COVID-19 Resources and Assistance

Catholic Charities DE Energy Assistance Program (DEAP) continues to process Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) applications for special State of Emergency CRISIS assistance.  All income eligible Delawareans should apply for this special LIHEAP CRISIS assistance, unless you are already signed up because you already applied for this special CRISIS assistance; or applied for LIHEAP heating assistance this past winter.

To apply, please fill out an online application.  Once you complete the application, gather the required documents, and submit everything to Catholic Charities DEAP by email: energy@ccwilm.org, or by fax: 302-856-6332 or drop off  at the Sussex County Deap location: 404 S. Bedford St., Ste. 9 Georgetown, DE 19947 Phone: 302-856-6310.  Unless something unforeseen occurs, the State plans to start the benefit payment process in early May. You will receive a notice from the State and shortly after, your electric company will receive your benefit.

If you received LIHEAP winter heating assistance and have not used all of your benefit, fuel companies may deliver fuel until Thursday, April 30. If you need more than a minimum delivery and have enough unused LIHEAP benefit, call your fuel company and ask to have your fuel tank topped off.

Comcast has updated its policies for 60 days to keep Americans connected to the internet.  To learn more, please read Comcast Announces Comprehensive COVID-19 Response to Help Keep Americans Connected to the Internet

Coronavirus COVID-19 LibGuide provides authoritative information on COVID-19. Browse the resources or check with your Delaware Public Library Reference Librarian or the DE Div of Public Health Call Center 1-800-408-1899 for the latest information.

Delaware Ecumenical Council on Children and Families (DECCF) Faith in Action Program offers home delivery service for prescriptions, groceries, and delivery of packages for elderly, disabled, and chronically ill neighbors. They are a community partner of the Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities, and currently provide these services in most areas of Delaware, and more now in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, please visit their website or call (302) 225-1040.

The Delaware Hope Line connects Delawareans to help for handling stress, behavioral health issues during the coronavirus pandemic.  The Delaware Hope Line – 1 (833) 9-HOPEDE or (833) 946-7333 – is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week to connect callers to a variety of resources and information, including support from clinicians and peer specialists plus crisis assistance. The Hope Line, which is free, provides a single point of contact for individuals to tap into DSAMH’s range of services and resources.  Delawareans can also get behavioral health tips and reminders by texting DEHOPE to 55753.  Resources and services are also available through DHSS’ behavioral health support website, HelpIsHereDE.com.  

Delaware Senior Medicare Patrol remains active and vigilant in sharing information with Medicare beneficiaries, their families and caregivers.  Their office is open Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 4:00 pm with rotating hours to answer questions regarding the following:

*Medicare fraud/scams
*Medicare Summary Notice review
*COVID-19 updates for Medicare beneficiaries.
*The Delaware Senior Medicare Patrol is also available for virtual presentations

Contact Senior Medicare Patrol at:
New Castle County: 302-255-9510
Kent/Sussex County: 302-424-8657
Toll Free: 1-800-223-9074
https://www.smpresource.org/

Delaware State Housing Authority created the Delaware Housing Assistance Program which provides emergency housing assistance to renters affected by shutdowns, closures, layoffs, reduced work hours or unpaid leave due to  COVID-19.  To learn more about the Delaware Housing Assistance Program, please read the Delaware Housing Authority Fund Fact Sheet.

Delaware 2-1-1 is Delaware’s free, fast and confidential state-wide referral service, and is available Mondays-Fridays 8:00 am-9:00 pm.  Call 211 or visit www.Delaware211.org to connect to resources, services, programs and organizations that provide help with managing finances; access to essential items such as food, housing and clothing; emergency shelter and transitional housing; health and preventative care; disaster and crisis preparedness; and Help Me Grow, a program to help you identify behavioral and educational needs for children ages 0-8. Other means of contact include calling 1-800-560-3372 or texting your zip code to 898-211. 

For information pertaining to childcare, general health, Delaware emergency food, emergency utility & emergency transportation, tools you can use, and volunteer opportunities available during COVID-19, please visit Delaware 2-1-1’s page on Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).

Delmarva Power is taking steps to ensure that all residents have safe and reliable energy service during the coronavirus pandemic.  To learn more, please read their press release.

Economic Impact Payments: If you have not filed a tax return for tax years 2018 or 2019, please visit the IRS website for more information on how to receive your Economic Impact Payment.  Please note that if you are on Social Security, and have not filed a tax return, you will receive your direct deposit into the bank account affiliated with your Social Security monthly payment.

Food Bank of Delaware offers ways for the community to assist the Food Bank’s COVID-19 response efforts and alerts people to where they can go for food assistance. 

Food Bank of Delaware pop-up community distributions: In an effort to identify new locations to host smaller community pop-up food distributions, the Food Bank of Delaware has created a new online food assistance form for community members in need to fill out. They will use the information to determine areas of high need and will then reach out to households inviting them to attend a distribution.  

