To help you through this time of social distancing and school closures, we have curated a list of resources for you. Check them out below.

Our own teams are also creating resources for families and the community. You can view them here.

General Preparation Information

American Red Cross

Red Cross volunteers and staff work to deliver vital services – from providing relief and support to those in crisis, to helping you be prepared to respond in emergencies.

Call: 1 800 RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) *main phone number

Visit: this link for coronavirus safety tips

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Up-to-date information on coronavirus from the CDC.

Columbus Public Health 

Visit the website or call (614) 645-1519 .

COVID-19 Information in Multiple Languages

Videos in multiple languages explaining COVID-19.

COVID-19 information sheets in Columbus’ top 6 languages.

New York Times coverage in Chinese and Spanish.

COVID-19 fact sheets in more than 30 languages from Health Literacy Project.

COVID-19 in Ohio: Resources and ways to help

Everything, from addiction to jobs to entertainment to utilities, this collective document is loaded with resources being continually updated.

This all-in-one page from Columbus City Schools has detailed information for Central Ohio families.

Disinfectants for Use Against COVID-19

A list on disinfectants that meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s criteria for use against the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Franklin County Public Health

Visit the website for Franklin County COVID-19 updates

Text: COVID19FC to 888-777

Ohio Department of Health

Ohio Department of Health call center is ready to answer your questions about COVID-19.

Call: 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634)

Visit: this link for more information about COVID-19

Stay-at-home order FAQs can be found here.

Press Coverage

Review the day-by-day summary of Columbus COVID-19 news.

View the Ohio daily press conference live on the Ohio Channel.

Keep up with WOSU Public Media’s coverage on COVID-19.

Emergency Assistance & Information




Crisis Hotlines

From Cap4Kids, a helpful guide to crisis hotlines:

  • Franklin County youth up to age 17, call Nationwide Children’s Crisis Line
    (614) 722-1800
  • Franklin County adults ages 18 and up, call Netcare Access
    (614) 276-2273
    (888) 276-2273 Toll-free

Domestic Violence Texting Service

The Columbus City Attorney office’s domestic violence and stalking unit is now offering a texting service for domestic violence survivors. Text 614-653-8075.


  • Call 9-1-1
  • Visit the emergency room

Suicide Prevention

  • Call or text the Suicide Prevention Hotline
    (614) 221-5445
    Teen Hotline (614) 294-3300
    Veterans Crisis Line (800) 273-8255
  • Call the National Suicide Hotline
    (800) 273-8255
    (800) 799-4889 TTY
    (888) 628-9454 for Spanish

Disaster Distress

  • Call the Disaster Distress Helpline
    (800) 985-5990
    (800) 846-8517 TTY
    Text ‘TalkWithUs’ or ‘Hablanos’ to 66746

First Link

FirstLink is a free, confidential service available to anyone 24/7/365 for listening and support, referrals to resources/help, and crisis intervention.

Call: 211

Star House

Closing daily from 11am-2pm (to sanitize facility). Taking temps when entering building. People with fevers will be given a goodie bag but not allowed in. No visitors except medical personnel. They are accepting donations if possible.

For Individuals & Families

**NEW Rental Assistance Program**

Franklin County’s Prevention, Retention, and Contingency (PRC) Plus Rental Assistance program provides one-time rental assistance payments for eligible families struggling to meet rent or facing eviction as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Employment Opportunities

List of online job searches for temporary jobs and industries in Columbus hiring.

Short-Term Assistance

Bartender Emergency Assistance Program  – for  bartenders who are impacted by the restaurant and bar closures

Franklin County JFS Prevention, Retention and Contingency (PRC) Program – provides short-term assistance for families struggling with a specific crisis situation, up to $1,500 one-time per year, to households with children.

ODJFS Cash Assistance – must meet eligibility requirement

Training Opportunities

TechCred – provides online trainings to help Ohioans learn new technology/IT skills


Ohio Department of Job and Family Services – FAQs about unemployment benefits

Apply for unemployment benefits

For Small Businesses & Nonprofits

Call (800) 848-1300 or email  BusinessHelp@development.ohio.gov

U.S Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Assistance  – for businesses, private nonprofits, homeowners, and renters

United Way of Central Ohio Community Response Fund  – for nonprofits seeking assistance

Columbus Foundation Emergency Response Fund –  for nonprofits seeking assistance

Huntington Bank financial relief  – for customers and small business

Fifth Third Bank coronavirus hardship and loan payment assistance  – for customers and small business

Additional economic resources for Columbus-region companies

Care, Insurance, and Prescriptions

Assistance for Lost Insurance Coverage – for those who lost insurance coverage, are eligible for a special enrollment period to gain new coverage

Free & Low-Cost Health Care Clinics

ODJFS Medical Assistance – must meet eligibility requirements

Ohio Medicaid for U.S. and non-U.S. citizens

Prescription Help

For Healthcare Providers

Free access to Headspace for all health care workers through 2020.

