Press & Articles

04/21/20 Resource roundup – Local help for COVID-19 needs

By Idaho Press Staff,

The 2020 Eagle Fun Days Celebration is going to be a bit different this year. In the past, over 30,000 people, both residents and visitors, came to downtown Eagle for the community festival, according to a city press release. For 2020, The City of Eagle is taking a split approach by planning some online activities and some modified in-person events due to the effects of COVID-19.

Current revamped in-person events include:

  • Eagle Fun Days Market downtown, called “Eat. Shop. Eagle,” July 11. This market is part of the city’s efforts to help Eagle businesses recover in the wake of COVID-19. The City of Eagle has added an “Eat. Shop. Eagle” vendor application form:
  • The Eagle Fun Days Fireworks Show will be a “Drive-In Fireworks Show” July 10 at Eagle Island State Park. More information will be released as plans develop.

Current online activities include:

  • The #FunDaysFillUp Challenge and the Backyard Float Competition will replace the Wet and Wild Parade.
  • The Eagle Fun Day Run will be a virtual race this year. That means race participants can run a 5k or 10k on their own time around their home.
  • The annual Custom Car Show will be moving to Facebook.

For more information on the virtual events, please visit

The Holy Apostles/St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry on Chinden Road in Meridian announced it will be re-opening Monday, June 1 with drive-thru service only. Hours of operation will be 1 – 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Idaho Tents & Events has announced it is focusing on how to give back to the community by creating Idaho Tents Gives. Idaho Tents & Events is partnering with El Ada Community Action Partnership to host a food and donation drive, according to a press release. The Idaho Tents Gives donation drive will be held 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. May 26 – 29. Donations can be dropped off through curbside Will Call Express lane at 3900 W. Chinden Blvd. in Boise.

Items needed for the drive include:

  • Nonperishable food items
  • Chapstick
  • Deodorant
  • Nail clippers
  • Shampoo
  • Shaving cream
  • Socks
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrushes

To show its appreciation Idaho Tents & Events will give each person — who donates three or more items — a 10% off coupon to be used at Idaho Tents & Events.

El-Ada Community Action works to “better focus available local, state, private and federal resources to assist low-income individuals and families.” More information is available at More information about Idaho Tents & Events:

St. Luke’s Health System is shifting its COVID-19 response. It will be closing screening and specimen collection tents and reopening clinics, Idaho Press reports. The tents close at 4 p.m. Friday. Screenings will be available in select clinics settings beginning Saturday. Those with COVID-19 symptoms will be directed to the following St. Luke’s care facilities during each clinic’s regular operating hours:

  • Boise: St. Luke’s Clinic – Family Medicine at 701 E. Parkcenter Blvd.
  • Jerome: St. Luke’s Clinic – Jerome Family Medicine at 132 5th Ave. W.
  • Magic Valley: St. Luke’s Quick Care at 775 Pole Line Rd. W.
  • Meridian: St. Luke’s Clinic – Ada Medical Associates at Portico East, 3399 E. Louise Dr.
  • Wood River: St. Luke’s Clinic – Family Medicine in Hailey at 1450 Aviation Dr.

Stage 3 reopening protocols are now available for outdoor pools, splash parks and waterparks, and bars, breweries, distilleries and wineries.

Stage 2 started Saturday, and State 3 is tentatively scheduled to start May 30 if there is no significant increases in COVID-19 cases and other criteria are met.

For water recreation locations, the CDC has stated there is no evidence the virus can spread directly to humans from water in pools, hot tubs or spas, or water play areas, as stated on Idaho Rebounds. Proper operation, maintenance and disinfection should kill the virus. Social distancing guidelines remain in effect.

Operational plans to prevent the spread of COVID-19 do not need to be submitted for review or approval. However, outdoor community pools, splash parks, and waterparks should make plans available.

Additional guidelines include:

  • Identifying strategies to notify patrons and employees if the facility learns someone who developed COVID-19 may have been infectious to others while at the facility.
  • Screen employees for fever and symptoms before every shift.
  • Establish plans to provide adequate hand sanitation for all.

For bars, breweries, distilleries and wineries, establishments must have a plan in place to mitigate the risk of spreading the virus. Plans do not need to be submitted for review or approval, however they must be available upon request and comply with existing and applicable licensing requirements.

Additional guidelines include:

  • Dedicating certain staff members to disinfection of high-contact surfaces and of tables between parties
  • Refraining from using pre-set tableware if food is served
  • Refraining from refillable drinks
  • Posting signs on the front door or window stating that any customer who has a fever or other COVID-19 symptoms must refrain from entering
  • Keeping photo booths or other novelty attractions closed

Idaho Department of Health and Welfare continues to host Facebook Live Q&A’s about COVID-19 statistics, hygiene practices and more. Dr. Christine Hahn discussed population-level immunity, masks and COVID-19 recommendations last week. Visit Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s Facebook page for more.

