Welcome to this page.
The next few weeks look they will be challenging for many of us during the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of us will have our hands full with somehow organizing day to day life, taking care of our children, parents and other obligations.
Here is a place where I collect all the resources I am finding over the next few weeks in the hope that some will find this useful.
This is by no means an all encompassing list of resources, if you know of something that might be helpful to share, please sent me a quick message at the bottom of this page so I can add it.
If you have any questions please let me know and I will help as much as possible!
Blessings to all of you!
P.S. Keep checking this page since I will continue to work on it and keeping adding resources.
Restaurants Serving Free Meals To Kids
With schools closing across Minnesota on Wednesday by order of the governor, and some already shut on Monday, local businesses are stepping up to fill a gap.
Knowing that for many kids, school is where lunch comes from, several Twin Cities restaurants are offering free lunches to kids.
When all this is over, maybe you can go and eat at those restaurants to help them out in turn.
Maya Cuisine & Bar
1840 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN
Every child will receive a free lunch consisting of a cheese quesadilla, rice and beans.
“We are more than honored to be able to help our community in any way that we can, and we will be more than happy to make it happen,” Maya posted.
2211 Johnson Street NE, Minneapolis, MN
Starting Wednesday, children can come in for free fried rice.
“I know first hand what it was like to need the help of free school lunches growing up,” the Vietnamese restaurant’s post reads.
2554 Como Avenue #7, St. Paul, MN
Anytime after 11 a.m., starting Monday, March 16, kids can get a free lunch including milk, orange juice, turkey sandwich, fruit snacks and an apple at Station 280.
“No child should go hungry, we are here for you,” reads Station 280’s announcement.
Billy’s on Grand
857 Grand Avenue, St. Paul, MN
Billy’s on Grand’s executive chef Jeremy Bechtold announced that they will be offering free lunches to kids 14 and under from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. all this week (March 16-20).
“No other purchases needed, just feed your kid,” Bechtold wrote.
(1 S. Leech St., St. Paul, 651-330-8996)
in downtown St. Paul has set up a page on its website called “Give Hope.” There, visitors can either nominate a family in need of a meal or donate to ensure no one goes hungry. Hope then whips up breakfast, lunch, or dinner for entire families in need.
Dunn Brothers Coffee/Westbridge Community Church
11600 Frankfort PKWY NE, Albertville, MN
Dunn Brothers in St. Michael will partner with Westbridge Community Church to offer free lunches in the church parking lot Monday-Friday 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The lunches will include a half-sandwich, side and drink. More information is available on Dunn Brothers’ Facebook page.
UMI Sushi & Hibachi
10340 Baltimore St NE, Blaine, MN
While schools are closed, UMI says any school-age child in need can receive a kids size chicken lo mein and a fountain drink, no purchase necessary.
(10950 Club W Pkwy. NE #130, Blaine, 763-210-2227)
wrote, “If you are concerned about being able to afford a lunch for your children, please stop by our location here in Blaine during lunch hours and we’ll be happy to offer a small pizza at no charge, no other purchase necessary. Ask for a manager or shift-leader and they will make this happen.”
318 Water Street, Excelsior, MN
318 Cafe says if you call ahead, they will bring a free lunch out to your car for any child in need. They are offering ham, turkey or PB&J sandwiches with fruit slices.
“We believe that kids should never be hungry,” the cafe posted. “We also believe that when times get tough, we should take care of each other.”
Great Harvest Maple Grove
13714 Grove Dr, Maple Grove, MN
Great Harvest in Maple Grove is offering free bread and bags of goodies to families in need starting March 16, no questions asked. Their post also says that curbside delivery is available upon request.
1595 Highway 36 W, Roseville, MN
The Granite City location in Roseville is offering free lunches to kids including a turkey sandwich, chips and applesauce. “We are all in this together,” the restaurant posted in response to the schools closure announcement.
St. Louis Park
1607 West End Blvd, St. Louis Park, MN
Lucky Cricket in St. Louis Park is immediately committing to providing free meals to kids 12 and under.
White Bear Lake
1600 E County Road E, White Bear Lake, MN
Cafe Cravings in White Bear Lake is offering free cold sandwiches and chips to kids from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. They also announced that they’ll offer food through their drive-through window with minimal contact.
(2741 Co Rd Ha Long Bay East, White Bear Lake, 651-653-6868)
is offering a free lunch between 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday between now and March 27 to “every kid who receives free/reduced lunch from school… Parents/Guardians please Mention KidsMeal to your cashier/server. No proof needed- Honesty System we believe.” Available for dine-in or takeout.
(7721 147th St W., Apple Valley, 952-431-7777)
will have free bagged lunches including a choice of sandwich, apple sauce, chips and dessert between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. beginning Tuesday, March 17. Call between the above hours to arrange.
(1579b Hamline Ave. N., Falcon Heights, 651-644-9959)
has you covered. “No purchase needed, no strings attached. Each child will receive a traditional egg roll, fruit, and fried rice. It will be packaged to go, and you can call it in, or stop by to pick up your order.”
(6519 Nicollet Ave. S., Richfield, 612-243-9699)
will be offering any kids meal for free to any children under 15 today through April 1, from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
6810 Lake Drive, Lino Lakes, MN 55014, (651) 784 7474
Starting this Tuesday 3/17/2020 (as we need a day to prep and prepare) As I am sure your aware, Minnesota has temporarily closed schools in an attempt to control the spread of COVID 19. We understand this may present challenges to families in the community we serve, and we would like to help!
If you’re concerned about ensuring your children have lunch, stop by Trappers in Lino lakes, MN. Every child can receive a free bag lunch that includes a turkey or ham sandwich* (choice dependent upon product availability), chips and apple sauce.
Free no purchase is necessary. Just ask for a manager, and we’d love to help.
Things will get better. We are all in this together, and we are here to help! *Limited time, as supplies/products are available*
Feeling inspired to look beyond the service industry for an organization that specializes in ensuring children have access to nutritious lunches every day? The Sheridan Story, based in Roseville, has assembled more than 330,000 meals in response to COVID-19 school closures, with a distribution range encompassing 30 school districts in Minnesota and western Wisconsin – including 30 percent of Minnesota’s children receiving free or reduced meal support at school. The nonprofit could use both volunteers to pack food and plain old donations to help guarantee their work as they navigate this “uncharted territory.”
Most of us either know of someone within our circle of friends and family or we ourselves are struggling with depression and anxiety. This by itself almost warrants a whole page by itself, but please note: I am not a doctor or health professional! I do know people who are suffering from depression and anxiety and for many of them just the idea of being isolated is very triggering because propels them into a state of fear. Fear of what weeks of self isolation will do their mental health. Many people stay afloat and control their depression (it is so much more than “feeling sad”) by staying busy and socializing. For many people there is a great fear that they will slip way down the spiral of depression and they are afraid of what that will cause them to do.
If you know someone with depression and anxiety, please be kind to them even if you don’t really understand what they go through! Call them and talk to them for a few minutes a day, listen to them. It just shows you cares about this person.
Here are some ideas I have collected from people who are fighting with mental health issues and are trying to stay healthy through this:
- If possible go outside for little walk
- as long as state parks are open, go for a hike
- go for a bike ride
- make a daily routine, structure is key!
- keep getting up and getting ready every morning
- make a plan of what to do each day
- do ONE thing each day like : paint a pictures, do laundry, search for a new job, etc
- have an accountability buddy who sends you the one thing per day
- you can be someones accountability buddy
- take your dog for a walk
- Facetime with your friends and family
- Reach out to that person you have been missing
- Consider getting together with a group of friends and meeting via Zoom or something like that
- work out in your home (think YouTube videos that teach different things)
- Journal your thoughts and feelings
- Figure out an emergency plan for you
- Take social media breaks! While social media can help with the socializing piece, TAKE MULTIPLE BREAKS within your day. This will help avoid the fear and anxiety about coronavirus.
- Make and Keep a set routine. Structure and routine are healthy and also help to ward off worsening depression/anxious symptoms. Take some time to organize your days, so that you will find a good rhythm and routine that feels good for you.
- Practice healthy self-talk. It’s okay to talk to yourself and this is an important time to ensure you are keeping your thoughts and self-talk HEALTHY! Remind yourself of what’s going well in life, remind yourself what is happening now isn’t forever etc.
