Wahooz Family Fun Zone employees hand out lunches

Wahooz Family Fun Zone employees hand out lunches to those driving through the Meridian park Monday, March 23.

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Because of cancellations and closures, we’re temporarily replacing our calendar with information on community resources. Send your ideas to newsroom@idahopress.com or join our Facebook group, “Idaho Press Community Group: COVID-19 Resources.”

Gov. Little schedules 2 COVID-19 informational events for next week

  • 12 p.m. Tuesday, March 31: Governor Little will host a statewide AARP telephone town hall. Participants can join by dialing toll-free 866-767-0637 or register in advance by visiting https://vekeo.com/aarpidaho/.
  • 8 p.m. Thursday, April 2 Governor Little will answer questions about COVID-19 in Idaho on Idaho Public Television. The Q & A will be available online.

Idaho Youth Ranch temporarily halts donations

Thrift store employees were furloughed earlier this week due to the governor's stay-at-home order. Idaho Youth Ranch is asking the public to stop dropping donations at thrift stores’ back doors during the COVID-19 emergency.

“People are leaving their donations in back of our stores, when no one will be there until at least April 15. The donations sitting outside the stores will ruin in the weather and will create extra work when our teams return from furlough," Rich Cline, vice president of social enterprise, said in a press release.

Saltzer Home Health is continuing in-home care services, as it is deemed an essential business. The business is committed to helping residents in their homes offering in care medication, wound care and assistance with daily living.

“We are taking all measures to make sure our patients and our staff are safe during these challenging times," Vickie Garcia, executive director, said in a press release. "Our staff is reaching out by phone to our clients and patient to ensure both our staff and the patients we serve are safe.”

St. Vincent de Paul's food pantries have doubled service, and are accommodating increasing loads from other pantries now shut down. The busiest pantry is at Overland Road in Boise, which is operating normally, and Caldwell and Nampa pantries remain open. Holy Apostles in Meridian is closed. The Overland Road dining room is offering hot dinners 6 p.m. Monday and Thursday. To continue operating, St. Vincent de Paul is seeking donations: https://www.svdpid.org/donate-now/.

Boise Fry Company has reopened for pickup orders. Patrons can order online at boisefrycompany.com, or pull up to the store and place an order curbside.

Response and Recovery Fund

The COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund for Idaho, which has received $275,000 in donations, is accepting applications for grants from organizations throughout Idaho working with people affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

The fund is a partnership between the Idaho Community Foundation, United Ways of Idaho and Idaho Nonprofit Center. Funding for the first rounds of grantmaking will be given to organizations that work with people experiencing housing instability and food insecurity, those who need physical or mental health care, and/or that provide domestic violence support and childcare. 

To apply or learn more, visit www.unitedwaytv.org/covid-19-response-and-recovery-fund-idaho.

West Valley Humane Society is moving to adoptions by appointment only. Start the process at westvalleyhumanesociety.org/adoptions. Once the adoption application is submitted, West Valley Humane Society will connect to schedule a visit. Multiple adopters will not be in the building at one time.

Stray drop-offs from the public will no longer be accepted. If you have found a stray, West Valley Humane Society recommends: looking for the owner in your area, posting as found on Facebook lost and found pages, having the animal scanned for a microchip (vet clinic), posting the pet as found on FindingRover.com. If needed, call your local animal control or police department.

To reclaim a pet from the shelter, you must have identified the animal as in our care on FindingRover.com. If you find your pet at West Valley, contact FDManager@westvalleyhumanesociety.org.

All payments (adoptions, donations, owner reclaims) will be done online.

"We are so thankful for our community and the donations we have received to help us in this difficult time," West Valley Humane Society staff said in the press release. "Because of your generosity we are filled to the brim with dog food and are running out of storage space for donated food. Right now the single best way to help the shelter is through monetary donations."