Sustaining the well-being of healthcare personnel during the coronavirus outbreak.

Mental Health

Located within walking distance of the Schoenbaum Family Center, Directions for Youth & Families is offering counseling and behavioral health services for new and current clients. Community response to this pandemic is likely to cause stress and confusion among children, as well as parents and other family members. Now, more than ever, it’s important to have coping skills, anxiety reduction strategies, and a sense of stability. Contact their Intake Department by calling 614-294-2661 or emailing intake@dfyf.org.

Find Local Mental Health Support

Behavioral Health Resources  – provided by Nationwide Children’s Hospital 

Governor’s Letter on Managing COVID-19 Related Stress

Parent/Caregiver Guide to Helping Families Cope with the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)




Aged-Out Foster Children

College students can email info@togetherwerise.org to help provide or find housing options.

Columbus Homeless Hotline

(614) 274-7000

For those affected by domestic violence: (614) 224-4663

For youth: (614) 294-5553

List of shelters.

Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF)

For veterans experiencing housing emergencies during the COVID-19 outbreak call (855) 234-7310 or email ssvf@fcsohio.org.


COTA has temporarily suspended all fare collection and ask passengers to enter and exit through the rear doors. COTA is also offering specialized help to food assistance resources.

Learn how to take COTA to food pantries or CCS meal sites, as well as what COTA is doing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Learn more about changes to service routes.

For additional transportation information

Call: 211 for the latest transportation options.

Transportation resources by county.

Columbus transportation resources

Cell Phones

List of organizations providing free and reduced-cost cell phones with wireless service.

Internet Services

Spectrum is offering 60 days of free internet for children K-12 or college students who don’t already have a spectrum subscription. Installation fees will be waived for new student households.

Call: 1-844-488-8395

Comcast is offering support available to all qualified low-income households.

Call: 1-855-846-8376 (English) or 1-855-765-6995 (Spanish)

AT&T Home Internet

Call: (855) 223-0558 

For additional internet service availability information, follow this link.

Utility Companies

Utility companies will suspend shut-offs for non-payment at this time. This applies to the services run by the cities, but also to AEP/Columbia Gas.

Visit the companies’ websites or call for further details.

AEP Ohio Suspension of Disconnects & Payment Hardship Plan

Call: (800) 672-2231

Public Utilities Commission of Ohio

Call: (800) 686-7826

Follow this link for additional help with utilities.

Food & Meal Assistance

All Peoples Fresh Market

Operated by Community Development for All People, they are providing food via drive-thru and walk-thru options. No appointment necessary. Located at 945 Parsons Avenue (click here for map). Learn more here.

Hours: Tues – Fri from 11am – 5pm, Sat from 9am – 1pm

Alternatives to busy grocery stores

Including Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs) and drive-thru farmers markets.

Champion Food Pantry

Operated by Lutheran Social Services, they are providing both perishables (no appointment required) and groceries (appointment required) at their location at 1460. S. Champion Avenue (map).
Hours (Perishables only, no appointment): Mon 11 am – 1 pm; Tues 2:30 – 4 pm; Fri 11am – 1 pm
Hours (Scheduled order pick-ups): Tues 1:30 – 4 pm; Wed 10am – 3pm; Thurs 3-5 pm; Fri 12-2 pm

Click here to make an appointment.

Columbus City Schools

CCS is providing grab-and-go meals for breakfast and lunch for Columbus City Schools. This information has been widely shared by the schools, mainstream/social media. 

Visit: https://www.ccsoh.us/Page/7560 for the most up-to-date info with expanded locations map.

Children’s Hunger Alliance

Passing out free meals to children at 3 different Columbus Metropolitan Library branches. The meals will be served in the parking lots. Any child 18 and under will be able to pick up two meals to take home.

