Intro Image - COVID-19 Resource Page

COVID-19 Resource Page

To help our nonprofit partners and the communities they serve, we set out to build a list of resources where people can find vital information about meeting immediate needs during the COVID-19 crisis. We will monitor and update this page frequently. Please help spread the word by sharing our short URL on social media: racf.org/COVID.

  • Guidelines for safely reopening the performing arts referenced in our June 3, 2020 webinar can be found at these links and attachments: APAP COVID-19 Resources, PACC Reopening Advisory Draft (PDF), and the Event Safety Alliance Reopening Guide (PDF).
  • Artists negatively affected by the cancellation of summer festivals can register their website information with the Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County, which will create a page with information about the artists and links to their websites as a way to provide exposure and an alternative way to sell their work. To register, click here.
  • Freelance artists and independent contractors can obtain information and advice here.
  • Individual artists across all disciplines who are struggling with financial need can apply for a grant through the national Artist Relief Fund. More information is available here.
  • Institutions and organizations working in the humanities can apply for emergency relief from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Learn more here.
  • State resources:
    • The New York State Council on the Arts has gathered information to help arts and culture organizations. To learn more, click here.
    • NYSCA CARES Act funds are intended to assist arts organizations and their employees in enduring the economic hardships caused by the forced closure of their operations due to COVID-19. For more information, click here.
  • Business planning: Information for businesses on planning during the COVID-19 crisis is available from the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce. Click here for information.
  • Support local businesses by purchasing a gift card now for use later. Gannett Co. (owner of USA Today, Democrat & Chronicle, and several other local publications) created a website where you can easily shop for gift cards or add a local business. Click here.
  • The Kiva Loan Program remains active and can help small businesses get the working capital they need to hold them over. The City of Rochester has expanded the program to include zero percent interest on loans up to $15,000 with a grace period of up to six months. To learn more, click here.
  • A Zero-Interest Small Business Assistance Loan Program has been created by Monroe County. Businesses with 50 or fewer full-time employees can apply for up to $10,000. To learn more, click here.

  • Department of Human Services (DHS) assistance: Please click here for application
  • Eaton Family Child Care: 457 Alexander St. Call 585.500.7016 or email EatonFamilyChildCare123@gmail.com
  • The Healthy Baby Network has set up a Crisis Fund for Parents & Babies. To learn more, click here.
  • Marvelous Mind Academy: 274 N. Goodman St. Overnight care offered. Call 585.210.8554.
  • Center for Youth Crisis Nurseries: West side – 585.235.5770; East side – 585.482.2561.
  • YMCA: Registration is open for emergency school-age care. Click here for more information.
  • A daily block schedule will help set expectations for learning at home. Click here for ideas, or check out this locally created schedule, which you can download and customize (just click File > Download).
  • The Genius of Play website has tons of virtual learning resources and ideas for games that kids can play at home.
  • KidsActivitiesBlog.com is full of helpful resources, including a list of education companies offering free subscriptions, a link to 40-plus virtual field trips (including many national parks!), and lots of ideas for screen-free activities.
  • Animal- and nature-based content for people of all ages to enjoy while home is offered by the Seneca Park Zoo.
  • Live Virtual Recess — a morning warm-up; a mid-day game, and an afternoon cool-down — is available Mondays through Fridays at noon, 2 and 4 p.m. on the Facebook page of Playworks. All Virtual Recess videos and more are also available on the Playworks YouTube page for use anytime.
  • Students who play string instruments can access a series of videos to keep practicing at home that have been created by Carrie Davids, a Rochester Education Foundation staffer and professional musician. Check out these Wake Up and Practice videos.
  • Summer Reading lists are available now, so why wait? Access engaging titles that are culturally responsive and broken down by grade level in the RCSD’s summer reading list.
  • Educational resources for parents, children, and educators have been curated by WXXI. These include hands-on and online activities and virtual events that can be accessed on its website, social media, and e-newsletters.
  • Online resources in financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship are available for free from Junior Achievement. These resources, organized by school level, provide learning experiences that K-12 students can do on their own, with a parent or other adult, or with teachers in a digital environment. No prior experience with Junior Achievement is necessary. Learn more and access resources here.

  • Those seeking Temporary Housing Assistance (THA) will need to submit an application, and the Department of Human Services (DHS) will determine eligibility for THA via phone. Applications can be emailed to dfa2a26.sm.erhous@dfa.state.ny.us, mailed to DHS (at 111 Westfall Road, Rochester, NY 14620), or faxed to 585.753.5315. The application should clearly mark that the applicant is seeking temporary housing placement and include a valid phone number for DHS to call to facilitate a THA placement.
  • Clients facing emergency situations may reach out to DHS via phone prior to a THA application being submitted and DHS will make a THA placement until the next business day when the shelter case manager can assist them with completing and submitting the completed application. More information on DHS website.

