COVID-19 resources/actions

Editor’s Note: As a weekly publication, we are not set up to be your main source for COVID-19 information, since it changes daily. We will try to keep up a brief summary of what is going on, in particular as it relates to social safety nets for the most vulnerable. However, we cannot stress enough that social distancing and self-imposed isolation are of extreme importance right now. And for up-to-date information, visit www.michigan.gov/coronavirus or www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.

As most people faced with the situation know, Muskegon area schools are giving out “grab and go” meals while kids are off. It is sometimes hard to discover where and when to pick up the food; the best way to find out is on the school’s website or Facebook page, but here are examples: Mona Shores:  high school stadium parking lot 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Mon., Wed., Fri. and 6-8 p.m. Wed.; Muskegon Public Schools is delivering meals weekdays along the bus route starting 11 a.m. March 16 (two meals each drop-off and three on Fridays); Muskegon Heights Academy, also along the bus route, starting 11:30 a.m. on Mon., Wed.., Fri.; Reeths-Puffer Schools will offer one week’s worth of cold meals for pickup at the High School every Wed. (names starting A-N 9-10 a.m., O-Z, 11 a.m.-noon, and if you miss it, noon-1 p.m.

A number of individuals and restaurants are stepping up. For example, young Mason Schlafer, who is widely known for his aggressive Boy Scout sales, paid for a food truck at St. Gregory Episcopal Church on March 14 sponsored with Troop 1053.

Burger King will be offering two free kids’ meals with orders made on its phone app starting next week.

The State of Michigan has done a lot to help individuals. (More on what it is doing for businesses in next week’s issue.) Gov. Whitmer has relaxed regulatory requirements in order to expand the capacity for child care services for health care workers, first responders, and other members of the essential workforce, and in order to allow for more health care providers and hospital capacity. She has extended the tax foreclosure deadline and called out the National Guard (including a request to the federal government for help funding) to deliver items like masks and test kits. Most important, the governor extended unemployment benefits from 20 to 26 weeks, increased ease of application, and expanded eligible parties to workers who have to leave work for childcare due to school closures, workers who are sick,  and others.

Attorney General Nessel has greatly expanded enforcement of entities who price-gouge on essentials. (She has received over 800 complaints.)

On Facebook, Muskegon Helping Muskegon and Muskegon’s Helping Hands are good resources.

A nice list of free online teaching resources can be found at https://schoolchoiceweek.com/37-free-online-resources-for-schools-shifting-online-during-coronavirus/

Finally, for those with urgent needs, the folks at Call 2-1-1 are focusing on coronavirus resources.

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