As an organization dedicated to the well-being of our community, we have been watching all developments related to the spread of coronavirus in our region. We have been working with community partners to determine what we can do to minimize the impact of the outbreak and support those affected by illness or business shutdowns.
Through our partnership with the CREATE Foundation, we established the COVID-19 Support Fund in March. Through community donations, we have raised over $405,000 that has been used to provide:
- direct assistance to hundreds of families to help with food, formula, diapers, medications, utilities, and rent
- grants to food pantries and hot meals programs to increase their capacity to serve the increased need
- over 1,500 meals for healthcare workers on the COVID-19 unit at NMMC through Feeding the Frontline
- thermometers for nonprofit partners to assist them in reopening safely
As the pandemic continues to affect our region, we encourage everyone to refer to the Mississippi Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control for the best information for reducing the risk of COVID-19 infection for yourselves and others.
To protect the community and our staff, our office is still not open to the public until further notice. You can call us at 662-841-9133 if you need information.
You can also follow United Way and our community initiatives on social media for updates as they become available.
- United Way: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
- Volunteer Northeast Mississippi: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
- Tupelo/Lee County Hunger Coalition: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
- Early Childhood Coalition: Facebook, Twitter
Additional information specific to Tupelo and Lee County can be found on the website TupeloTogether.com
Below you will find information on resources for financial assistance, food programs, educational resources, and updates on nonprofit agency closures and service changes.
Economic Assistance for Lost Income due to COVID-19
Mississippi Department of Employment Security (MDES) announced March 20 that Mississippi workers who are not able to work due to COVID-19 will be eligible to file for unemployment benefits. Find more information on their website or call 1-888-844-3577.
Unemployment Benefits Finder from the U.S. Department of Labor: https://www.careeronestop.org/LocalHelp/UnemploymentBenefits/Find-Unemployment-Benefits.aspx
The Public Service Commission has prohibited water, electric, sewer, and natural gas disconnections for 60 days from March 14 throughout the state. Customers will still accrue charges during this period. Disconnections for nonpayment will resume May 27.
The governor’s Safer at Home order further suspends evictions until May 31. Rent will still accrue during this period. Evictions for nonpayment may resume June 1.
AT&T will waive wireless overages for data, voice, and text until June 30. T-Mobile and Sprint have eliminated mobile data caps for their customers through June 30. C-Spire is doubling customers’ data limits until June 30.
Comcast is offering increased speeds and expanded their free service for low-income families for 60 days. Read more.
FamilyWize prescription cards can provide discounts on your medications. Learn more at FamilyWize.org or use the following information when ordering prescriptions:
- BIN: 610194
- Card ID: FW100
- Group ID: FW100
- PCN: FW
Walgreens and CVS are offering free delivery for prescriptions during the coronavirus emergency.
For information regarding the economic impact payments (also called stimulus checks) for individuals through the CARES Act, visit the IRS website.
The Home Saver Program has re-opened and is now accepting applications. This program provides up to 4 months of mortgage assistance for families or individuals affected by lay-offs throughout the state due to COVID-19. See the full flyer for details.
Teen Health Mississippi has an emergency relief fund available to its youth partners and young people ages 13 to 19 from across the state impacted by COVID-19. Funds are intended for young people who demonstrate an immediate need for interim housing, nutritional stipends, baby care items for expectant and parenting teens, transportation, medical care/supplies, and school supplies. Read more on their website. Applications are currently closed.
Feeding Those Impacted by Closings
If you or your children are impacted by the loss of school meals or a loss of income due to workplace closures, please contact Jason Martin, executive director of the Tupelo/Lee County Hunger Coalition, for information on emergency food resources.
If you would like to help provide meals for those impacted, please visit tupeloleehungercoalition.org/send-a-meal to make a donation. If your church or other organization is offering assistance, please let Jason know.
Meals for Children
Now that school has dismissed for the summer many meal programs have ended. Below is a list of some schools that are offering summer feeding programs.
