List of Madison Resources for Impacts of COVID-19

List of Madison Resources for Impacts of COVID-19


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This document was created to collect resources for alleviating primarily non-medical problems caused by the public emergency surrounding COVID-19. These issues include financial, emotional, logistical, and childcare challenges. Resources have been collected from news articles, local Facebook groups, grassroots organizations, etc.

You can click the “outline” icon () at the top left of the document to skip to different sections.


The creator of this document, Natalie Wheeler, is not formally affiliated with any of the organizations listed here. She is just a community member collecting resources from others. If there is information you wish to contribute or corrections/updates you’d like to make, you can add a comment and the document owners will resolve it within 24 hours.


Some of these resources are subject to change as coordination efforts evolve. Madison organizers are aware that people are facing significant financial challenges and are doing their best to figure out the most effective responses.


Current State of Affairs (last updated 3/16/2020)

Madison 365 has a landing page for all Coronavirus updates.

Check here for the latest news.

The Spring Election and Presidential Preference Primary is April 7th.

The deadline to register to vote absentee (without having to go into the polling place) is 5pm on Wednesday, March 18th.

All public schools in Wisconsin are closed indefinitely.

  • Madison School District closed on Monday, March 16th. (MMSD updates available on their website).
  • UW-Madison has suspended in-person classes for all of Spring semester.
  • Madison College classes are suspended through March 29th.
  • Edgewood College has suspended face-to-face classes effective March 23rd (info)

The Department of children and families has placed suspensions on many child care licensing rules so that child care centers are able, if they choose, to take on extra children on an emergency basis. If you need childcare to continue working, reach out to your local center to see if they are able to help you. The Wisconsin Shares program is making emergency funding available to parents to be able to pay for this care even if they did not previously qualify for this child care assistance. Read more on their website:

Restaurants are no longer offering dine-in services.

The governor has banned gatherings of more than 10 people.

All Madison Public Library locations are closing starting March 17th. Check for service updates.

Small claims court cases are suspended until April 17th, which has indirectly put a temporary pause on eviction hearings. Click Here for Details.

Utilities temporarily can’t be disconnected: The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) directed water, electric, and natural gas utilities to cease disconnecting residential service for nonpayment until the state public health emergency has been lifted. Additionally, utilities must make reasonable attempts to reconnect service to an occupied dwelling that has been disconnected. Press release here

Amazon has suspended shipping to its distribution warehouses anything not related to medical supplies or household staples through April 5th. Amazon is now prioritizing shipment in the following six categories: 1) baby products; 2) health and household (including personal-care appliances); 3) beauty and personal care; 4) grocery; 5) industrial and scientific; and 6) pet supplies. Retail deliveries are not currently impacted. Read more here.

UW Veterinary Hospital is 100% closed/shut down. VCA Veterinary Emergency Services are open in Middleton and on far East Side Madison. For non-emergency veterinary services and animal-related assistance for low income people/families, see Food & Home Care Resources section.

Dane County COVID-19 Emergency Fund has raised $300,000 to help families and elderly folks with medical supplies, meals, transportation, and shelter. They are working to determine how to manage the funds to meet the community’s needs. It is currently being held by the Boys and Girls Club. Click here for the article and donation link.

As of March 16, 2020: The Southern Regional Center of Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs is open, but staff are working remotely.  You may call 608-265-8610 or 800-532-3321 and leave a message. If you could spell out your email address in your message, that will help us to follow up with you more quickly.  When we call back, we may call from a number that shows as blocked.  If you cannot wait and have a more immediate need for health information and referral, you could call the Well Badger Resource Center at 800-642-7837.

Some neighborhood centers have chosen to close. Warner Park Community Recreation Center on the north side of Madison closed on 3/16, with the exception of the NewBridge senior lunch program, which will close at 5pm on 3/18. Olbrich Gardens will close 3/16 at 4pm. News story here.

Organizations are currently working on coordinating efforts to make resources more streamlined and to bring help to people who are not online. The Madison community is aware that many people are losing their source of income for the next few weeks.

Nationally, the House passed a bill that will give some paid leave/unemployment to people affected by COVID-19 in companies with less than 500 employees; this bill has not yet passed in the Senate.

