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Where to get food, financial assistance in Sonoma County during the COVID-19 pandemic

If you or someone you know is in need of help during the pandemic, here is a list of local organizations that are providing food, financial assistance and other resources.

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This story was last updated on March 22, 2021.

Where to get food

Text FOOD

Residents of nearly 30 ZIP codes in Sonoma County can text “FOOD” or “COMIDA” to 707-353-6333 to receive a list of local organizations that provide free groceries and meals in their area. After texting the number, residents will be asked to indicate whether they’re in need of meals or groceries and provide their ZIP code.

Gillian Haley, the executive director of Justicewise, partnered with several local organizations in Sonoma County to create the platform.

Santa Rosa City Schools

Santa Rosa City Schools is offering free meals to students at eight rotating locations throughout the city. After filling out an application, anyone ages 18 and under will receive seven breakfasts and seven lunches once per week. For an application or a complete list of times and locations, visit srcschools.org/freemeals.

Meals also are being offered during Spring Break from March 22-25 at five rotating locations:

Monday, March 22

  • Elsie Allen High School (599 Bellevue Ave.), 11 a.m.- 5 p.m.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Park (1671 Hendley St.), 1-2:30 p.m.,

Tuesday, March 23

  • Monroe Elementary (2567 Marlow Road), 11 a.m.- 5 p.m.

Wednesday, March 24

  • Lincoln Elementary (850 W. 9th St.), 11 a.m.- 5 p.m.

Thursday, March 25

  • Cook Middle School/Cesar Chavez Language Academy (2480 Sebastopol Road), 11 a.m.- 5 p.m.

Redwood Empire Food Bank

The Redwood Empire Food Bank is providing free food to residents in need without proof of income, Food Connections Manager Maria Fuentes said. Residents can visit the office (3990 Brickway Blvd., Santa Rosa) for a box of dry goods or to be directed to a pick-up location. Coronavirus concerns have forced some pickup locations to close and others’ hours to be extended, so visit getfood.refb.org for an updated list. Additional questions can be directed to 707-523-7900.

Meals on Wheels

Run by the Council on Aging, Meals on Wheels delivers meals to seniors’ homes for a small monetary contribution, although no one is turned away for their inability to pay. The Council on Aging also distributes meal packs to seniors at several distribution sites. Residents ages 60 and older must register by 10 a.m. the day before they pick up the meals. The suggested contribution is $4 per meal. For more information, call 707-525-0143 ext. 013.

Corazón Healdsburg

Corazón Healdsburg (1557 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg) is offering a drive-thru service for Healdsburg residents to receive free food on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Residents do not need to show ID but will be asked to give their name and address. For more information, visit the organization's Facebook page.

Catholic Charities

Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Santa Rosa is continuing its free food distribution programs for anyone who needs help feeding their family throughout the pandemic. Go to srcharities.org/get-help/ for a list of days, times and locations. Call 707-528-8712 or go here for additional information.

Salvation Army

Salvation Army is providing free food to any resident in need Monday-Thursday from 10 a.m. to noon during the pandemic. To receive food, go to the parking lot of the Corps Community Center (93 Stony Circle, Santa Rosa) with a valid ID. Families are limited to picking up groceries once per week. For more information, call 707-542-0981.

Windsor Service Alliance Food Pantry

The Windsor Service Alliance Food Pantry (8987 Windsor Road, Windsor) is doling out free fresh produce and packaged groceries to Windsor residents in two separate drive-thru services. Food distribution for residents age 55 and older is from 2-4 p.m. Sundays, and residents who are younger than 55 may pick up food Saturdays from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Visit wsapantry.com or call 707-838-6947 for more information.

Healdsburg Food Pantry

Healdsburg Food Pantry (1505 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg) is providing Healdsburg and Geyserville residents with free groceries on Tuesdays and Fridays from 3-4:30 p.m. and on Wednesdays from 3-5 p.m. Free meals also are offered Sundays at 4 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (209 W. Matheson St., Healdsburg). Go to healdsburgfoodpantry.org for more information.

Ceres Community Project

Ceres Community Project is providing free or low-cost meals to residents of Sonoma and Marin counties who are facing serious health challenges, such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease, and are unable to purchase or prepare their own. Residents who qualify will receive medically-appropriate meals for up to 24 weeks delivered directly to their home. Visit CeresProject.org for more information, or call 707-829-5833, ext. 201 to apply.

Food For Thought

Food For Thought provides free weekly groceries and frozen meals to people living with HIV and other serious illnesses in Sonoma County. The nonprofit also is now offering a COVID-19 nutrition program, which provides groceries to people with the coronavirus who are struggling to access food while in quarantine. Go here for more information about the program. For assistance, contact client services director Nina Redman at NinaR@FFTfoodbank.org or 707-887-1647 ext. 119.

Friends in Sonoma Helping

Friends in Sonoma Helping (18330 Sonoma Hwy., Sonoma) will provide Sonoma Valley families in need with free groceries twice per month. To receive groceries, call 707-996-0111 from 9 a.m. to noon on weekdays. For more information, visit friendsinsonomahelping.org.