  • City of Rochester Residents: For those facing financial challenges, the Office of Community Wealth Building’s Financial Empowerment Centers program offers free, professional financial counseling and coaching on a range of activities such as budgeting, restructuring debt and learning more about loan deferment options. Get details at https://www.cityofrochester.gov/FEC/.
  • Consumer protections during the COVID-19 Crisis are in effect. See more information from the National Consumer Law Center.
  • Credit card fees might be waived by your bank if you ask for assistance. Learn more here.
  • State debt collection has been suspended by Governor Cuomo and Attorney General James. Click here for more information.

R-Centers and all school districts are providing grab and go meals. Children do not need to be present to receive a free meal.

  • R-Centers are open 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Click to see the list of open R-Center locations.
  • Rochester City Schools are open 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for breakfast and lunch. Click to see the list of participating school sites.
  • Suburban Schools
    • Brighton: Breakfast from 7:30 to 9 a.m. and lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Click here for more information.
    • Brockport: Breakfast and lunch from 9 a.m. to noon at Brockport High, 40 Allen St. Use West entrance. Click here for more information.
    • Churchville Chili: Breakfast and lunch from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Clock to see open school locations (scroll down to the School Closure Meal Program section).
    • East Irondequoit: Breakfast from 8 to 10 a.m. and lunch from 11 a.m. to 1. pm. Parents can receive a meal as well ($2 breakfast; $4 lunch). Click here for more information.
    • East Rochester: Breakfast from 8 to 10 a.m. and lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the high school, 200 Woodbine Ave. Click here for more information.
    • Fairport: Breakfast and lunch from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Click here for more information.
    • Gates Chili: Breakfast from 8 to 10 a.m. and lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Note: You do not have to live in Gates to receive meal. Click here for more information.
    • Greece: Breakfast from 8 to 10 a.m. and hot lunch 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Click here for more information.
    • Honeoye Falls – Lima: Breakfast and lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Click here for more information.
    • Penfield: Breakfast and lunch from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at High School loading dock. Click here for more information.
    • Pittsford: Providing meals through the Pittsford Food Cupboard (3800 Monroe Avenue Door 26) every Tuesday from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; and first and third Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Click here for more information.
    • Rush-Henrietta: Breakfast 9 to 9:30 a.m. and lunch noon to 12:30 p.m. Note: Children must be present to receive a meal. Click here for more information.
    • Spencerport: Breakfast and lunch from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Click here for more information.
    • Victor, Ontario County: Breakfast and lunch from noon to 1 p.m. Click here for more information.
    • Wayne County: Click here for information on food assistance.
    • Webster: Breakfast and lunch from 8 to 10 a.m. at Webster Schroeder High School, 875 Ridge Road — gym entrance. Click here for more information.
    • West Irondequoit: Distribution by grade level — (K to Grade 3, 8:45 to 9 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. to noon); (Grade 4-6, 9 to 9:15 a.m. and noon to 12:15 p.m.); Grades 7-9, 9:15 to 9:30 a.m. and 12:15 to 12:30 p.m.); and Grades 10-12, 9:30 to 9:45 a.m. and 12:30 to 12:45 p.m. Click here for more information.
    • Wheatland-Chili: Breakfast and lunch, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Wheatland Middle/High School — parking lot by stadium. Click here for more information.

Here are other resources for food assistance.

  • 211 Lifeline: Dial 211 anytime (24/7) to find the nearest food pantry.
  • The Center for Youth: Food pantry is open, and baby formula is available to families and anyone younger than 24 from 9 a.m. to noon at 905 Monroe Ave, Rochester. Click here for more information.
  • For Older Adults: Lifespan will assist individuals 60 and older living in Monroe County with obtaining emergency boxes of staples from Foodlink and help with limited grocery shopping and delivery for people able to pay by check. Call 585.244.8400 between 8:30 a.m and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • Instacart: An introduction to setting up an account, shopping, paying, and delivery.
  • Local Grocery Pickup and Delivery: Lifespan has compiled a list of local services.
  • The Maplewood Y (25 Driving Park Ave.) is distributing food from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays. Check its website for more information or call 585.647.3600.
  • SNAP: Recipients of households with children who receive free or reduced-price meals when school is in session are eligible for emergency benefits. To access this emergency benefit, call the SNAP Workgroup at 585.753.2740 or email dfa2a26.sm.monroe.team41@dfa.state.ny.us with a request. Additional waivers to the SNAP program administration will be forthcoming from New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. Note: Individuals in need of a benefit card should call 585.753.6006 and one will be mailed within 24 hours.
  • Wayne County Community: Click here for information on food assistance.
  • Wings Over Rochester: One meal per child, per day, at 2973 West Henrietta Road, Henrietta (585.272.9464).

