We provide children and families with culturally-informed mental health care and complementary supports, regardless of ability to pay. Our sixteen programs have helped thousands of people in Fairfield County, with the majority of our work being done in Greater Bridgeport and Greater Norwalk. Across all of our programs, we strive to increase the emotional well-being of the people we serve and create stable and nurturing environments for children. COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund will help pay for the technology and resources needed for the Centers to continue to provide service.
Resources for Pet Owners
Resources are available for people who need assistance with pet food. These organizations are receiving donations so that they can distribute free pet food to anyone having financial difficulties.
STARelief Stamford: (203) 636-0971
Greenwich Animal Control: (203) 622-8299
Adopt-A-Dog Greenwich: (203) 629-9494
CT Humane Society Pet Food Pantry Program: (860) 594-4500
CT Food Bank: (203) 469-500
Hotlines / Other Resources
Catholic Charities of Fairfield County
We continue to provide Immigration Legal Services, Mental Health Counseling, Housing Case Management, Homeless Outreach Services, Adoption Services, and Community Support Case Management Services. These services are currently available remotely via telephone or Zoom.