Columbus area free lunches for students and food pantries

This list was provided by Columbus Public Health.

Columbus Blessing Boxes Project

Outdoor cabinets in public places that are stocked with non-perishable food items, basic toiletries, baby supplies, and more. You can also see a map of the locations here.

Free Central Ohio School Breakfast & Lunch Distribution Sites

Click here for a list from the Ohio Department of Education.

HandsOn Foodline

For more information on access to the Foodline, call (614) 341-2282 or text “Food” to (614) 702-7772.

LifeCare Alliance Meals-on-Wheels

Meals for seniors and veterans.

The LunchBox

The LunchBox will be passing out emergency food to those who need it the most.

Visit: https://www.thelunchboxohio.org

Mid-Ohio Foodbank

For information about the Kroger pantry.

Click here for COVID-19 guidelines, updates, and revised hours.


NNEMAP Food Pantry offers food and other services to qualifying individuals and families who live in ZIP codes 43201, 43211, 43215, 43219 and 43224.

Call: 614-297-0533

Email: info@nnemappantry.org

Address: 677 E. 11th Ave., Columbus, OH 43211 (click here for map)

Salvation Army Food Pantries

The Salvation Army provides food pantries, senior food boxes, mobile food canteen, hot lunch program, and free weekly produce give-a-ways.

Visit: https://co.salvationarmy.org/CentralOhio/food for more information on the above programs.

For food pantries by appointment:


Must meet eligibility requirements, see more on the ODJFS website.

St. Stephen’s Community House Food Pantry

Available to all Franklin County Residents with NO ZIP CODE RESTRICTION! Families can visit 1x/week as of March 2020. They are offering ONLY pre-boxed food. St. Stephen’s also has diaper availability to children under 3 years old.

Visit: www.sainstephensCH.org

Various restaurants are giving away food to children

Visit: this link for specific restaurants, dates/times, locations

Various other resources

Stay informed on other food distribution resources by joining the Food Soldier Facebook Group.


EVERYONE must contact via phone before going into an appointment. Visits are being shortened and other guidelines to follow.

WIC provides breastfeeding support, infant formula, food for pregnant and postpartum women and children ages up to age 5.

Educational Supports

Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning

Visit: http://csefel.vanderbilt.edu/index.html

Get Your Child Ready for Kindergarten

A nice infographic about how to help your child prepare for entry into kindergarten.

National Association for the Education of Young Children

Visit: https://www.naeyc.org/our-work/for-families


Short-Term Education Alternatives

ABC Mouse

Get free membership with code (SCHOOL7771)

Visit: https://www.abcmouse.com

Central Ohio Public Libraries

Columbus Metropolitan Library cardholders have access to free digital downloads for cardholders.

List of free digital content from Central Ohio Public Libraries.

Classes for Ages 3-18

This resource also offers small group video chats.

Visit: https://outschool.com/

Columbus City Schools Online Learning Resources

List of online learning resources.

COSI Connects 

Daily, hands-on science lessons from COSI.

Dr. Seuss Reading and Games 

Visit: https://www.seussville.com/

Education Companies Offering Free Subscriptions due to School Closings

Visit: http://www.amazingeducationalresources.com/

Exploring Geography and Maps

Visit: https://intothemap.org/

Imagination Library

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library sends a free book every month to children.

Visit: https://imaginationlibrary.com

K-8 Learning Games 

Visit: https://www.abcya.com/ or https://www.funbrain.com/

Khan Academy

Khan Academy is offering a complete, structured schedule for children of all grades.

Visit: this link for details.

Learn New Skills

This site believes all children, anywhere, can learn any skill.

Visit: https://diy.org

Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems

Visit: https://youtu.be/MjaYnyCJDdU

National Geographic Kids

Visit: https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/

National Wildlife Federation

Visit: this link for temporarily free access to their website and Ranger Rick activities.

PreK-12 Resources

Downloadable resources and activites for prek-12 from PBS.

Reading Comprehension Lessons

Visit: https://reading.ecb.org/index.html

Science and STEM Videos

Visit: https://www.thefablab.com/


Free, daily interactive lessons for teens.

Transitioning to Learning at Home

How to homeschool your kids from CNN.

Printable learning worksheets

Sample homeschool schedule

Activities To Do at Home

Family activities to try during closures

A checklist of family activity ideas from the Ohio Department of Health.