  • Free broadband and WiFi are being offered by Charter Communications for 60 days to households with students in kindergarten to grade 12 and/or college students who do not already have a broadband subscription and at any service level up to 100 Mbps. To enroll, call 844.488.8395. Installation fees will be waived for new student households.

  • A job portal has been created to connect essential businesses with job seekers, thanks to a partnership between Greater Rochester Enterprise, Monroe County Executive Adam Bello, RochesterWorks, and the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce. Call 585.258.3500 or learn more at www.monroecounty.gov/works
  • Unemployment Insurance Benefits: New York State is waiving the seven-day waiting period for Unemployment Insurance benefits for people who are out of work due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) closures or quarantines. Additional information and a link to the application is available here.
  • Free help for nonprofits is available through Causewave Community Partners. Get expert advice on messaging to donors, funders, and program participants; running programs virtually; what to do about event cancellations; and a variety of HR, finance, and other topics. Learn more and schedule your free consultation here.
  • Free emergency remote work kits from LogMeIn are available for health care providers, educational institutions, municipalities, and nonprofit organizations. These kits include solutions for virtual meetings and events, IT support of remote employee devices and apps, and more. Learn more and sign up here.
  • For residents of Geneva, Ontario County: An interactive and regularly updated website has been created by BluePrint Geneva in partnership with the city and town of Geneva to make information about all local services and resources available in one place. Learn more here.

  • AARP is paying special attention to COVID-19 concerns of people age 50+. Visit the organization’s website to learn more.
  • Benefits check-up: To learn more about the benefits that may be available to senior citizens who are on limited income and may experience food insecurity, click here.
  • Caregivers: Email flcinewsletter@lifespanrochester.org to sign up for bi-weekly Caregiver Support information from the Finger Lakes Caregiver Institute at Lifespan.
  • Lifespan: Offers a host of resources to those 60 and older living in Monroe County. Can help with emergency grocery shopping/prescription pick-up. The agency also has volunteers available to call older adults who live alone in Monroe and outlying counties. Other resources on its website and its special COVID-19 page. For more information, call 585.244.8400.
  • Scams: The National Center on Elder Abuse is warning older adults to be wary of telephone solicitations and to remember that Social Security, Medicare, and local police will not call to ask for personal information. Report any fraud schemes to 866.720.5721 or disaster@leo.gov.
  • Shopping: Dollar General is among the store chains nationwide opening for older adults only (generally 60 and older) during its first hour of operations. Target – first hour every Tuesday and Wednesday. Tops Friendly Markets – 6-7:30 a.m. every day. Walmart – hour-long “senior-shopping event” on Tuesdays through the end of May, (time determined by each store). Costco – Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8 to 9 a.m.
  • Video chatting: AARP has provided a guide to using apps and devices to virtually visit with family members and friends while observing stay-at-home orders.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers updates and other important information on the pandemic in the following languages:

For College-Bound Seniors:

  • Rochester Education Foundation is making college access team members available to talk with high school seniors and their parents who still have questions about college costs or how financial aid works. Make an appointment here.
  • Decoding a college financial aid letter.
  • A list of colleges that have extended their deadlines.

For Rochester City School District students:

  • City of Rochester students who left their musical instruments at school and now can’t practice, Rochester Education Foundation is working with teachers and families to provide loaner instruments. Email admin@rochestereducation.org.
  • Families of students registering for Pre-K or Kindergarten for next school year can do so by calling a placement specialist at 585.262.8140 or 585.262.8241.
  • Starting June 4, the district began providing a Chromebook to students in grades 4 and 5. Families can reserve a laptop online at www.rcsdk12.org/chromebook and select a time to pick up at Edison Tech Campus, 655 Colfax St. Families who do not have internet access can call the district support hotline at 585.262.8700. Parents must have their student’s ID number, full name and date of birth.

Regional Transit Service (RTS) is waiving payment of bus fares until July 14. Fares will resume on July 15 and a new contactless fare payment option called RTS Go will debut. Also on July 15, RTS will reinstate boarding of the bus from the front door, fare media changes and the implementation of all-day reduced fares for seniors aged 65 and older, persons with disabilities and children ages 6-11. Learn more here.

We are all trying to better understand what meaningful assistance the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act can provide.

April 16 update from Senator Kirsten Gillibrand: The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for small businesses hit the limit and is now out of money. If you have already submitted a PPP application with a lender, here is what you need to know:

  • If your loan has been approved with a SBA set-aside number, your loan was approved under the initial CARES Act appropriation. The funds will be disbursed in accordance with the lender’s closing process.
  • If you submitted an application with a lender and received an internal lender approval without a SBA approval and set-aside number, check with the lender on your application’s status.
  • If you submitted an application and have not received a communication from the lender related to the loan approval, the lender will not be able to process those loans at this time.
  • If you have questions related to your application, contact your lender.