Local restaurant Anderson Reserve offering 'quarantine boxes,' take out

Anderson Reserve is offering three quarantine boxes filled with a variety of local meats that have been prepared, cut and packaged by the Anderson family, the local restaurant stated in a press release. Customers can also order online from their choice of over 25 craft beer and wine selections, all from local breweries and wineries. Every order over $100 is delivered for free directly to customers in the Treasure Valley and surrounding cities, and brought to your doorstep by the Anderson Family personally.

Starting Friday, “The Barn” at Anderson Reserve will be offering a take out menu with greatly reduced prices in order to support local residents during the recently issued “Stay at Home” order. The menu selections are available online at andersonreserve.com/menu.

"By supporting Anderson Reserve through this delivery service, customers would be supporting multiple small businesses in the area, during this time of struggle and uncertainty," the press release stated.

‘AARP Community Connections’ 

AARP Community Connections is a new online platform that will allow users to organize and find local volunteer groups to help pick up groceries, provide financial assistance or lend emotional support to neighbors, friends and loved ones.

Users are able to:

  • Request a call from an AARP volunteer, or a trained counselor;
  • Create an account with Savo to make connecting with their families easier;
  • Join “The Mighty,” a safe, supportive online community for people facing health challenges and their caregivers.

AARP Community Connections is free to use, and AARP membership is not required. For more information, visit www.aarpcommunityconnections.org.

“We may need be physically isolated, but we don’t have to feel alone,” said Andy Miller, senior vice president of AARP Innovation Labs.

Personal protective equipment drive 

Hands of Hope Northwest and local legislators will host a personal protective equipment (PPE) drive from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 28 at Albertsons Stadium (east lot).

People are encouraged to donate masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, bleach products and more in order to help health care workers protect themselves — and their patients — in the fight against COVID-19.

People donating supplies will be asked to drive up and hand off donated supplies to volunteers, who will be wearing masks and gloves. Sought-after items include:

  • Sterile and non-sterile gloves
  • Unopened hand sanitizer
  • Unopened commercial bleach bottles, sprays, or wipes
  • Unopened Isopropyl alcohol
  • Eye protection and goggles
  • Clear face shields
  • Masks — tie, ear loop (no cloth masks)
  • Respirator masks — N95, N99, P100 (all sizes). Extra filters are also needed
  • PAPR respirators — 3M or MaxAir and unused hoods, filters, batteries, chargers, tubes to go with these units
  • Disposable gowns (unused)
  • Shoe covers
  • Biohazard bags (unused)

"We anticipate donations to come from private citizens, tattoo shops, nail salons, hair salons, elective surgery clinics, spray tanning clinics, construction/trades groups, veterinary clinics, dental clinics, pool cleaners, landscape companies, exterminators, home health care/hospice care, dialysis patients and even college/high/middle school laboratories," legislators said in the release. "All supplies received at Saturdays’ drive (and thereafter at Hands of Hope Northwest) will be distributed among health care providers in Idaho who are on the front lines of the fight against the spread of COVID-19."

Tax donation receipts will be provided to any individual or business owner who is able to bring an itemized list of donated items.

Sens. Maryanne Jordan and Cherie Buckner-Webb, House of Representatives hopeful Chris Mathias, and Todd Durbin, executive director of Hands of Hope Northwest, are involved.

The Salvation Army in Boise has created a food-box system to prevent the spread of coronavirus and has temporarily waived its 60-day window policy due to COVID-19.

“With an expected spike in requests over the coming weeks, months, and potentially years, ongoing public support will be needed to help ensure that services are available to existing and new vulnerable populations,” The Salvation Army stated in the release. “This includes drive-through food pickup, community-based food delivery through canteens, and meals at Salvation Army facilities.”

The organization is also providing snacks and hydration to first responders. To contribute to The Salvation Army’s efforts in your community, visit salarmy.us/covid.

The Idaho Youth Ranch is now offering video therapy options for new and existing clients, and telephone options for families without access to internet or video-capable devices.