Cash Grants will be available for individuals who are self-employed. Applications will be available through Idaho Rebounds starting at noon May 27. Grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until grants are fully expended or upon close of business July 17, whichever occurs first, according to the website. For more information visit

Idaho Botanical Garden is offering free admission to health care workers this May as part its mindfulness initiative. Idaho Botanical Garden has teamed up with community partners like Source Meditation and Shine Yoga to offer free mindfulness and movement classes streamed virtually from the garden, according to a Thursday press release. Classes will be streamed directly through IBG’s Facebook and Instagram pages. To learn more about Idaho Botanical Garden’s Mindfulness & Movement Initiative visit

Treasure Valley Collision Center owners Mike and Monica Barber are donating to health care facilities. In April, the company donated $25 dollars for every completed repair, totaling $2,050. This was given to the Saint Alphonsus Foundation for the COVID Relief Foundation. Now, the Barbers and Treasure Valley Collision repair are doing donations through May, with $25 dollars for every complete repair going to the St. Luke’s Health Foundation for COVID-19 Response.

Donations support initiatives including:

  • Medical grade PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)
  • Supplies and equipment
  • Resiliency programs for our frontline providers
  • Workforce relief for those on quarantine or with family hardships
  • Day care for children of caregivers
  • Partnerships with local agencies that offer housing and food access to patients with limited or no resources

Treasure Valley Collision Center is locally owned and operated in Boise and Meridian.

Women’s and Children’s Alliance and Idaho Youth Ranch have formed a new “strategic alliance” around educational and job training resources with the intent to help vulnerable families break the cycle of domestic violence and heal from trauma.

Women’s and Children’s Alliance clients will have the opportunity to access Idaho Youth Ranch job training programs in partnership with Idaho Youth Ranch thrift stores. Idaho Youth Ranch will receive the benefit of the Women’s and Children’s Alliance Financial Empowerment Educator making classes available to Idaho Youth Ranch clients. Idaho Youth Ranch youth and families may also receive classes on healthy relationships from the Women’s and Children’s Alliance Prevention Program Manager as part of this partnership.

Women’s and Children’s Alliance and Idaho Youth Ranch representatives ask community members to donate items to the nearest Idaho Youth Ranch Thrift Store and both seek financial donations to support their collaborative and separate operations. For more information on services:

Victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault can find help at Women’s and Children’s Alliance:

Idaho Youth Ranch: 208-947-0863 or

Gov. Little will hold a press conference 1 p.m. Thursday to discuss Stage 2 of Idaho Rebounds and the state’s phased reopening. The press conference will streamed for public viewing on Idaho Public Television.

Stage 2 of reopening Idaho businesses and other establishments is scheduled to begin Saturday. Idaho Rebounds has detailed general business protocols, and specific protocols for restaurantsclose-contact businesses (such as barber shops, massage therapy facilities and salons) and indoor gyms and recreational facilities that are generally believed to be able to ensure physical distancing of at least 6 feet between participants and disinfection of shared equipment between participants. More information is available at

Economic Impact Payments are being sent out by the The Treasury Department and the IRS. Both institutions are asking taxpayers — who wish to receive their Economic Impact Payment via direct deposit — to submit their direct deposit information by noon Wednesday. This will allow residents to receive their money more quickly, Idaho News reports. This can be done by utilizing the Get My Payment tool on the IRS website:

Idaho Power has announced it is phasing opening its boat ramps and campground sites. Some are currently open, others will open around May 15 and some are planned to open May 29. Idaho Power oversees approximately 60 of these sites, such as those at Hells Canyon and Swan Falls. A full list of open sites is available at

Idaho Department of Labor is now making payments to residents through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, Idaho News reports. These payments are given to residents who are unemployed due to COVID-19 and are not eligible for regular benefits. Program details can be found on the Idaho Department of Labor website ( on the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program page.

The U.S. government will be purchasing $3 billion worth of agricultural products nationwide, such as dairy, meat and produce, KTVB reports.

Small businesses can now apply for Cash Grants through Idaho Rebounds, Gov. Little announced on the Office of the Governor website. So far the state has allocated $300 million for grants. Information on how to apply is available here. The governor has also announced the Coronavirus Financial Advisory Committee’s recommendations for allocation of funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. All expenditures of the CARES Act funds will be available at

The Idaho State Parks and Recreation Department announced the state’s 30 state parks will open May 30, in keeping with the governor’s Idaho Rebounds Plan and the progress made containing the COVID-19 outbreak. More information is available here.

The Idaho State Board of Education has aligned its reopening procedure with the state’s, IdahoEdNews reports. The criteria are as follows (with specifications detailed here. Scroll to tab 2 attachment 1):

  • No statewide stay-home orders or extensive closures of businesses are in place and schools have a physical distancing plan in place that has been approved by the local health district.
  • The statewide reopening criteria have been met as defined at
  • Approval by the local public health district, after review of school district and charter school cleaning, and disinfection, and physical distancing protocols.
  • Re-entry plan approved by the local board of trustees identifying minimum school protocols (detailed in the document)
  • Any school planning to reopen, must have a plan in place for immediate closures should a student or faculty be diagnosed with COVID-19. This closure plan must be approved by the local public health district.