Free Kids Shows

Free shows for all users on Amazon.

Giant list of activities courtesy of Princess Awesome & Boy Wonder

Visit: this link for the full list

Music and Dance from Go Noodle

Visit: https://www.youtube.com/user/GoNoodleGames

Online Workouts for Adults and Kids

This list offers 125 online workouts for both adults and kids.

YMCA home workouts.

Read with the Buckeyes

For Master Teague and Jim Tressel book read alouds and coloring pages of Brutus Buckeye over the years.

Virtual Experiences

Virtual events calendar for kids, including tours, on-demand videos and live streams

Virtual exhibits for online learning and fun

Virtual experiences and resources

Museums offering virtual tours

Resources for Parents & Caregivers


A Comic Exploring COVID-19

Find this resource from NPR here.

COVID Workbook

A short book from author Manuela Molina to support and reassure children under 7. The book is available in multiple languages.

Explaining COVID-19 for children

Read the article by PBS here.

Helping children cope with changes resulting from COVID-19 

A parent resource offered in multiple languages.

How to Talk to Your Children about the Coronavirus and Ease their Anxiety

Ohio State’s Chief Wellness Officer Bernadette Mazurek Melnyk shares how to help reduce anxiety for your children amid COVID-19. Read the article here.

Setting a new routine

COVID-19 checklist for setting a new routine from the Ohio Department of Health.

Talking with Kids About Coronavirus

See the New York Times article on tweens and teens here and how to talk to younger children here.

What Parents Need to Know about COVID-19

Read the article by Nationwide Children’s Hospital here.


Coping with Coronavirus

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network offers a great resource with information as well as support for parents and tips for helping cope with COVID-19.

Food Safety

Sanja Ilic, assistant professor of human nutrition at The Ohio State University and an OSU Extension food safety state specialist, shares her expertise and answers to FAQs on food safety during COVID-19. Read the article here.

Fussy Baby Network

Helps families struggling with their infants’ crying, sleeping, or feeding. Infant specialists take calls Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central time. Call (888) 431-2229 or email fussybaby@erikson.edu

Healthy at Home:  A Toolkit for Families

This free toolkit provides families with information on learning at home, prevention & care, and emotional well-being for children.

How to keep your kids healthy at home

National Geographic offers strategies on eating healthy, exercising, and practicing gratitude with your kids during this time.

Parents shouldn’t feel they have to be teachers, too

OSU researcher Jessica Logan shares expert advice on giving yourself a break.



Free resources to support emotional wellness.

General Resilience (including getting along with siblings)

With self-confidence and the ability to express themselves, little ones can build the skills they need to become resilient. Check it out here.

Helping Kids Cope

Sesame Street offers resources that help kids (and parents!) with what matters most in young lives.

NCPMI has resources for helping kids and families cope.

Mental Health Videos for Children and Families 

St. Vincent Family Center’s Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Team created a mental health playlist to help parents and caregivers to support the social-emotional needs of their children.

Supporting Children’s Emotional Well-Being 

ChildTrends offers resources for supporting children’s emotion well-being during the pandemic.


Common Sense Media Resources 

For families to use quality media during the pandemic.

Television and the Under 3 Crowd

Zero to Three’s “Television and the Under 3 Crowd” is a tool to decide if screen time is appropriate for young children, and how to choose television programs that support their learning and development.

Resources for Providers

Conscious Discipline

COVID-19 Resources for Families and Educators

Enhanced E-Course Site License, 3-Session Trauma Webinar, Premium Resources

Why Can’t I Go To School? Social Story

Visit: https://consciousdiscipline.com/

Second Step

Second Step is a program rooted in social-emotional learning, and provides education professionals with tools to enable them to take an active role in the social-emotional growth and safety of children.

Visit: https://www.secondstep.org/covid19support

Trauma Informed Family Engagament Webinars

Hopewell Health Centers, Inc. in partnership with the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and Ohio Department of Job and Family Services are presenting two webinars at muliple dates and times free of charge. More info here.

Ways to Help

How to Help in Columbus

Ways to help in Columbus during a crisis.

Neighborhood Bridges

An organization that helps match families in need with local businesses, volunteers and service organizations that offer resources such as food, volunteering, clothing, supplies and more. Offered in many Franklin County suburbs.

Ways to Help in Central Ohio

A list of 44 ways to be a helper during the COVID-19 pandemic.