Click here for a large document by a local PhD with information about COVID-19 itself, and resources for finding reliable news about the virus. In

Places to Make Requests from Community Members

& Get Local Referrals to Resources


Petition to Governor Evers to suspend rent, mortgage, and utility payments without debt for the next 2 months:


Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway has asked United Way to aggregate and organize volunteer opportunities that arise in the wake of this public health threat. If you know of any organizations or grassroots efforts recruiting volunteers, please connect them with Morghan Vélez ( United Way will post volunteer opportunities to as they become available.

Read more here.


Greater Madison Resource Center (GMRC): Aims to provide resources and referrals for where to find help for virtually any issue. They have been raising funds and supplies specifically for the COVID-19 crises. Contact them for support: (608) 770-1174 / /

  • To provide donations, you can send funds via paypal ( with a note that it’s for COVID-19 community measures.
  • The Social Justice Center is asking to hold off on donating suppliesuntil they have developed a strategy to collect them safely and effectively. See information here: and follow their Facebook page for updates:
    • They will be collecting sanitizer, soap, laundry soap, toilet paper and paper towels, cleaning wipes (Clorox etc.), food, baby wipes, diapers, menstrual hygiene products, and OTC meds such as tylenol, cold medicine, etc.
    • There is no need to stock up on these supplies for donation until the SJC and partner organizations have developed a coordinated strategy; they do not want to contribute to shortages in grocery stores etc.

A community spreadsheet for people to request help/resources during COVID-19, organized by category (you can also offer up your own help/services on the sheet):

Dane County Neighbors Helping Neighbors: Facebook group created for people to request favors, such as transportation and grocery delivery, from neighbors and community members during COVID-19:

COVID19 Mutual Aid Madison Facebook Group: Provides updates and information.

IWW Madison General Defense Committee: Support for and by working class folks.

  • If you are in Dane County and need support due to coronavirus quarantine, fill out this form:
    • Food support
    • Health support
    • Financial support
    • Emotional support
  • If you are able to volunteer or donate for coronavirus quarantine support, fill out this form:
    • Donations of money, food, cold and flu meds
    • Help with online coordination, shopping and transporting food, cooking, fundraising, translation, medical, legal, etc.


Madison Virtual Tip Jar: for people in the service industry who are out of work or have significantly reduced hours. You can give tips to service industry folks or sign up to receive tips if needed. 

The Dane County Time Bank is an existing organization and online tool for offering and receiving skills and services from members of the community. Requests and Offers can be sorted by location, type, etc. Per this post, they are working to speed up the sign-up process in light of the COVID-19 changes.

Individuals who cannot work because their employer has shut down during the Coronavirus outbreak may be eligible for unemployment benefits. Check their website to get answers to Frequently Asked Questions.


Please note that this section previously contained two forms coordinated by Aimee Ogden. Her efforts have been combined with the G.D.C’s efforts so that there is now only one set of forms. People are currently working on combining the requests and offers from both forms into one set of information.

General Finances and Rent

See GMRC, Madison G.D.C., and Neighbors Helping Neighbors above. Community members in Dane County also raised a $335,000 emergency fund that will be put into action soon.

Petition to Governor Evers to suspend rent, mortgage, and utility payments without debt for the next 2 months:


Wisconsin unemployment is now letting people file for unemployment if their workplaces have closed down/fully suspended operations due to COVID-19. FAQ about COVID-related unemployment policies here:;

Apply here:

UW Credit Union is offering $2,500 emergency loans to members. No repayment or interest for the first 90 days, then a fixed rate of 1.90% APR for the first 3 years. Click here for information.

Looking for temporary/new work due to COVID-19 measures? Consider posting your needs under the “Wages” tab in the mutual aid spreadsheet. There is also a tab for Housing needs.

The Community Action Coalition of Southern Wisconsin has limited emergency funds available to prevent evictions (not specific to COVID-19). Several criteria must be met, including having an eviction notice, before they can help. Call their Housing Crisis Hotline at 855-510-2323 from 8:00-4:30 Monday through Friday to complete a Housing Intake.

For Madison College/MATC students, financial emergency fund (not specific to COVID-19):

The Student Relief Fund is a nationally organized mutual aid fund for college students facing homelessness or hunger due to campus suspensions/closures.