Charlie’s Produce in Boise will donate over 1,900 pounds of apples to The Idaho Food Bank to help feed the hungry in the local community on Friday as part of the Take a Bite out of Hunger program, the business announced in a press release. The campaign was created by FirstFruits Marketing of Washington to help feed the underserved while bringing attention to the problem of food insecurity. This is Charlie’s Produce sixth year participating in the campaign.

Stage 2 of reopening Idaho businesses and other establishments is scheduled to begin Saturday, May 16. Idaho Rebounds has detailed general business protocols, and specific protocols for restaurantsclose-contact businesses (such as barber shops, massage therapy facilities and salons) and indoor gyms and recreational facilities that are generally believed to be able to ensure physical distancing of at least 6 feet between participants and disinfection of shared equipment between participants.

Businesses opening their doors in Stage 2 should have an operational plan in place, according to the website. Except for restaurants, the plans do not need to be submitted for review or approval.

Businesses should use the following protocols as they prepare to open:

  • Maintain the 6 feet physical distancing requirements for employees and patrons.
  • Establish adequate sanitation for employees, vendors and patrons.
  • Identify how the business will provide services limiting close interactions with patrons (such as curbside pickup, establishing hours of operations for vulnerable populations and limiting numbers of patrons in the business at a time).
  • Identify strategies for addressing ill employees, which should include requiring COVID-19 positive employees to stay at home while contagious and may include restricting employees who were directly exposed to the COVID-19 positive employee, as well as the closure of the facility until it can be properly disinfected.

Albertsons representatives are concerned about the supply of meat, BoiseDev reports. A number of packaging plants around the country closed after a spike in COVID-19 cases.

Costco has implemented temporary limitations on fresh meat purchases. The limit is three items among beef, pork and poultry per member.

Idaho SNAP benefits can now be used for online purchases at Amazon and Caldwell Walmart starting Thursday, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare announced Tuesday. SNAP recipients can choose in-store pick up or delivery, where available, but those who choose delivery will have to pay any delivery fee out of pocket.

The Micron Foundation has donated $100,000 to The Boys & Girls Clubs of Ada County for COVID-19 relief. Funding will go towards providing child care for essential workers. Nearly 180 children a day are served at the organization’s seven locations throughout Ada County, The Boys & Girls Clubs of Ada County stated in a press release. Seven club sites offer child care from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Due to the need to reduce congregation size, the funding from this grant will provide staffing to reduce staff-to-member ratios, allowing for greater social distancing.

The Sign Center in Boise is asking for the community’s help to support Metro Meals on Wheels by purchasing 1,000 colorful yard signs with a message. For each $30 sign purchased, $20 will go to Metro Meals on Wheels as a donation, according to a joint press release. The company will install the yard signs with the message “Idaho Strong” or “Rise Up Idaho Strong” in direct response to COVID-19. To order a sign, contact The Sign Center at 208-376-6621 or

The Canyon County Department of Motor Vehicles office began reopening to the public Monday morning, Idaho Press reports. Both the Motor Vehicle Office and Driver’s License Office will be limiting the number of customers allowed inside at one time to adhere to social distancing guidelines. Customers waiting in line for service will also be encouraged to follow the social distancing guidelines. All customers attending the DMV also are encouraged to wear face coverings and only have one customer, or one customer and a parent, per transaction. People who are sick or feeling unwell are asked to please avoid visiting the DMV.

Idaho Rebounds is offering Cash Grants to small businesses. More information is available at

The City of Boise has launched a new online video effort to bring city programs to residents, BoiseDev reports. Be Well Boise features dozens of videos on a variety of topics tied to city programs and projects, including Boise Parks & Recreation Department, Boise Public Library and Zoo Boise.

COVID-19 Guidance for Agricultural Workers: Idaho Department of Health and Welfare has released a list of criteria for the “operational plans” of agricultural employers. The website states all agricultural employers should have an operational plan in place to mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19, however, those plans do not need to be submitted for review or approval. More information is available here.

Nampa Chamber of Commerce holds a weekly virtual meeting, called Chamber Community Update, that provides “a snapshot of the implications of COVID-19 in our local hospitals.” The event is presented by Saint Alphonsus, St. Luke’s and other partners. The next meeting is 8 a.m. May 8. More information is available on the website and on Facebook.

The COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund for Idaho has approved over $1 million over the last four weeks for organizations that are helping low-income people and families experiencing homelessness, food insecurity and other hardships during COVID-19, according to the website. May 5 is the last day to submit an application to the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund. The Steering Committee is reviewing longer-term needs to determine priorities and timing of future grant distributions, the website states. All requests received by May 5, included those submitted in March and April that haven’t been funded, will be considered. More information is available here.

The City of Boise announced on its website it will adopt the state plan with some additional safety measures outlined in Public Health Emergency Order No. 20-05. This includes additional protection at the Boise Airport and prohibition of group gatherings, with the exception of household members. Also, Planning and Zoning, Historic Preservation and Design Review commissions will be conducted virtually through Zoom beginning this month.

Canyon County continues to work on launching video meetings, Idaho Press reports. Residents are allowed to attend meetings but must wear a mask. More information is available here.