“The increased stress of COVID-19 is creating additional needs for professional therapeutic help for many Idaho kids,” Scott Curtis, CEO of Idaho Youth Ranch, said in the release. “Adding video-based telemental health therapy allows us to help those affected by the growing COVID-19 shutdowns and allows us to help kids & their families no matter how far they are from our counseling centers in north Idaho and the Treasure Valley.”

Idaho Youth Ranch will continue to offer in-person therapy as well. To protect families, the following practices are in place:

  • Youth arriving for therapy are instructed to wash and sanitize their hands
  • Therapists wash hands thoroughly between client visits
  • Therapy rooms are wiped down after every session
  • Therapists and youth always maintain CDC recommended social distancing
  • Parents and families are asked to remain in the car during therapy sessions

Idaho Youth Ranch is continuing to take new clients, according to the press release. To schedule an appointment, call the help line at 208-947-0863 or request an appointment online at www.youthranch.org/get-help.

Who’s hiring?

Franz Bakery has over 150 positions available throughout its bakeries and areas of distribution, including in the Boise area. Visit FranzBakery.com.

Albertsons: The company tweeted March 17 it has immediate openings. Visit stores in your area to find out their specific needs or apply online.

Amazon: “We are opening 100,000 new full and part-time positions across the U.S. … to meet the surge in demand from people relying on Amazon’s service during this stressful time,” Amazon announced on its website March 16. Amazon also stated it is welcoming those who were laid off and/or furloughed “as part of this crisis.” Apply online.

Bi-Mart: “Due to the impact of the coronavirus we are hiring temporary help in our stores throughout the northwest,” Bi-Mart announced on its website. View available jobs online.

Fred Meyer: Visit stores in your area or apply online.

Walmart: “As part of responding to the current environment, Walmart is also hiring 150,000 new associates through the end of May,” Walmart announced on its website. Visit stores near you or apply online.

WinCo Foods: “In the wake of this health crisis ... we are hiring temporary clerks for many of our locations, so we can keep our stores clean and well stocked,” WinCo announced on its website. Visit a local store or apply online.

The Idaho Division of Veterans Services is hiring for several temporary positions available in health and long-term care-related services at the state’s three veterans homes, one of which is in Boise, IdahoNews reports.

Additional resources

Business loans: Idaho small businesses impacted by coronavirus can now access federal disaster loans. Small businesses, private nonprofit organizations of any size, small agricultural cooperatives and small aquaculture enterprises that have been financially impacted as a direct result of the coronavirus since Jan. 31, 2020, may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses that could have been met if the disaster had not occurred. The deadline to apply is Dec. 21, 2020. For more information, commerce.idaho.gov/covid-19.

Denny’s is introducing new store hours, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, that will allow for delivery and takeout only. All delivery fees will be waived through April 12. For both carryout and delivery, guests can order online at dennys.com.

Applebee’s locations in Boise, Eagle and Nampa are offering free delivery available now through March 31. It also offers to-go services.

Firehouse Subs is offering a free Kids’ Combo with purchase of a medium or large sub carry-out order. Firehouse Subs Kids’ Combos include a choice of a Grilled Cheese Sandwich, Small Meatball, Turkey & Provolone or Ham & Provolone Subs, along with a 12 oz. fountain drink or carton of milk, dessert and a kid-sized fire hat. This offer must be mentioned on the phone and is valid through April 30 at participating U.S. Firehouse Subs locations.

Life’s Kitchen is open for curbside and to-go service for lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday to Friday, its Facebook page states. Life’s Kitchen, 1025 S. Capitol Blvd., has also partnered with Corpus Christi House, 525 S. Americana Blvd., to provide 720 sack lunches a week to those who are in need. Corpus Christi House can be contacted at 208-426-0039.

Sizzler Restaurants in Meridian and Nampa will offer curbside takeout and third-party delivery, beginning Saturday. Guests can order take out at www.thesizz.com and through third-party delivery partners: Grub Hub, Uber Eats and Boise Food Express.