For people in the Food and Beverage industry, Southern Smoke Foundation has an emergency relief fund (not specific to COVID-19).

For bartenders, there is a Bartender Emergency Assistance grant through the United States Bartenders Guild (not specific to COVID-19). You do not have to be a member of the guild to apply.

Utility Resources

The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin directed water, electric, and natural gas utilities to cease disconnecting residential service for nonpayment until the state public health emergency has been lifted. (link)

MG&E is generally willing to negotiate payment plans for utilities: Call MGE at (608) 252-7144 or visit the office, 623 Railroad St., Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Budget Payment Plan line: (608) 252-7080.


60 days of free internet available from Spectrum to students and families with college students and/or K-12 students. They will charge you full price after those 60 days unless you cancel. Installation is free: (844) 488-8395.

Update: someone tried calling and they only give this deal to new customers

(“Charter will offer free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription and at any service level up to 100 Mbps.(…) Installation fees will be waived for new student households.”)

They still claim they will set up free hot spots in various locales, but the free home Wi-Fi is only for new customers.

60 days of free internet via the “Internet Essentials” package available from Comcast:, website offers video chat option for American Sign Language. Or call 1-855-846-8376 for English and 1-855-765-6995 for Spanish. The service is $10 after the first 60 days.

AT&T is removing data caps associated with their wireless and wired internet connections at home (does not apply to phone services at this time).

Comcast has stated that if you call them and inform them of your financial situation due to COVID-19, they will not charge late fees or disconnect you from service.

Food & Home Care Resources


FREE BREAKFAST AND LUNCH FOR CHILDREN are now available through the Madison School district at pick-up sites during certain hours: Click here for MMSD food delivery sites with locations, map, and daily schedules.

Other Dane County school district meal information can be found here.


Food Pantries

This is a full list of Food Pantries in our area. Some may be closed or limited due to COVID-19:

Working list of food pantries with specific COVID-19 updates:

  • Catholic Multicultural Center, 1862 Beld St. Still has free meals, food pantry, and some personal essentials. See COVID-19 update from 3/13/2020:
  • St Vincent Food Pantry, 2033 Fish Hatchery Road. COVID-19 update page:
  • Goodman Center Fritz Food Pantry, 149 Waubesa St. COVID-19 update page:
  • River Food Pantry, 2201 Darwin Rd. COVID-19 update page:
    • New update on shopping hours as of 3/17 voicemail message:
      • Tuesdays from 10am to 5pm
      • Wednesdays from 10am to 5pm
      • Thursdays from 10am to 5pm, and
      • Fridays from 10am to 6pm
        • They are offering curbside pickup in the parking lot near the usual client entrance. No one but staff and few volunteers are allowed inside the building.
      • Community meals, clothing, and rides home from the pantry are all suspended until further notice.
      • The River’s MUNCH Truck will still be running its normal route Monday-Saturdaywhile school is out. MUNCH lunches are available for children AND parents.
        • Schedule and location of deliveries here. They have added one last stop at Kennedy Heights from 2:05-2:20pm.
      • Zion’s food pantry (2029 Fisher St.) will remain open. Our hours of operations are:
        • 1st and 3rd Mondays 10 am-12 pm
        • 2nd and 4th Tuesdays 4 pm -6 pm
          • We will extend our hours when needed.
        • Our faithful director has also stated that if anyone needs food just come.
        • Also we will be planning a transportation plan for kids to get to food.
        • Questions? Contact Rev Dr. Marcus Allen, Pastor, 608-957-9081

Cooking on a Budget

Recipe + grocery list for feeding a family of 4 on a tight budget:

Budget-friendly recipes and meal plans:


Restaurant Programs

Layla’s Persian Food is offering $0-$5 meal deliveries for people in serious need for the next several weeks. “Email with your address, dietary restrictions, and if you have a microwave.”

The owners of Liliana’s in Fitchburg have done at least one soup drive. During these events, people can buy soup for themselves or “pay it forward” and buy servings for others. Then the restaurant offers soup from $0-$5 for people in need to take home. Leftover funds will be donated to local organizations. The owner has been posting updates on his personal facebook page which have been getting shared to neighborhood groups. The number for the restaurant is (608) 442-4444.

L’Étoile plans to sell family meals at $50 for 3-5 people starting on Monday, 3/16 as a nice treat (and to support their staff). Website:; (608) 251-0500.


Diapers and Baby Supplies

Project Babies is working on collecting diapers and other needed supplies at this time. This is their outreach number (you can call or text): 608-770-9588. Check their Facebook page for updates:


Pet Care Resources

Wiscares provides medical supplies and food for companion animals, and free/low-cost boarding if an animal needs housing while someone is getting medical treatment. Website:; email:

Click here for a spreadsheet with information about all nearby veterinary services. Includes hours during COVID-19, species of animals seen, contact info, etc.


Other Home Needs

Atwood Pantry stocks house cleaning and personal care products. 2401 Atwood Avenue, located in the Church. Open Thursdays from 11:30am-3pm and Sundays 12-2pm (last heard these hours on 3/11/2020 in SASY neighborhood group.) They are particularly in need of cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer.

Enrichment for School Age Children Staying at Home

60 days of free internet may be available from Comcast and Spectrum, see Rent/Utility resource section in this document for more info.

General tips for supporting kids at home during this time.

MMSD Online Enrichment Resources – Available for MMSD students with internet access. All resources offer high-quality and free content. As a resource, students should start on their school’s library portal pages which are provided at the bottom of this document. Each school library portal will provide students access to databases and programs that they are currently using in their schools.

Big community list of Educational companies offering free subscriptions during COVID-19.

Scholastic Learn from Home – FREE pre-k-12 online resources to keep kids learning at home while schools are closed.

First Book Marketplace is a great place to order deeply discounted books for kids. Free shipping for orders over $25. Use promo code BOOKBANK15 for an additional 15% off orders.

Learn Online with Technology – List of online websites for home-based learning.

List of digital author resources – This is a website collecting events with read-alouds, face times, and other interactive online reading opportunities for families.

Home-based learning resources – Lots of ideas for how to engage kids with learning while at home. Also includes link to online museum tours of different museums across the world.

Giant List of Ideas for Things to Do While Home with Kids – Big list of easy to do activities while still keeping social distance from others.

List of at-home “science experiments” for kids with mostly common household items (each item on the list links to a page with more details).

Over 30 Virtual Field Trips – includes links to virtual tours to many places, like zoos, national parks, farms, outer space, and museums around the world (and universe!) 20

Virtual Field Trips – some overlap with the last resource and some new links.

Help with Homework – Facebook group with a community of parents and educators who are ready to help if you need help understanding your child’s school work or school-district issued enrichment packets.

Down Dog App is offering free yoga classes online until April 1st; it’s meant for adults, but could be a fun family activity.

Kid-Friendly Activities About COVID-19 and School Closures

A Comic Written for children about COVID-19:

Interactive website with activities for kids to learn about COVID-19:

School’s Closing, Now What? – provides tips for how to support children and families while schools are closed and includes links to resources.

Kid-Friendly Art Classes / Project Ideas

Rustic Orchid Creative Workshop is planning to upload free art lessons for children:

Lots of coloring pages if you have a printer and colored pencils/crayons/markers at home. Includes color by numbers and pages that are more entertaining for older kids and adults (detailed mandalas, celebrities, etc.):

“My Tree of Life” activity, good for middle school aged children, teens, and adults to reflect on their life and values. Promotes self-reflection and resiliency. PDF was written for facilitators (teachers, counselors, etc.) but is clear enough for parents to give it a try (requires large piece of paper and writing/drawing materials):

A sample schedule for structuring time with kids at home:

Daily Home Schedule Activity Ideas
7:00  BREAKFAST Learning

  > Matching               > Letters/Numbers

         > Counting               > Rhyming

  > Colors/Shapes      > Conversation

  > Patterning              > Ordering Objects by size



   > Collages                     > Painting          

   >  Drawing Pictures      > Sand

   > Scrapbooking            > Beading

   >  Cutting pictures from magazines                     

   >  Cardboard box creations

   >   Sewing

Free Play

  >  LEGOS/Blocks          > Build a city

  > Make a fort                 > Sensory Bin

  >  Puppet Show            > Play dough

  >  Dolls                          > Toy Animals

  >  Dramatic Play           > Vehicles


  > Dance Party                > Exercises

  > Movement Songs       > Yoga/Stretching

  > Obstacle Course


 > Puzzles                    > Charades

 > Card Games            > Follow the Leader

 > Hide & Seek            > Simon Says

 > Board Games          > I Spy


 >  Homemade Pizza       > JELLO/Pudding

        > Popsicles                    > Fruit Salad

> Cereal Bars                 > Quesadillas

> Stovetop Popcorn      > Homemade Ice Cream

> Applesauce


  Story Time

  > Read Alouds on YouTube / digital author list

  > Retelling stories (with or without props)