CARES Act Briefing

On April 3, Rochester Area Community Foundation pulled together a panel of experts to provide helpful details regarding tax relief, the Paycheck Protection and Economic Injury Disaster loan programs and how to apply, and other practical matters of interest to nonprofits.

This briefing features local experts Joshua Gewolb, attorney with Harter Secrest & Emery LLP, and Jon Fogle of Five Star Bank, a Small Business Administration lender. Todd Butler, president and CEO of Causewave Community Partners, shares how nonprofits can take advantage of free virtual consultations with his staff to help with COVID-19 planning and resources.

April 8: In a follow-up Q&A session on benefits of the CARES Act, Jon Fogle of Five Star Bank and Todd Butler  of Causewave Community Partners are joined by attorney Emily Cohen from Harter Secrest & Emery LLP. They provide updated information learned over the weekend and answer questions submitted by our nonprofit partners.

Additional Resources for Nonprofits

Additional Resources for Small Businesses

Performing in a Pandemic

The Community Foundation recorded another installment of a community conversation about the performing arts on June 23, 2020 called “Performing in a Pandemic: Safety Guidance from Dr. Stuart Weiss.” Topics included the mechanics of transmission during various activities — such as singing, dancing, exercise, acting, and playing a musical instrument — and the various methods that performers and venues can employ to mitigate and reduce virus transmission, such as rehearsing outdoors, using face coverings when unable to be outdoors or distance, maintaining physical distance, and using specific cleaning protocols and pre-performance communication with audiences. The recreation and entertainment sectors are expected to begin reopening in phase four. Special thanks to Rochester Fringe Festival for partnering with the Community Foundation to present the webinar. Erica Fee, the festival’s producer, and Simeon Banister, the Foundation’s vice president of Community Programs, posed questions from the audience during the webinar. 

Here are mores resources for safety information about reopening the arts:

Safely Reopening the Performing Arts

The Community Foundation recorded the third part of a community conversation about the arts on June 3, 2020. Topics included safety considerations and risks of singing and live performances, as well as adaptations that will be required for dance and outdoor concerts or shows once the state approves reopening of recreation and entertainment expected in phase four. We thank our panel of experts for partnering with the Community Foundation on this presentation: Dr. Michael Mendoza, commissioner of public health for the Monroe County Health Department; Marc Cohen, chief of staff for the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce; and Erica Fee, head of the Rochester Fringe Festival. We want to hear your questions or concerns regarding the reopening of the arts in phase four. Please send to Annette Jiménez Gleason at ajimenezgleason@racf.org.

Guidelines referenced in this webinar can be found at these links and attachments: APAP COVID-19 Resources, PACC Reopening Advisory Draft (PDF), and the Event Safety Alliance Reopening Guide (PDF).

Impact and Recovery for the Arts in Greater Rochester

Community Conversation, Part 1

On May 1, 2020, the Community Foundation recorded a webinar with local experts about recovery planning and strategies for continued engagement with audiences during the COVID-19 crisis. We thank our panel of knowledgeable leaders who represent different sectors of the Foundation’s nonprofit partners: Chris Mannelli of Geva Theatre Center; Hillary Olson of Rochester Museum & Science Center; Erica Fee of Rochester Fringe Festival; Curt Long of Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra; Bill Ferguson of Garth Fagan Dance; and Bleu Cease of Rochester Contemporary Art Center. Simeon Banister, vice president of Community Programs at the Foundation, also spoke about data and analysis of the financial health of organizations pre- and post-COVID.

Community Conversation, Part 2

On May 12, we recorded the second part of the community conversation about recovery for the arts. Topics included how small arts organizations and artists are: employing innovation in technology; developing creative strategies for continued engagement with audiences; and reaching out to new audiences during the crisis.

We thank our panel of experts: Annette Ramos of Rochester Latino Theatre Company;  Larry Moss of Airigami and Teaching ArtistsROC; Kelly Cheatle of ROC Arts United; Don Bartolo of hummingbird theatre and TheatreROCS!; Rachel DeGuzman of WOC Art Collaborative; and Zahyia Rolle, booking manager/musician. Bleu Cease of Rochester Contemporary Art Center discussed a special project, and the Community Foundation’s Simeon Banister presented data and analysis of the financial health of organizations pre- and post-COVID.

Investment Briefing with Mike Miller

Mike Miller of Colonial Consulting joined us on May 13 for an informative investment briefing and Q&A. Mike touched on several topics of interest to fundholders:

  • A short history of blended endowment drawdowns and how they’ve recovered in the past;
  • The Community Foundation’s asset mix, long-term investment strategy, and plan moving forward;
  • Fund manager due diligence (i.e., “managing the managers”); and
  • Key issues for investment managers today (balance, opportunities, and traps).

The recording of Mike’s presentation is now available for anyone who missed the live webinar.