Wingers Restaurants in Nampa, Mountain Home and Meridian will offer take-out and delivery-only orders beginning Saturday. Wingers is partnering with Door Dash, Grub Hub and Postmates in Nampa and Meridian, and will launch its own delivery service in Mountain Home. To help hard-hit employees, Wingers owner Brad McDougal is starting a $15,000 fund for employees to borrow from to pay for necessities during the coronavirus period, and employees can eat daily for free. Starting Saturday, customers can purchase $25 gift certificates with 100% of the purchase going to the new Employees Food Fund.

BACON in Downtown Boise will be offering pick up and delivery for customers.

Wahooz Family Fun Zone is offering free lunches to families this week, Monday through Friday from noon to 1 p.m. Those wishing to receive a free lunch must sign up by 10 a.m. the day prior, the release said. To sign up, visit wahoozfunzone.com. Lunches are limited to six per family.

Boys & Girls Clubs are serving grab-and-go breakfast and lunch to any child ages 1-18 while supplies last. Pickup is from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. weekdays at Riverfront Park in Garden City, E. 42nd St.; Meridian Elementary School, 1035 NW First St.; 316 Stampede Drive, Nampa (until 1 p.m.).

The Caldwell School District will offer free meals for children from 10-11 a.m. through Friday at schools and parks. The child must be present to receive meals and does not have to be a Caldwell School District student. Adults may buy a sack meal for $4. Locations are listed at caldwellschools.org.

Canyon Springs High School food pantry, 516 N. 11th Ave., Caldwell will still be available to students, according to Caldwell School District’s Facebook page. Please email lvelasquez@caldwellschools.org to arrange a time.

Big Box Outlet Store at 352 Caldwell Blvd. in Nampa is offering free lunch for school-age children from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays.

Kuna School District will offer free, grab-and-go breakfasts and lunches for children weekdays starting Friday, March 20, until schools reopen. Pick up is from 11 a.m. to noon at Ross Elementary, Reed Elementary and Kuna High School. Children do not need to be enrolled in the district to receive a free meal, but they need to be present to receive it.

The Middleton School District is offering grab-and-go meals for families between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. weekdays through March 27, at the front entrance of the Middleton Middle School Annex A.

Meals on Wheels “curbside” meals at senior centers: Though senior centers throughout the Treasure Valley are temporarily closed, Metro Meals on Wheels will continue to provide “curbside” meals there.

Seniors in Boise and Meridian can still pick up lunch with curbside service offered from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on weekdays at Boise’s Dick Eardley Senior Center, 690 Robbins Road, and the Meridian Senior Center, 1920 N. Records Way.

Seniors in Caldwell and Nampa are asked to call 208-459-0132 (if in Caldwell) or 208-467-7266 (if in Nampa) beginning at 7 a.m. Tuesday to order. Residents are encouraged to “keep trying” if the line is busy. Meals will be available for pickup at the Caldwell Senior Center, 1009 Everett St., and the Nampa Senior Center, 207 Constitution Way, Monday to Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for a suggested donation of $4 for those 60 and over, and a $5 charge for under 60.

Meals On Wheels delivery will continue to be delivered to seniors in Canyon County at the usual time each day. Meals will be placed in a plastic bag with handles and hung on the door of the residence. After knocking or ringing the doorbell, the deliverer will wait to be sure that the meal is taken inside. For more information contact 208-454-8142.

SHOPPING HOUR FOR SENIORS

Fred Meyer: Starting Monday, senior hour will be 7-8 a.m. Monday through Thursday until further notice. Shopping for other customers starts at 8 a.m.

Albertsons: Nationally announced stores will be open from 7 to 9 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays for vulnerable shoppers.

Boise Co-op: 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. daily for shoppers 60 and older. Located at 888 W. Fort St, Boise, and 2350 N. Eagle Road, Meridian.

Ridley’s Family Markets: 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. for seniors only. Local stores are at 1403 N. Meridian Road, Kuna, and 430 E. Main St., Middleton.