Nampa Parks and Recreation has opened park restrooms, according to a press release. In addition, the Nampa Parks and Recreation department will also allow youth sport organizations to practice in designated areas of the parks. Games, however, are still not being held and there is no set date by the city on which they’ll resume.

Costco is now requiring customers to wear face masks at all stores in effort to stop the spread of coronavirus, KTVB news reports.

Property Tax Reduction: If you or someone you know qualifies for Property Tax Reduction / Circuit Breaker programs, Property Tax Deferral and Service-Connected Disabled Veteran Benefit programs — the deadline to apply has been extended to June 15, 2020, according to the Ada County Assessor’s website. Governor Brad Little’s office made the announcement as part of larger relief options related to the COVID-19 response.

Verizon is extending its commitment to keep customers connected through June 30, according to Verizon’s website. This means Verizon will neither terminate service nor charge late fees to postpaid wireless, residential and small business1 customers that notify Verizon of their inability to pay their bills due to disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Idaho Housing and Finance Association has financial resources available to residents. Examples include postponed foreclosures and evictions, a Housing Preservation Program and COVID-19 Housing Rapid Response Fund. Find out more at

Child Care Emergency Grants are now available to provide child care business owners with financial resources to reopen and continue operating during the COVID-19 pandemic, Idaho News reports. Applications for the emergency grants will be accepted now through June 30 and are available through the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s website.

The Idaho Humanities Council is offering grants to eligible Idaho humanities organizations starting May 15. These funds may be used for the organization’s general operating support for public humanities programming as well as the development of specific humanities programming in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications will be accepted via IHC’s online grant management system. Cost-share is not required. Awards will be announced in mid-June. For more information about eligibility, funding levels and more visit Funding comes from the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).

Buy Idaho Day is Saturday, May 9 and is an opportunity for residents to support local businesses. Possible local support options include:

  • Shop local establishments online, over the phone, curbside or delivery
  • Purchase a gift card
  • Purchase curbside or delivery from a favorite local restaurant
  • Shop a local farmers market
  • Make a donation

More information is available on Buy Idaho Inc’s Facebook page or

The Salvation Army in Boise has expanded free emergency child care to all frontline workers. The Salvation Army has also partnered with New Horizon Academy to provide child care for children under age 5 at a reduced cost. Child care will be provided at 9492 W. Emerald St., Boise. All meals will be provided. Child care for children age 5-13 is available 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. weekdays; child care for children infant to prekindergarten is available 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays. Infants and prekindergarten age children may be dropped off at the East Entrance. To register for child care services please visit For questions please call 208-433-4427.

The COVID Cultural Commissioning Fund is a new fund to support the local creative community, Treefort Music Fest announced in a Wednesday press release. The COVID Cultural Commissioning Fund is a one-time award program that will fund the creation of individual creative work that explores, documents, and/or reflects on personal experience of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting social distancing, changes in social patterns, health concerns, job instability, and other impacts. Creators across all disciplines are welcome to apply. Individuals must be at least 18 years of age, live in Ada, Boise, Canyon, Gem or Owyhee counties and be able to demonstrate a sustained commitment to their careers and a public audience. Applications are open until Friday, May 8. To apply, donate and learn more about the CCC Fund, visit

GoGo squeeZ announced Monday it has teamed up with nonprofit Move For Hunger to help get nutritional food where it was needed. Using the squeeZ squad, over three weeks, GoGo squeeZ and Move For Hunger have donated to local school districts, Boys and Girls Clubs of Ada County and The Salvation Army.

Republic Services has launched “Committed to Serve,” a $20 million initiative to provide all of Republic Services’ 28,000 frontline employees a weekly meal, a weekly dinner for employees and their families and biweekly $100 gift cards to be spent locally. All meals will be purchased from local, small businesses. For more information visit

The COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund for Idaho announced it has approved its third week of grants for organizations throughout Idaho, including:

  • Advocates Against Family Violence — $23,400 for increased staff hours, better technology and essentials for the shelter and learning center, including diapers, paper products and more.
  • Interfaith Sanctuary Housing Services — $22,940 to help cover the cost of increased staffing at two locations, which serve homeless guests with support, services, nutrition and safe day and night shelter.
  • International Rescue Committee — $25,000 to provide emergency rental assistance for refugee families.

One organization received a grant for its statewide efforts:

Community Council of Idaho — $25,000 for rental or mortgage assistance, food boxes for individuals and families and employment assistance for those who have been negatively impacted by the pandemic.

Cleanup & Total Restoration is donating its services to disinfect five Boise Rescue Mission Ministries facilities through electrostatic spraying technology with registered EPA disinfectants, the company announced April 21. More information about the disinfectant technique is available 208-377-1877 or

Good News Pantry in Nampa is continuing to operate the first and third Wednesday of every month from 4-6 p.m., but now with curbside service. Residents are able to drive up at 1203 Seventh St. N. Nampa and receive a box of food. Those with questions can call 208-477-8600. Next event is May 6. Donations are appreciated and can be made through the Good News Pantry Facebook page.

Fork and ALAVITA have partnered with the Ronald McDonald House to feed families with a child in NICU or the pediatric unit. The partnership, Meals To Unite, is organized by Lauren and Nick Flores. Roughly 50 meals are provided per day. To make a donation, please visit the Meals To Unite GoFundMe Page. For every meal that is delivered, Fork and ALAVITA will donate 10% of proceeds to a nonprofit organization.

“We feel grateful to our friends Lauren & Nick for including us in their ‘initiative for good’ by helping those most in need in our community,” Cameron and Amanda Lumsden, owners of Fork and ALAVITA, said in a press release. The Ronald McDonald House does such important work. Due to the current climate, they’re unable to have volunteers and are especially in need of assistance. It is vital we all work together to keep that going.”

First responders and health care workers can receive a free “Thank You Meal” day or night at participating McDonald’s drive-thru locations. Health care workers, police officers, firefighters and paramedics can show their work badge and choose one of the specified free meal options per day.

Breakfast: A choice of an Egg McMuffin, Chicken McGriddles or a Bacon, Egg and Cheese Biscuit. All options come with any size soft drink, tea or hot coffee and a Hash Brown.

Lunch and Dinner: A choice of a Double Cheeseburger, 6-Piece Chicken McNuggets or a Filet-O-Fish. All options come with any size soft drink, tea or hot coffee and small fries.

“As local business owners, we know that our communities need us now more than ever and we’re committed to continuing to serve them,” Dick Darmody, a McDonald’s owner/operator said in a press release. “We are proud to be able support our neighbors who are on the frontlines as first responders and healthcare workers with Thank You Meals.”

Treasure Valley Allstate agency owners announced they are donating $20,000 to the Idaho Foodbank in honor of National Volunteer Week. Allstate agency owners across Idaho are thanking foodbank volunteers for their unwavering support of local communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 10 agencies will be virtually volunteering with the Idaho Foodbank this week to secure the Allstate Foundation Helping Hands Grant, which is the equivalent of 100,000 meals for local families, according to a press release.

“During a time like this where our communities are facing a crisis, I am proud to help an organization like the Idaho Foodbank, whose employees and volunteers have been working tirelessly to ensure families don’t go without food,” Allstate agent Eric Jeglum said in the release. “I’m so grateful to be a part of a community that is willing to come together during an uncertain time to help create some stability for families.”

The Village at Meridian is offering its property and security for free for local high schoolers to host their proms later this year that may have been canceled due to coronavirus. According to Sophia Hartsock, spokesperson for The Village, the outdoor shopping mall will shut down its streets for five nights this summer to allow all 11 West Ada High Schools to attend prom there. Hartsock said The Village fountain will be choreographed with lights and music.

Indian Creek Plaza is offering hold senior prom for high schools in the Treasure Valley at the plaza for free. Administrators or prom planning committee members are invited to contact Indian Creek Plaza for more information:

Almost $1 billion in funding from the federal CARES Act will support older adults and people with disabilities. The Administration for Community Living, under the Department of Health and Human Services, will provide $955 million in grants for home-delivered meals, care services in the home, respite care and other support to families and caregivers, information about and referral to supports, and more. Idaho’s share of that will be $5,220,661.

Older adults who need assistance can contact the Eldercare Locator to find services available in their community. The Eldercare Locator toll-free number is 1-800-677-1116 or you can visit People with disabilities can find their local Center for Independent Living at In addition, the Eldercare Locator can help people with disabilities find their local Aging and Disability Resource Center.

Bronco Motors has donated $10,000 to St. Luke’s Health Foundation to help buy thermal scanners, which help detect elevated temperatures, a common symptom of COVID-19. Money will also go toward a virtual “Kid For A Night” event. More information will come soon on St. Luke’s Virtual Kid For a Night event which will be held Friday, June 5, according to a press release.

“It’s the responsibility of our business to support people and businesses like St. Luke’s who are on the front-lines of COVID-19 in keeping our communities safe,” Grant Petersen Jr., president and CEO of Bronco Motors Family of Dealerships, said in the press release.

A Giving Circle INC announced it has created a community-wide donation fund to rapidly help local businesses. The goal is to raise $50,000 over the next 8-10 weeks. Since the fund was established in early April, over $10,000 has been raised. Every week on Friday A Giving Circle will give between $1,000 and $5,000 to a local business in need. The next donation will be made April 24. Anyone who wishes to make a donation or nominate a local business is encouraged to go to, or visit A Giving Circle’s Facebook page Small business selections will be prioritized for emergency funding based on need, urgency and overall community impact. The first donations were $2,500 each to Big City Coffee and Guru Donuts.

”It is the opinion of the Board for A Giving Circle that we must act quickly in order to provide local businesses the support they need to weather the storm brought on by this virus,” Nick Schlekeway, president, stated in a press release. “Our community cannot afford to wait until later in the year and we cannot afford to take the time in preparing for a traditional auction-gala.”

Idaho Humane Society has opened a pet food pantry program through a grant from The program intends to provide pet food assistance to not only individuals affected by COVID-19 in the Treasure Valley, but also as a pet food bank for shelters and organizations across Idaho, Idaho Humane Society announced in a press release. The Pet Food Pantry is a year-round safety-net program designed primarily to provide resources to struggling pet owners in need of assistance through a monthly distribution. Owners needing assistance can sign up for the program online. Applicants may email if they can’t make it during our upcoming distribution dates at the Dorman shelter, 4775 Dorman St.:

  • Sunday, May 3 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Wednesday, May 27 3–5 p.m.
  • Sunday, June 14 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Wednesday, June 24 3–5 p.m.

“We’re honored to extend a helping hand to our friends and neighbors across Idaho who have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic and look forward to assisting even more families and animals through this generous grant,” Kristine Schellhaas, communications manager at the Idaho Humane Society, said in the press release.

If community members would like to contribute to the Pet Food Pantry or would like more information visit:

The Idaho State Department of Education announced it is offering USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program grants to local elementary schools that operate the National School Lunch Program and have more than 50% of enrolled students eligible for free or reduced-price meals. Applications are due May 8 and can be found at or by calling Child Nutrition Programs at 208-332-6820. Selected schools will receive the grants from July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021. Schools will be awarded $50 to $75 per student for the school year to purchase fresh fruit and vegetables for the program.

Motorfest 2020 Canceled: The annual 2020 Geico Treasure Valley Motorfest scheduled for July 11-12 has been canceled. However, the raffling of a 2020 Pace Journey 20-foot enclosed trailer will still be held, on Aug. 22, with proceeds benefiting the Idaho Veterans and the Boise Rescue Mission Ministries. Learn more at “This was an extremely difficult decision to make, but the event management determined this is the right decision and the most responsible action to take to insure the health and safety of the community during this time,” event organizers stated in the press release.

Hyde Perk Coffee House in Boise is among the first nine recipients of the Community Grant Program offered through the dating app Bumble. The grant program was developed to support local businesses around the globe during the pandemic, Bumble stated.

‘Classroom Idaho’: Idaho Public Television’s “Classroom Idaho: Learn @ Home” programming starts Monday, a resource geared toward families without computers or internet access. Certified Idaho teachers will provide instruction to students grades 3-6 via Idaho Public Television’s Create channel (digital channel .3). Instruction begins at 8 a.m. for third-graders, with the next grade beginning every hour through noon. The instruction will be aligned with what the students would be learning if they could still be attending their brick-and-mortar schools. The same lesson plans also will be available in playlists for students with connectivity at IdahoPTV’s YouTube channel. The effort is a partnership among IdahoPTV, the State Board of Education and Idaho Business for Education.

Jannus Economic Opportunity has launched the Sunshine Sponsor Program, a financial resource for individuals and businesses in the Treasure and Magic valleys. Jannus Economic Opportunity’s emergency bridge loan inquiries have increased 260% since March, according to the press release, so the organization has created a new financial assistance program. Jannus Economic Opportunity is an Idaho nonprofit that helps individuals meet emergency financial needs, provides support to launch and grow local businesses, and champions tomorrow’s leaders through loan funds, one-on-one coaching, social work, mentoring and training classes. Donations can be made and more information is available online.

Walmart announced it is launching a Pickup hour for people most at-risk for COVID-19. Each day the hour from 7 to 8 a.m. at select pickup store locations will be reserved for customers over the age of 60, as well as first responders, customers with disabilities and anyone designated high-risk by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Pickup associates are also following enhanced distancing and sanitation procedures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Customers open their trunk, and associates load groceries in, with no need to sign for the order. Customers will see a new prompt on that displays the qualifications for selecting the slot listed as ‘At Risk Only.’

The COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund for Idaho has approved nearly $300,000 for organizations throughout Idaho that are helping low-income individuals and families experiencing homelessness or housing instability, food insecurity and/or domestic violence, along with those in need of physical or mental health care, and child care.

Grants will be made every week in April. In Southwest Idaho, the first round of high-need grants will go to:

Boise Public Schools Education Foundation — $25,000 for the Student Aid Fund for Emergencies for families.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Ada County — $25,000 to cover costs related to caring for nearly 200 youth each day.

Cascade Food Pantry — $2,000 for supplies to provide food boxes.

CATCH — $25,000 to provide rental assistance for Canyon County families.

Jesse Tree — $25,000 to assist families at risk from eviction from rental housing.

Women’s and Children’s Alliance — $18,425 to continue providing help to those seeking WCA services through shelters, programs and the court system.

Two organizations will receive grants for their statewide efforts. Jannus, Inc., will receive funding for the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline and Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children will receive funding to create a Temporary Assistance Grant Program for child care providers that don’t receive financial assistance from the state and are at risk of closing due to financial constraints.

Donations can be made and more information is available at

Two GoFundMe pages — Feed the Frontline — Treasure Valley and Feed The Treasure Valley Front Line — are raising money to purchase meals from local businesses then donate those meals to health care workers and emergency responders. Donations can be made online.

Feed the Frontline — Treasure Valley, organized by Lucas O’Neill and Courtney Smith, was created March 24 and has raised $2,625.

Feed The Treasure Valley Front Line, organized by Team Owen, was created April 4 and has raised $6,092. Team Owen states they delivered meals at the Boise Police Department, Emergency Responders Health Center, Kuna Rural Fire District, St. Luke’s Meridian Emergency Department, Nampa Fire Station, and St. Luke’s Nampa Emergency Department.

Telehealth for mental health care: Many mental health providers are now offering telehealth services over the phone or through a virtual meeting online, the Idaho Psychological Association announced. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in March changed its rules to allow billing for telephone and video visits. Find more information at

Team Mazda Subaru is offering free oil changes to first responders and front-workers helping communities battle the COVID-19 pandemic. Police officers, firefighters, nurses, doctors and other health care workers qualify for this offer, up to two per household.

”These people are working hard and risking their personal health for the rest of us,” Team Mazda Subaru General Rob Studebaker said in a press release. “If a simple thing like changing the oil in their cars gives them more reliable transportation and one less thing to worry about, then we want to help.”

The dealership is also offering pick-up and delivery service to the owners’ home or place of work. To schedule an appointment, call Team Mazda Subaru (Nampa/Caldwell/Boise) before April 30 at 208-455-0322 or 1-800-NEXT-CAR.

Idaho health carriers have been collaborating with the Idaho Department of Insurance to provide relief for Idahoans during the COVID-19 pandemic. All five major health insurance carriers in Idaho are waiving cost-sharing for both testing and treatment. Those are Blue Cross of Idaho, Regence, SelectHealth, Pacific Source, and Mountain Health Co-Op.

Idaho’s carriers have also improved telehealth options, assisted Your Health Idaho with expedited enrollment procedures, and are assisting physicians and hospitals financially.

The Department of Insurance is also working with carriers that offer short-term health insurance and inviting them to waive cost-sharing for testing and treatment. Two Idaho insurers, Blue Cross of Idaho and SelectHealth, voluntarily are doing so. Others are waiving cost-sharing for testing and reviewing the DOI’s requests.

Consumers who have questions or concerns should reach out to the DOI at or visit

First Interstate Bank donated $25,000 to the Boys & Girls Club of Ada County and the Boys & Girls Club of Nampa to help children and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Canceled: The Fruitland Alumni Reunion Committee has canceled the June 2020 All-School reunion because of the coronavirus outbreak. The committee will take a recess until September and then begin planning for a reunion on June 25-27, 2021. High school classes of 1968, 1969, 1970 and 1971 will be honored at the 2021 reunion.

Sparklight announced it has donated $300,000 in support of COVID-19 relief. Sparklight and the other Cable One family of brands have donated $150,000 to the Meals on Wheels America COVID-19 Response Fund. Donations to local food banks, including a $20,000 donation to the Western Idaho Food Bank in Boise, have also been made.

“Sparklight has set an example for others by helping us to ensure America’s vulnerable seniors will continue to receive the meals they desperately need amid this national crisis,” Kristine Templin, chief development officer for Meals on Wheels America, said in a press release.

This week The Salvation Army Treasure Valley Corps provided food boxes to 1,195 families, including through home delivery.

Boise’s drive-thru food service is available noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday. Mondays and Fridays are utilized to sanitize and restock the food pantry. We have a food delivery service available in Ada County. The Salvation Army Treasure Valley Corps also offers assistance with utilities. For more information call 208-343-5429.

The Nampa Salvation Army has extended its Emergency Community Family Shelter to currently housed residents through the end of May and is committed to housing needs during the Covid-19 crisis. The Day Resource Center is continuing to provide Grab & Go lunches daily at 1412 Fourth St. S.from 11:30 a.m. to noon. The Nampa Food Pantry will continue to distribute food boxes Monday to Thursday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 403 12th Ave. S. Nampa. We are distributing boxes at the door. The Nampa Corps serves the cities of Nampa, Homedale, Huston, Marsing, Melba and Murphy. For questions, please contact The Salvation Army Nampa office at 208-467-6586.

Caldwell’s drive-thru pantry continues 1-3:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays, and food and toiletries boxes and games and crafts continue to be be delivered. Diapers and wipes are available as requested through the food pantry hours as well. Utility assistance is also amiable in Caldwell. Call 208-459-2011.

”The Salvation Army in Boise, Nampa and Caldwell needs your support to be able to continue to provide needed services throughout this pandemic,” the organization stated in a press release. “Because we are being called to go above and beyond in this time of need, we anticipate a greater need for funding to maintain our service to the community. We anticipate a significant increase in emergency assistance for low-wage employees who may be temporarily laid off due to the coronavirus.”

This could include rent or mortgage and utility assistance. For more information visit:

Fred Meyer will limit the number of customers to 50% of the international building code’s calculated capacity to allow for proper physical distancing in every store. As an illustration, the standard building capacity for a grocery store is one person per 60 square feet; the change would increase that to one per 120 square feet. This is to compliment other safety measures, including protective face masks and gloves for associates, adding plexiglass partitions and waived delivery fees for prescriptions.


Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is offering to connect residents who have had an unexpected significant change in income that may be ongoing for the foreseeable future. Information about the SNAP benefits food program, meal delivery for seniors, help with health insurance and more are available through this resource. Call 1-877-456-1233 or visit

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, among other services. AARP Community Connections is free to use, and AARP membership is not required.