Jewish Family Services of Delaware (JFS) now offers a free, confidential emotional support hotline.  Call 302-781-4537 to speak with a JFS social worker Mondays-Fridays 9 am-9 pm.   This is not a crisis line or a replacement for therapeutic telehealth appointments; this is an outlet for community members to express their worries, be heard, and gain support.

The Mesothelioma Center is an advocacy center that provides hope and delivers quality resources and information for patients and loved ones coping with mesothelioma.  To learn how COVID-19 affects mesothelioma patients, preventative steps you can take to stop the spread, and to find out about available resources, please read their blog post, “Coronavirus: What Mesothelioma Cancer Patients Should Know.”  *The contents of the Mesothelioma Center website and their blog are intended for informational and educational purposes only and not for the purpose of rendering medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.  Always consult your physician or other qualified healthcare professional for personalized medical advice and any questions regarding a medical condition.

School Meal Sites: The Delaware Department of Education provides a continually updated list of school sites that offer free meals to families and children.  Starting Monday June 22, The Laurel Library will be serving ‘Grad and Go’ lunches and snacks Monday-Friday at 12pm for any children 18 & under.  On Fridays, we will be offering ‘weekend bags’ in addition to lunch.

SNAP/Food Stamps is a food supplemental program that enables low-income families to buy a variety of food that is the basis for better nutrition. Benefits are issued electronically to the family’s Delaware Food First card each month. This is an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. The Food Supplement Program recipient uses this card at local grocery stores to access his/her food benefit.  To apply for SNAP benefits, please visit Delaware ASSIST.  If you need help applying for SNAP benefits, please contact the Food Bank of Delaware SNAP Outreach team by phone at (302) 444-8073, by e-mail at snapoutreach@fbd.org, or by completing the online form.

Social Security will pay monthly benefits on time and these payments will not be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

-Social Security offices are closed to the public but are available by phone.  People can find their local field office phone number by accessing the Field Office Locator. 

-To allow available agents to provide better phone coverage, the agency is temporarily changing the National 800 Number hours starting on Tuesday, March 31, 2020.  The hours will change from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. local time to 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. local time.  The agency is experiencing longer than normal wait times on the 800 Number and asks the public to remain patient, use its online services at www.socialsecurity.gov, or call their local office.

-Please visit the agency’s COVID-19 web page at www.socialsecurity.gov/coronavirus/ for important information and updates.

WIC is a federal nutrition program that helps pregnant women, new mothers, and young children eat well, learn about nutrition, and stay healthy. To review eligibility requirements and access the online application, please visit Delaware Wic Program.

Resources for Children and Families

*These sites/links are merely suggestions intended to assist library patrons.  They are not endorsed by the library or the staff. Use at your own risk.  Always research websites before allowing children access.*

Education

American Girls offers free online library of e-books.

Carson Dellosa offers free downloadable educational e-books.

Chobani offers free downloadable packet with recipes and fun for kids, geared towards cooking.

CommonSense Media offers a huge list of educational resources for kids broken down by time of day. 

Delaware Tourism: Pick your interests and take a virtual tour of Delaware.

DirtGirlWorld is a blog and TV show about gardening and healthy cooking for kids.

FunCheapOrFree provides a list of free online resources for children learning at home, as well as a blog about saving money and motherhood.

iMom offers a coronavirus ‘bag of tricks,’ and also has family and parenting resources.

Nature Cams: Watch live streaming nature videos.

Pack-n-Go Girls offers free multicultural traveling kids e-books and audio books.

Petakids: Find crafts, recipes and projects that relate to animals.  This website has tons of vegetarian and vegan resources.

Pinterest is a searchable database for crafts, projects, etc.  Must create a free account.

Scholastic provides access to day-to-day projects according to age.

Steve Spangler Science provides science experiments for children.

University of Delaware Cooperative Extension has tons of educational and recreational activities for children, as well as information on how parents can prepare for and cope with the coronavirus. 

Family Health

DE Thrives lists resources that families can use to keep their minds and spirits positive during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Help Me Grow helps families do all that they can to promote healthy child development in children ages 0-8.  To contact Help Me Grow, please dial 2-1-1 and select “Help Me Grow,” or text 302-231-1464.  Delaware 2-1-1 is open Mondays-Fridays 8 am-9 pm.

Food

*Be sure to call first to confirm hours.

Food Pantries is a searchable database of food pantries by state.

Grab and Go Meal Sites provide school lunches for children.  

Starting Monday June 22, The Laurel Library will be serving ‘Grad and Go’ lunches and snacks Monday-Friday at 12pm for any children 18 & under.  On Fridays, we will be offering ‘weekend bags’ in addition to lunch.

Laurel Wesleyan Church Food Pantry provides a respectful environment where food is available to individuals and families who need assistance in Sussex County, Delaware.  For hours of operation, please call 302-212-8059.