Stinker gas stations are implementing Senior Pump hours starting Thursday “to help our community’s most vulnerable.” Any Stinker that sits in an Albertsons parking lot will have employees available to pump their fuel from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Target: The first hour of shopping each Wednesday at stores nationwide for vulnerable guests. Please contact your local store for hours.

Walmart: Beginning March 24, Walmart stores will open an hour early every Tuesday for customers aged 60 and older. Walmart pharmacies and Vision Centers will also be open during this time. Stores are also placing limits on certain items such paper products, milk, eggs, cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, water, diapers, wipes, formula and baby food.

WinCo Foods: 6-7:30 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, according to the website.

St. Vincent de Paul is using a drive-through system to limit contact for food pickup at two of its pantries:

Overland Food Pantry, 3209 W. Overland Road, Boise

  • Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Holy Apostles Food Pantry, 6300A North Meridian Road, Meridian

  • Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 1-4 p.m.
  • Thursday, 5:30-7 p.m.

PET WELL-BEING

Idaho Humane Society has launched a Stray Pets online portal that shows animals brought in from the public and humane society officers. These animals are being housed at the Idaho Humane Society.

Meridian Canine Rescue has launched new online training, behavioral support and education resources, and is making available care packages for dogs, such as Boredom Buster and Sleepy Time Kits. Visit meridianrescue.org.

ADDITIONAL HELP

Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health is donating an initial $100,000 to the COVID-19 Response Fund for Idaho, a new charitable fund that will provide support for low-income, vulnerable Idahoans, and affected families.

Idaho 2-1-1 CareLine is a program of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare that provides a robust database offering free or low-cost programs and services such as social services, medical assistance, food and clothing, daycare options, emergency shelter and more, according to United Way Treasure Valley’s website.

United Way of Treasure Valley has created a Community Resource Page, in partnership with dozens of local entities, highlighting housing assistance, childcare assistance, health care, resources for educators and parents, transportation assistance, and more. Go to www.unitedwaytv.org and click the COVID-19 banner.

INTERNET USAGE

CenturyLink has suspended data usage limits for consumer customers due to COVID-19, and will waive late fees and won’t terminate a residential or small business customer’s service due to financial circumstances associated with the outbreak.

Sparklight (formerly Cable One) opened Wi-Fi hotspots across its footprint for public use to keep individuals and communities connected to online resources. Sparklight’s Wi-Fi hotspot can be accessed in the Sparklight local office parking lot, 2101 E. Karcher Road in Nampa. Sparklight has made available unlimited data on all internet services for 30 days, and offered payment deferrals and late fee waivers for 60 days. Sparklight is now offering low-cost internet, a 15 Mbps internet plan for $10 per month for the next 60 days to help low-income families and those most impacted from coronavirus challenges. Customers can call 877-692-2253 for more information.

WAYS TO GIVE

Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health: www.idahocf.org/covid19.

COVID-19 Response Fund for Idaho: www.idahocf.org/covid-19. Created in partnership through The Idaho Community Foundation, United Way of Treasure Valley and Idaho Nonprofit Center.

The American Red Cross is facing a blood shortage due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations, the website states. Donating blood is a safe process and people should not hesitate to give or receive blood. Visit redcross.org for information.

Metro Meals on Wheels: metromealsonwheels.net.

West Valley Humane Society in Canyon County is reaching out to the public with concerns about how the COVID-19 outbreak will impact animal welfare and people’s ability to adopt a pet or afford their pet’s needs. The shelter is accepting donations at westvalleyhumanesociety.org/COVID.

Please note: All resources will continue to be assessed and updated as more information about the novel coronavirus becomes available.

The Idaho Press is offering free online access to local coronavirus stories. Our ongoing coverage of the Treasure Valley relies on the generous support from our readers. To strengthen local journalism, please consider subscribing at iptoffers.com. For daily updates in your inbox, sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter.