Community resources for summer 2020 in the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

As a PICS community, we have been navigating the unexpected challenges of remote working, but realize that doesn’t compare to those of you juggling caring for your loved ones, managing staff, distance learning during a pandemic, and the unrest in our community due to recent events. There are no words that will make things right or better.  We at PICS want our families, participants and workers to know that you matter and we are here to support you.

With summer underway we would like to provide some resources you may find valuable:

COVID-19 Resources

  • COVID-19 Testing: Find testing sites throughout Minnesota. Many locations are accepting asymptomatic patients who have been involved in mass public events.
  • Child Mind Institute: Supporting families through COVID-19.

Food Resources

  • Summer Eats: As public schools and community meal sites are closed, this site connects kids under the age of 18 to free nutritious meals. Use the site to find more than 400 locations across the state where free meals for kids are provided, or download the mobile app.
  • The YMCA: Food distribution
  • Meals on Wheels America: Meals on Wheels helps older people with limited resources get needed food and social support.
  • Hunger Solutions Minnesota Food Helpline: The Minnesota Food Helpline can help find solutions for people who need help finding and paying for food. Call 1.888.711.1151 or use the chat feature or form on the website.
  • P-EBT: Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) is a temporary food benefit available to Minnesota families with children who would have received free or reduced-price meals if schools were open. Families with eligible children will receive a one-time payment of $325 per child on a new or existing EBT card to help fill the gap created by a loss of school meals. 
  • Minneapolis Public Schools: Minneapolis Public Schools offers weekly food boxes for children under the age of 18.
  • People & Pets Together: People & Pets Together offers a pet food shelf.

Library & Wireless Resources

  • Wireless Minneapolis during COVID-19: The wireless network allows the City to serve its residents by providing a level of convenience and connectedness to the people who live and work in Minneapolis.
  • Ebooks Minnesota: Immediate access to quality books for all ages from many of Minnesota’s independent publishers, such as Capstone, ABDO, Lerner Publishing Group, Cherry Lake Publishing, University of Minnesota Press, Milkweed Press, and Coffeehouse Press. There is no limit to the number of titles that can be checked out at any time, and readers can keep titles as long as they wish. Access the collection online or download an app for your device via the App StoreGoogle Play, or Kindle Fire.
  • Electronic Library for Minnesota: ELM is an online resource that gives Minnesota residents access to reputable and respected sources of information. Here, you’ll find magazine, journal, newspaper, and encyclopedia articles, ebooks, and other resources—all available online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from school, home, work, or at your library. Please note, you may need a school or public library card to use ELM.
  • MnLINK: A statewide virtual library that electronically links you to books, music and other materials that are available from Minnesota's libraries. For harder-to-find materials, use MnLINK to search many libraries and databases at once. Ask at your local library for more information about using MnLINK.

Parent and Caregiver Resources

Minnesota has a number of organization that support families of children with special health needs or different abilities — whether they are looking to talk to other parents for emotional support or find one-on-one help in navigating resources:

  • Disability Hub MN: Provides free, statewide, information, referral and assistance service to help people with disabilities and chronic illnesses and their representatives connect to community services.
  • Family Voices of Minnesota: A parent-run organization providing information, resources, and peer-to-peer support for families who have children with special health needs or disabilities.
  • PACER: A resource for families of children with disabilities, including parent advocates and staff available to assist families at 952.838.9000 or

Child Resources

Mental Health & Crisis Resources

  • Hennepin County (18 and over): 612.596.1223
  • Hennepin County (17 and under): 612.348.2233
  • Ramsey County Children’s Crisis Response: 651.266.7878
  • Ramsey County Crisis Hotline: 651.266.7900
  • National Suicide Prevention: 1.800.273.8255

Volunteer Opportunities & Donations