In Tupelo and Lee County:
- Lee County Schools will serve grab-and-go meals through the month of June for all children under 18. Meals will be served Mondays and Wednesdays in the car rider lines from 10:00 to 12:00 at the following schools:
- Shannon Middle/High School
- Verona Elementary
- Plantersville Middle School
- Mooreville Elementary
- Saltillo High School
- Guntown Middle School
- Tupelo Public School District ended its meal program Thursday, May 21.
- Nettleton School District will provide meals each weekday from 10:30 to 12:00 until June 30.
In Chickasaw County:
- Chickasaw County School District has ended its meal program.
- Houston School District has ended its meal program
- Okolona School District has ended its meal program
In Itawamba County:
- Itawamba County Schools has ended its meal program.
In Monroe County:
- Amory School District has ended its meal program.
- Aberdeen School District has ended its meal program.
- Monroe County Schools has ended its meal program.
- Nettleton School District will provide meals each weekday from 10:30 to 12:00 until June 30.
In Pontotoc County:
- The Pontotoc City School District has ended its meal program.
- Pontotoc County Schools has ended its meal program.
- Transforming Lives Ministries at 17 Lafayette Street in Pontotoc is providing daily breakfast from 8:00 to 9:00 and lunch from 11:00 to 1:00 until July 31.
In Prentiss County:
- Baldwyn School District has ended its meal program.
- Booneville School District has ended its meal program.
- Prentiss County Schools has ended its meal program.
In Tishomingo County:
- Tishomingo County Schools has ended its meal program.
In Union County:
- Union County School District has ended its meal program.
- New Albany School District will provide daily meals from 8:30 to 10:30 at New Albany High School until June 30. From July 13 to July 24, they will provide breakfast from 8:00 to 9:00 and lunch from 11:00 to 11:30 at New Albany Elementary.
Meals for Adults or Any Age
- The Salvation Army in Tupelo will provide grab-and-go lunches until further notice. All social services will continue as normal.
- Saints’ Brew will switch to to-go breakfasts until further notice. Anyone of any age is welcome to participate.
- Meals on Wheels of Lee County will continue regular deliveries.
- Amory Meals on Wheels will continue regular deliveries.
- Most food pantries have continued regular service with additional precautions. See the list below for more information.
Closings and Cancellations
- The Arc‘s office is closed until further notice. Call or text 662-222-1850 for assistance and include your phone number.
- The Autism Center of North Mississippi is closed until further notice. The Fairpark Burger Frenzy and the 2020 Autism Run 5K have been postponed.
- Cami Jo Cares Easter event scheduled for March 28 will be rescheduled.
- The Church After School Association (CASA) is closed until further notice.
- Comfort Creatures of NEMS has suspended all pet therapy visits until further notice.
- El Centro is closed until at least April 30.
- Classes at the Family Resource Center have moved to online only.
- Girl Scouts Heart of the South has closed all offices and Trefoil Truck stores to the public, and suspended all programs and events. Staff are answering phone calls, emails, and web-based live chats. All in-person troop meetings are suspended until further notice; however, troops are encouraged to use phones and digital resources to stay connected. The council currently offers 26 Virtual Badge Labs (14 more in production), four Facebook Live events scheduled (three more planned), and Virtual Troop Meetings every Tuesday at 5:30. Resources are available at www.girlscoutshs.org or by calling 800-624-4185.
- Good Samaritan Free Clinic has suspended clinic visits and will reevaluate March 30. The pharmacy is open for patients to call in refills and pick them up from 9:00 to 5:00 Monday through Thursday and 9:00 to 12:00 on Friday.
- The Healthcare Foundation of North Mississippi has rescheduled Take a Swing at Cancer for November 1-2.
- HealthWorks! is closed until further notice.
- Itawamba Crossroads Ranch Bowls of Love has been postponed.
- All LIFE of MS offices and gyms are closed until further notice.
- Life Pregnancy Care Center can accommodate visits by appointment only. Call 662-327-0500or email email@example.com
- All MSU Extension and 4-H offices will continue to provide educational services through digital, contactless methods and conduct essential in-person consultations individually and by appointment only. Meetings and gatherings are still prohibited until August 1st, as of current.
- New Haven Center for Special Needs Adults will be closed until further notice.