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.

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. Visit


The Idaho Foodbank is collaborating with Boise Centre and the Idaho National Guard to build special food boxes for Idaho children. Normally these students would receive a special package of food every Friday as part of Idaho Food Bank’s Backpack Program, a bag of nutritious food to help get children through the weekend. These prepared food boxes contain the equivalent of five backpacks built by the Idaho National Guard and civilian volunteers, Boise Centre announced in a press release. Boise Centre is also providing the Idaho Foodbank warehouse and volunteer space the entire month of April. The Idaho Foodbank can be contacted at 208-336-9643.

Boise Farmers Market will open as a drive-thru farmers market at 1500 Shoreline Drive Saturday, April 11. Online pickup window reservations and online ordering are now available, Boise Farmers Market announced Tuesday in a press release. The Boise Farmers Market drive-thru will allow our customers to shop online from the beginning of the day Monday thru the end of the day Wednesday, then pick up their order on Saturday during their chosen pickup window. Customer capacity is 400 orders during the first week. At this time only essential foods such as produce, meat, eggs, dairy, bread and pasta will be offered. More information is available at

Care House Partnerships Food Bank continues to be open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 12:30-4 p.m. at 1524 Sixth St. S. in Nampa.

The Boys & Girls Clubs will serve grab-and-go breakfast and lunch to any child ages 1-18 while supplies last at locations in Boise, Garden City, Meridian and Nampa. Find out more at

Boys & Girls Clubs of Ada County also has sites for emergency child care relief amid the COVID-19 crisis for health care workers, first responders and essential personnel. All-day child care services (7 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays) will cost $6 per day. Enrollment for children of health care workers, first responders and essential personnel is also available at any of the Clubs located in Boise, Meridian, Garden City and Kuna. Go to to find contact information for the Clubs.

The Boise School District is offering free grab-and-go meals at six sites 11 a.m. to noon weekdays. The school district has also added busing meals to families around the same time. Visit for more information.

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

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 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 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 Nampa School District is serving free meals at sites from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. weekdays. The school district is now busing meals to families as well. Visit for more information.

West Ada School District is offering free breakfast & lunch combo meals for children ages 1-18. Meals will be provided 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays via drive-thru in school bus lanes and a designated area in front of the school for walk-up Grab-N-Go meals. Children must be present to receive a free meal; parents may not pick up free meals for their children. If a parent would like to pick up additional meals for children not present at pick up s $5 per combo meal charge will be applied. Exact change is required.

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.


COVID-19 Response Fund for Idaho: 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 for information.

Metro Meals on Wheels:

The Salvation Army:

PMR Gives Back, the charitable arm of Premier Mortgage Resources LLC in Meridian, has launched an outreach campaign to help those who are struggling in the Boise area as a result of COVID-19. The charity will match financial donations, dollar for dollar, up to $10,000 to feed as many families as possible through the Idaho Foodbank. The drive will launch as soon as the stay-at-home order is lifted. In addition, Christopher Bruce, a loan officer with Premier Mortgage Resources, is organizing STEM packages and book donations for students, which are being distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis to families in need at local schools. For more information visit

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


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is currently advising residents to obtain or make a face covering from cloth, such as from old shirts or bandannas, and wear it when going out in public places, such as the grocery store or pharmacy, especially in areas where there is significant community-based transmission. The CDC maintains surgical masks or N95 respirators must continue to be reserved for health care workers and other medical first responders. More information about why wearing a cloth face covering is recommended and how to make one is available at and in the April 7 edition of the Idaho Press.

Idaho State University announced it is now offering mental health services through video conferencing. Through a Community Health Improvement Fund grant from St. Luke’s Hospital, Idaho State’s Meridian campus was able to obtain required telehealth certification and laptop computers for virtual counseling sessions. The grant will also cover regional travel and project evaluation. To reach the Meridian Counseling Clinic call 208-373-1719 or visit

Healthwise is a local nonprofit health education company. It has created a COVID-19 resource center with plain language, evidence-based articles, videos, infographics, and more. The website is at

The Idaho Office of the Attorney General has information about seeing and reporting COVID-19 related scams, Idaho’s Price Gauging Law, frequently asked questions about the law and more on the website:

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,

Caldwell city officials have collaborated to offer additional support to local businesses. By working with local businesses, Caldwell officials hope to provide assistance where they need it, such as temporarily changing right-of-way laws, modifying parking spaces or changing signage to ensure easier pickup for customers. Businesses are encouraged to contact the Caldwell City Clerk, Debbie Geyer, for questions and assistance that they would deem the most helpful:

Blue Cross of Idaho has waived all member cost-sharing for testing and treatment of COVID-19. The expansion covers cost-share treatment received through June 30, and is offered at no additional premium cost.

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.

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. 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 Idaho Youth Ranch is asking the public to stop dropping donations at thrift stores’ back doors during the COVID-19 crisis as employees are not on site.

West Valley Humane Society is moving to adoptions by appointment only. Start the process at 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.

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

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