River to Coast Children's Services

River to Coast Children's Services (16300 1st St., Guerneville) is providing west county families in need with free groceries, formula, diapers and limited over-the-counter medications by appointment only. Items can be picked up Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. Face masks are required. For more information, call 707-869-3613 or go to rccservices.org.

La Luz Center

If you are unable to attend other food distributions in Sonoma Valley because of lack of transportation or a health condition, La Luz Center (17560 Greger St., Sonoma) will work with you to ensure that you receive food and other resources. To receive help, call 707-938-5131.

The Living Room

The Living Room (1207 Cleveland Ave., Santa Rosa) is providing hygiene products, emergency supplies, pet supplies and prepared food and groceries to women and children who are homeless. For access to these services, call 707-579-0138. The organization also will assist with finding shelter and navigating other resources. Go to thelivingroomsc.org for more information.

Food for All - Comida para Todos

Food for All - Comida para Todos delivers free weekly Redwood Empire Food Bank family meals and bimonthly supplemental essentials to Sonoma Valley residents who are homebound, economically challenged or do not have transportation and can't access other drive-up distribution sites. Go here for more information or to sign up.

COTS

COTS is providing hot meals to anyone in need seven days per week at Mary’s Table, 900 Hopper St. in Petaluma. Lunch is served from 11:30 a.m.- 12:30 p.m. and dinner is served from 5-6 p.m. Each meal will be distributed in to-go containers and must be eaten off-campus. For more information, visit cots.org.

Financial Assistance

Catholic Charities is offering housing counseling, budgeting workshops and free tax prep for those who meet income requirements. For more information or to see if you qualify for tax prep, visit srcharities.org/financial.

Nation’s Finest is providing temporary financial assistance and rapid rehousing to veterans who are homeless or at risk of losing their homes. For more information, call the local office (444 10th St. suite 102, Santa Rosa) at 707-578-8387 or go to nationsfinest.org.

File for unemployment

Residents who have become unemployed because of the pandemic can file an unemployment claim with the State of California here. Residents must meet the state's eligibility requirements, which include being physically able to work and being fully or partially unemployed, among other criteria. Click here for more information.

Rental assistance

Although funding is limited, Petaluma People Services, Catholic Charities and Corazón Healdsburg has a wait list for rental assistance through the CARES act. To qualify, residents must be unable to pay rent because of coronavirus-related job loss or reduced hours. Residents who have suffered financial loss because of a COVID-19 diagnosis or exposure also are eligible, as well as landlords with tenants who are behind on rent.

To reach Petaluma People Services, email cares@petalumapeople.org with your name, address and how much help you might need. They’ll respond with an application. For more information, call 707-765-8488. Call 707-395-0938 for assistance from Corazón Healdsburg. For assistance from Catholic Charities, call 707-528-8712.

Friends in Sonoma Helping (18330 Sonoma Hwy., Sonoma) is offering rental assistance to Sonoma Valley residents from Schelville to Kenwood. Financial assistance is one time only, although exceptions may be made during the pandemic. After your application is received, a FISH volunteer will ask for a copy of rent and income verification. Visit friendsinsonomahelping.org/rental.html to fill out an application. For more information, call 707-996-0111.

Community Action Partnership of Sonoma County provides residents who are homeless or at risk of losing their home with one-time financial assistance and coaching through its HCA Family Fund. CAP also provides support for residents transitioning from short-term to permanent housing through its Pathways program. For more information, visit capsonoma.org/housing-assistance/.

Utility assistance

Salvation Army is offering to help people in need pay their water, electric and other utility bills. These services are available in the afternoon at the Corps Community Center (93 Stony Circle, Santa Rosa) by appointment only. For more information, call 707-542-0981.

The Santa Rosa-based nonprofit North Coast Energy Services is providing assistance with electric, natural gas, propane, kerosene or heating oil bills that cover at least 22 days of service. Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Solano, Sonoma, and Yolo county residents are eligible to apply. Once approved for assistance, a pledge is made on your account, and payment is credited within 8-12 weeks. The organization will repair and replace unsafe heating and cooling devices. For more information or to apply for assistance, go to northcoastenergyservices.com.

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Other resources

The CURA Project provides case management and routes residents in need of assistance to local organizations such as Corazón Healdsburg, River to Coast Children's Services and Vía Esperanza. For more information, visit proyectocura.org or call 707-309-8972.

California Free Legal Answers provides free legal help to anyone, regardless of immigration status, affected by the pandemic or recent wildfires. The online service is supported by the California Lawyers Association, American Bar Association and the Disaster Legal Assistance Collaborative. California Free Legal Answers cannot help with any criminal matters. For more information, visit ca.freelegalanswers.org.

Catholic Charities of Santa Rosa is offering free immigration counseling and can assist with Green Card renewal, citizenship applications, family-based petitions and other similar services. For more information, call 707-578-6000 or visit srcharities.org/covid-19.

Santa Rosa-based nonprofit Better Beginnings has partnered with First 5 Sonoma County to launch the My Navigator Program, which provides free resources and information about pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and parenthood to local families. The program also offers baby weight stations in Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park. For more information, call the warm line at 707-902-3031. The line is available from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. seven days per week.

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