- The Shepherd’s Center of Greater Tupelo is discontinuing transportation until further notice for the safety of volunteers and clients. Volunteers are doing phone check-ins and working to provide other resources clients might need.
- 10 for Tupelo has been rescheduled for Saturday, September 12.
- Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau is closed until further notice.
Organizations Operating as Usual (or slight changes)
- Aberdeen Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry will continue to serve current clients with curbside service. Please check Aberdeen Loaves and Fishes Facebook page for updates and special instructions.
- Agape Health Services will resume their once-per-month Saturday clinic day on June 13.
- Amory Food Pantry will continue to open each Tuesday from 8:00 to 11:00 with “drive-thru” service. Please check their Facebook page for updates.
- Amory Meals on Wheels has continued to deliver 5 frozen meals per week to clients while practicing safe methods of delivery.
- The Boys & Girls Clubs of North Mississippi will open for the Summer Program on June 8 at the Tupelo, New Albany and Oxford Clubs. Hours are 9:00 to 5:00 Monday through Friday, and breakfast and lunch is served daily.
- CATCH Kids, Inc. clinics have resumed operations with these new guidelines:
- Wear a mask. Your child should wear a mask, too. If you do not have a mask, we will give you one.
- Limit the number of children you bring to only those who are getting a physical. We will have to limit how many people can be inside the building at one time.
- We will take your temperature and your child’s temp, prior to you entering the building.
- We will ask some questions about whether you have been exposed to anyone who you know has COVID-19, etc.
- The Elvis Presley Birthplace will reopen June 4 with the following hours:
- Monday – Saturday – 11:00-4:00
- Sunday – 1:00-5:00
- Excel, Inc. is opening an adjusted Summer Learning program beginning June 8 to assist students in getting ready for the new school year. The resale store is opening on June 3. Adult learning is opening June 8. A summer sewing program for Hispanic youth is beginning June 3 for two weeks.
- F.A.I.T.H. Food Pantry will resume regular operations in May on the third Saturday of each month from 7:00 to 10:00.
- First Choice Center for Women is reopening in phases. The clinic will be open for clients (appointment and walk-up) from June 1 to July 10 on Mondays and Tuesdays from 10:00 to 4:00. From July 13 to July 31, the center will be open Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 10:00 to 4:00. Beginning, August 3, the center will be open each day, Monday-Thursday, from 10:00 to 4:00.
- First Friends Respite Center will reopen June 8 with the following restrictions. Anyone who enters the building must:
- have proof of having tested negative for COVID-19.
- have his/her temperature taken and be within formal range
- use hand sanitizer immediately upon entering
- wash hands and use hand sanitizer frequently throughout the stay
- Fulton United Methodist Food Pantry is open regular hours each month on the 3rd Saturday with changes to procedures to limit personal contact.
- Helpful Samaritan Food Pantry will be open as usual on Mondays from 11:00 to 12:30 and Thursdays from 4:00 to 5:30. All clients will remain in their cars, and volunteers will come to each car to get your information and give you a number. No new clients are accepted until further notice.
- Helping Hands will continue to be open on Saturdays from 9:00 to 11:00 for drive-through food boxes. Clothes Closet is temporarily closed.
- Hope Family Ministries is operating normal business hours for therapy.
- Hope Unbridled is slowly re-opening by adding 2 students per week.
- Itawamba County West Food Pantry in Mantachie continues to serve clients monthly via a drive-thru system.
- The Lee County Library and the Itawamba County Library have re-opened with the following schedules:
- Lee: M – Closed, T/W – 9-6, Th – 11-8, F/Sat – 9-5
- Itawamba: M-Th – 9-6, F – 1-5, Sat – 10-2
- Magnolia Foundation will hold its Magnolia Golf Classic on August 14.
- Mission Okolona is open as usual every third Saturday of the month with drive-through service only from 8:00 to 9:30, for regular clients and also parents of Okolona Separate School District students. They are also delivering free emergency food boxes to those who reside in the service area.
