To our United Way Suncoast community –
We understand the concern surrounding COVID-19 (Coronavirus) across our communities, and we are closely monitoring the ongoing threat. Many of you are concerned not only about the health of yourself and your families but the financial hardships you are facing as a result of prolonged work and event closures. United Way Suncoast is here to help you through the coronavirus crisis.
We continue to update this page regularly to provide you with the most up-to-date information regarding the coronavirus, along with resources you need to help guide you through this crisis.
United Way Suncoast Resource Centers and After-School Programs
Our Sulphur Springs (Tampa), North Greenwood (Clearwater) and Campbell Park (St. Petersburg) Resource Centers will remain closed until further notice, following all CDC and local government orders. Additionally, the Earl & Mary Watts After-School Program at Janie's Garden (Sarasota) is closed indefinitely. We apologize for the inconvenience but are doing our part to help all of our community stay healthy. While we are unable to provide in-person services, we are still working to provide you access to the resources you need during this challenging time. For urgent situations, please call 2-1-1. We will reopen as soon as it is determined safe.
VITA Tax Sites
All of our VITA tax sites are closed until further notice. Again, we want to make sure our volunteers, clients and staff stay well and healthy. We encourage you to do your taxes for free online at myfreetaxes.com or the IRS-certified free file site. Additional tools to help you include a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and a form to submit a question if you don't see yours on the FAQ sheet.
The tax filing deadline has been delayed until July 15, 2020, although the IRS is encouraging anyone anticipating a refund to file now. If you owe money on your taxes, payments are being deferred until July 15, 2020 as well. For more information, please visit irs.gov/coronavirus.
Coronavirus Information Sources
The Florida Department of Health contains detailed information about coronavirus cases across the state as well as a COVID-19 toolkit with tip sheets including identifying your symptoms, how to limit exposure and prevent coronavirus and when to get tested.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, working to protect Americans from health, safety and security risks. The CDC is a valuable resource for coronavirus information including tracking cases across the U.S. and globally.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has useful tips and information to help you avoid any coronavirus-related scams.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has information on protecting your finances from COVID-19 including protecting your credit and dealing with debt.
How Can I Get Help?
We work with a variety of community partners who can provide assistance should you experience financial hardship due to prolonged work stoppage or other effects of the coronavirus.
Our entire 5-county region is served by 2-1-1 which helps those in crisis access the community resources they need. You can dial 2-1-1 from any phone to be connected in your area.
To access their websites:
All Faiths Food Bank (serving DeSoto and Sarasota)
Provides access to food pantries, the DeSoto Food and Resource Center and more through the Food Finder section of their website.
Feeding Tampa Bay (serving Hillsborough, Manatee, Pinellas)
Provides access to mobile food pantries, mobile markets, a community market and more through the Find Food section of their website.
DeSoto County Schools
Grab-and-Go lunches and snack bags are available for students up to age 18 from 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. (M-F), at DeSoto Middle, Nocatee Elementary, Casa San Juan Bosco and Louis Anderson Park. Additional bus sites are available. Click here for locations and times.
Hillsborough County Schools
Grab-and-Go sites providing breakfast and lunch are available to students 18 and younger from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. (M-F) at 147 locations. Parents are encouraged to go to school where their children are enrolled. Sites will be available from March 30 - May 3. Click here for requirements and more information.
Manatee County Schools
Grab-an-Go sites providing lunch and breakfast for the next day are available to students 18 and younger from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. at school and community sites, and various times at bus sites. Sites are available March 30 - April 15. Click here for requirements and more information.
Pinellas County Schools
Serving lunch and breakfast for the next day in a single bag for students 18 and younger from March 23 - April 15 at nine school locations. Times vary per location. Student must be present to receive meal. Both drive-up and walk-up are available. Click here for locations and more information.
Sarasota County Schools
Serving lunch and breakfast for the next day to students 18 and younger from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. at five locations until schools reopen. Children must be in the car with the parent or guardian. Click here for locations and more information.
Income and Financial Stability Resources
Visit apply for benefits to find out if you are eligible for reemployment assistance due to COVID-19 and file a claim.
Small Business (SBA) Loans
The state of Florida has enacted the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to assist small business owners experiencing economic damage. Please visit https://floridadisasterloan.org/ for more information or to apply.
Please visit our COVID-19 Educational Resources page for lesson plans, science experiments, activities, games and more to keep students excited about learning while at home.
Additional COVID-19 Resources
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has a Disaster Distress Helpline available 24/7, 365 for anyone experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters. Please call 1-800-985-5990 or visit SAMHSA.
Florida Blue has set up a free bilingual support line staffed by trained behavioral health counselors. They are available to help all Floridians deal with stress, anxiety, trauma and grief caused by coronavirus. Call 1-833-848-1762.
The Tampa Recovery Hotline is open M-F, 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. for information on social services and business relief related to COVID-19. Call 1-833-TPA-INFO.
How Can I Help?
For those interested in volunteering, United Way Suncoast is receiving requests from community partners to respond to current needs in our region. Please visit this page to view the current list of opportunities.
The American Red Cross is facing a severe blood shortage due to COVID-19. If you are able to donate blood, please go to Red Cross Blood or call 1-800-RED-CROSS to make an appointment.
If you are not in need of assistance, we hope that you will consider making a donation to our COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund and provide immediate support to those most vulnerable to the economic and basic needs issues caused by the coronavirus pandemic. This includes help with access to food, emergency assistance, and additional critical needs of our community’s families.