- Don’t neglect your basic self – care. Staying indoors can make us forget the basics. So…. Good hygiene every day! Drink all your water. Eat consistently. Take a few walks/exercise. SLEEP. Generally, take care of your body.
Points 17 – 20 are from Dr. Amber Thornton on Twitter @dramberthornton
Where Is Help Available?
There are times when we all need someone to reach out and give us a hand. In that case here are some resources for that:
Great site for anyone needing some extra guidance or just some support. They have more resources on their site.
Regions Hospital640 Jackson Street, St. Paul, MN 55101
You don’t have to face your struggles alone. Whether you’re dealing with an emotional, stress-related or psychiatric issue, you’ll get help from a care team who puts you and your family first.
We treat all mental illnesses in adults at our state-of-the-art facility. You’ll have the support, privacy and treatment you need to get back to your best self.
Shelters for Homeless and At Risk Youth
We are all called upon to stay home as much as possible and self isolate. For many of us that is okay but not for everyone!
In the Twin Cities we have very many youth that are homeless and they need shelter! It is getting difficult to find open shelters. Most of them have been at or over capacity anyway and now there is even more demand. There are also many youths who are not necessarily homeless but they don’t have homes where they are safe.
Please pass on these resources to someone who might need it…… and while we all know that our health providers work a lot and deserve every bit of recognition – lets not forget all of our social workers who work tirelessly day in and day out without much protection to help our homeless and at risk youth. Often they are in dangerous situations, trying to help young people get into a shelter thats already full and working hard to help these young people find their way in our society to stand on their own feet. Not many think about these silent heros, say a prayer for them.
Did you know that some shelters in WI closed and don’t let people in?
Where To Find Shelter?
March 17, 2020 1:45pm: As a safety net health and human services provider, Face to Face will continue providing care for our youth in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak. We have made adjustments to program delivery for the safety for all.
SafeZone Drop-In Center: Providing food, transportation assistance, and personal hygiene products to go; medical and mental health care continues on-site
Mental Health Services: For urgent mental health needs, please call:
- Adult Mental Health Crisis Line: 651-266-7900.
- Children’s Mental Health Crisis Line: 651-266-7878
Food Shelves / Food Pantries
Here is a list of food shelves/ food pantries. Some have more restrictions than others. I would suggest to call and talk to them.
If you have extra food, please consider donating something.
If you, or someone you know needs nutritional assistance, we can help you locate emergency food services in your community.
Minneapolis, Minnesota Food Pantries
Our current list of Minneapolis food pantries.
We not only provide listings of pantries, but we also provide information on: food closets, food banks, soup kitchens, congregate meal locations, food boxes, vouchers, etc.
Homeschool Resources - Free
As a homeschool mom of 15 years I have still – my kids are in college now – a soft spot for everything homeschooling! It was a very special time in our lives. I was able to not only teach my children academics but I have the amazing opportunity to pour into them to help build their character and personality. My children have thanked me for schooling them, saying that it was a great experience that they are still drawing from in their college time and in life in general.
With schools being closed and many of us at home from work, I hope that you have the opportunity to work with your child at home! I hope this will an amazing and memorable time for you and your child!
I have put together a few free resources to help you through a few weeks.
If you have any questions, I’d be happy to help you find the answers!
That’s right! The “Homeschooling through Hardship” online course is FREE for everyone. I pray that this course blesses you and provides the encouragement and practical tips you need to continue homeschooling through whatever challenges you are facing.
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Stories entertain. They teach. They keep young minds engaged. And they bring us together.
That’s why, for as long as schools are closed, we will be open. Keeping to our founding belief that the spoken word can be inspiring and transporting in deeply intimate ways, we have created Stories.Audible.com—a place where anyone, in any country, can enjoy unlimited streaming of hundreds of titles for kids and families for free.
The stories were hand-picked by our Audible editors and offer a mix of education, entertainment, and general-interest titles, from the classic to the contemporary, with a focus on stories that are suitable for children. The collection includes favorites like Winnie the Pooh, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Aladdin, Jane Eyre and The Call of the Wild.
Listeners can access the site from their computers, tablets and smartphones and enjoy selections in six languages – English, Spanish, French, Italian, German and Japanese. There’s no log in and no need to be an Audible member. Just visit Stories.Audible.com and start listening!