  > Books on tape

  > Comprehension Questions


10:00 SNACK
10:30 CRAFTS
12:00 LUNCH


Miscellaneous Resources and Self-Care Ideas

Dial 211 or use to find resources for people/households with low income by zipcode and key word.

Mental Health Support

Crisis Text Line is helpful for panic attacks and other emotionally intense moments. Text HOME to 741741; a bot will provide you with their terms of service and put you on a waitlist to text with a real person. Wait times may be long due to current anxiety/panic about COVID-19. Regular messaging rates apply (the service itself is free).

SAMHSA Disaster Distress Hotline: Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor. Dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. This toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisis support service is available to all residents in the United States and its territories. Stress, anxiety, and other depression-like symptoms are common reactions after a disaster.

Virus Anxiety is a toolkit for managing anxiety about the virus and the uncertainty we are all facing.

Coronavirus and Our Common Humanity– Message from the UW-Madison Center for Healthy Minds with tips for coping during unprecedented times.

Understanding the Virus and Protective Measures

What Does Social Distancing Mean? – great resource with clear guidelines about what activities are recommended when practicing social distancing.

Alternative greetings that don’t involve touch – animated gif with ideas for how to acknowledge or greet others while still maintaining social distance. 🙂

Keeping the Home Safe – list of tips for keeping everyone healthy at home and what to do if a family member becomes ill so that other family members do not also get sick.

Plain Language about COVID-19 By and For Individuals with Disabilities: resource from the Waisman Center than explains coronavirus information in a very easy to understand way. Useful for typically abled and disabled individuals. Also available en español.

Article about why play dates are not good during disease outbreaks – from a pediatrician who explains how to minimize disease exposure and why it’s so important to significantly cut back or stop play dates during school closures.

Enrichment/Entertainment Ideas

For adult enrichment, this website has free college classes from 140 institutions:

Many musicians are streaming live concerts from their homes. Check their social media pages for more details.

Down Dog App is offering free yoga classes online until April 1st.

Insight Timer App — free app for meditation / relaxation / sleep help, might be nice during this trying time.

Journaling prompts for self-reflection: Some people make a “journal jar” and pull out a prompt each day.

Consider free games to play with your friends while on group calls to keep your social life going. I recommend Zoom or Discord for easy group calls. The following games can be played in your browser with no downloads and no account creation required. All of them allow you to create a private “room” that your friends can join:


Wellness Wheel for Self-Care Planning

The wellness wheel is a tool which describes the 8 dimensions of wellness needed for a person to feel healthy, satisfied, and well-rounded. Use it as a starting point for creating a schedule or self-care plan during the quarantine period. See image (captioned) on next page.

Image description of the Wellness Wheel for accessibility: Below this text, there is a drawing of a wheel with different spokes representing different areas of wellness. The center of the wheel says “Wellness Wheel: Taking care of each dimension of the Wellness Wheel can help you become more aware of the interconnectedness of each dimension, and how all aspects of your life contribute to feeling well, both physically and mentally.” The spokes are described as follows: “Environmental: Be aware of the interactions between the environment, community, and yourself and behave in ways that care for each of these responsibly. Financial: Live within your means and learn to manage your finances for the short and long term. Intellectual: Be open to new ideas, be creative, think critically, and seek out new challenges. Occupational: Seek to have a career that is interesting, enjoyable, meaningful, and that contributes to the larger society. Physical: Take care of your body for optimal health and functioning. Social: Build personal relationships with others, deal with conflict appropriately, and connect to a positive social network. Spiritual: Find meaning in life events, demonstrate individual purpose, and live a life that reflects your values and beliefs. Emotional: Have a positive attitude, high self-esteem, a strong sense of self, and the ability to recognize and share a wide range of feelings with others in a constructive way.”