- The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence of NEMS will continue regular hours, 9:00 to 4:00 daily. Their hotline is open 24 hours at 662-841-0403. Beginning May 6th, NCADD will resume face-to-face alcohol & drug assessments. They are booking appointments now for May and beyond. The hotline will remain open to all callers and counselors are available.
- Parkgate Health Services is open for appointments and walk-ins for pregnancy tests, for sonograms by appointment, and is providing clothing and baby supplies from the baby closet. Visitors will have a COVID-19 screening.
- Regional Rehabilitation Center has returned to their regular schedule, Monday through Friday, as of Monday, June 1.
- The Salvation Army in Tupelo‘s social services office is open regular hours. The Salvation Army thrift stores will re-open in Tupelo on April 27 and in New Albany and Amory on April 28 with a 10-customer limit and 6-foot distance guideline.
- S.A.F.E., Inc.‘s shelter cannot accept visitors or donations of goods at this time. However, the shelter is accepting admissions and providing victim services.
- The St. Luke Food Pantry will be open each Thursday at 8:00 AM with the following changes to procedure:
- Clients should not arrive before 7:30a.m.
- We will stop accepting clients at 12:00 p.m.
- Clients stay in their vehicle. Keep windows rolled up.
- Have vehicle prepared to place food in the trunk or rear of the vehicle
- Have your photo ID ready to show
- Future distribution days are unknown and could be halted because of COVID-19
- This service is open to residents of Lee County
- Talbot House Bakery will have carry-out only on Tuesday through Friday from 8:00 to 1:00.
- Three Rivers Area Agency on Aging is delivering all of their regular programming.
- Tishomingo Community Coalition‘s Safe Haven is now open with no restrictions.
- Tishomingo County Old Courthouse Museum is open W-F from 10:00-4:00.
- Tupelo-Lee Humane Society is now taking appointments for spaying and neutering. Find additional details on their Facebook page.
- Union County Good Samaritan will continue drive-through pickup services for certified families on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays from 10:00 to 11:45.
If you have information about closings and cancellations not listed here, please email us.
Resource Packets and School Websites
The Tupelo Public School District has provided downloadable materials for your student to work on during the extended break. Click here to download packets for kindergarten through eighth grade. They also have a list of at-home resources for children in Pre-K through high school.
Saltillo Primary school has put together a wonderful website full of resources. Visit Little Tigers Learn at Home to access. Most of these resources can be used by primary-age children who attend any school. Saltillo Elementary students can visit the Lee County Schools website and log into their Classlink with their username/password from home.
At-home packet pickups have ended now that school is out for summer.
- ParentPowered PBC is offering all Ready4K programs for free through the end of the 2019-2020 school year to US early education providers to support at-home learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Get more information at https://ready4k.parentpowered.com/covid.html
- Scholastic has free daily courses for children on their Learn At Home site.
- Raz-Kids and Headsprout are offering free subscriptions for 90 days.
- Some free reading websites:
- Khan Academy
- Teachers Pay Teachers
- 30 Days of Families Learning
- Nightly Storytime with actor Josh Gad
- Daily Art Lessons on Facebook
- One month of free ebooks and educational videos at Skybrary
- Growing Book by Book
- The Cincinnatti Zoo is having daily Home Safaris on their Facebook page.
- Heggerty at Home E-Learning is offering free phonemic awareness support videos and lesson plans to assist with e-learning.
- Anaheim Public Library will host live, bilingual storytimes on their Facebook page beginning Thursday, March 19 at 12:00 PDT.
- Download an excellent resource guide of learning resources for ages 2-8 from the Mississippi Early Learning Alliance.
- Vroom – daily tips for early childhood learning delivered to your phone! Check out their YouTube page for great free content.
- Conscious Discipline has a list of free at-home learning resources for young children.
- Reed’s is doing virtual story time each Friday at 10:30 AM on their Facebook page.
- Reading is Fundamental has daily story time on their Facebook page. Check out the archive of past videos.
- Resources for family engagement from the Library of Congress.
- Noggin is offering a FREE 90-day trial through a partnership with United Way.
- Download One Day at a Time, a free repeat-with-me children’s book about coronavirus.