COVID-19 Resources

 In COVID-19, Events
NEW: COVID-19 Survey: Right now, even people who have not become sick with COVID-19 are managing stress, uncertainty, and isolation during this challenging time. People of color and other communities who have been historically underserved are being hurt the most. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) is committed to better serving these communities by learning about their experiences directly through this COVID-19 Community Impact Survey, and using answers to create new solutions.
This survey is intended for anyone 14 and older who lives in Massachusetts. MA-DPH specifically seeks to hear from communities who have suffered the most through this public health emergency.
The survey is offered online at www.mass.gov/COVIDsurvey by computer, phone or tablet. It will take around 10 to 15 minutes to complete. You can choose to complete the survey in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Haitian Creole, and Vietnamese. All survey responses will be anonymous. For additional information please visit the Mass.gov COVID-19 website.
For information on testing, visit the Massachusetts Department of Public Health website. To find a testing site near you, visit MDPH’s interactive COVID-19 Test Site Locator map. The closest sites to Northern Berkshire are in Pittsfield, but a North Adams site is scheduled to open this month. Many sites require pre-screening, a referral and/or an appointment; be sure to verify what you’ll need ahead of going to the testing site.
Outdoor gatherings are now limited to 50 people in a single space. For any gathering of more than 10 people from more than a single household, all individuals over the age of 2 are required to wear a face covering, unless they have a medical condition or disability that prevents them from doing so. According to the order, both the indoor and outdoor gathering limits apply to private homes and backyards. For more information, visit Mass.gov.
The Baker-Polito administration has instituted a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all individuals entering Massachusetts, including returning residents, effective August 1. 
Certain exemptions apply, including travelers from lower-risk states or a negative COVID-19 test result that has been administered up to 72 hours prior to arrival in Massachusetts. Failure to comply may result in a $500 fine per day. More details about this travel order are available on Mass.gov.

Governor Baker announced The Baker-Polito Administration’s comprehensive plan to safely reopen the Massachusetts economy, get people back to work, and ease social restrictions while minimizing the health impacts of COVID-19. Visit https://www.mass.gov/info-details/reopening-massachusetts or get key take-aways here.

Learn about the four – phase approach to reopening the economy.

Federal Charitable Giving Incentive

The CARES Act contains a one-time, above-the-line deduction for cash contributions of up to $300 made to qualifying charities. All taxpayers would be eligible to take the deduction, even people who use the standard deduction. Donors who itemize their deductions can deduct up to 100% AGI for cash gifts in 2020. The incentive applies to contributions made in 2020 and would be claimed on tax forms next year.

Williamstown Community Chest cannot offer tax advice. Please consult your tax advisor as to the best way to make tax-advantaged charitable contributions.

Local resources

State resources

Government resources

  • CDC Recommended Use of Cloth Face Coverings: CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain ( e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies ), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.

Food Resource Updates:

NEW! The St. John Paul II Food Pantry will be open on Wednesdays from 11am to 1pm.  One person is admitted at a time and each person has a 3 minute time limit in the building. 

North Adams Public schools will launch a dinner service as part of the grab-and-go meal distribution program beginning April 27th. Dinner for North Adams children age 18 or younger will be available via curbside pickup at Greylock Elementary School from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Weekend dinner meals can be picked up on Friday between 4:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. along with Friday’s dinner. For additional information visit North Adams Public Schools website.

Wigwam Western Summit: Please reserve your hot meals on Facebook or call 413.338.2900 by 6:00 p.m. on Saturday. Meals will include bread, pastries and produce donated by the Al Nelson Friendship Center.

First Baptist Church of North Adams will resume its Saturday meal program on June 20th from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

McCann Technical School is now offering take-and-go dinners and breakfast for the next day, Monday through Friday, 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. for youth 18 and under from North Adams, Adams, Cheshire and the towns of the Northern Berkshire School Union. Please pick up meals in front of the school.

Virtual Farmers Market by Roots Rising – support local and eat healthy by getting fresh produce delivered. If you receive SNAP you are eligible for free delivery and $30.00 a week of free local food. To order and learn more click here: https://www.rootsrising.org/virtualfarmersmarket

Williamstown Farmers Market – support local farmers. To order and learn more click here.

ROOTS Teen Center has meals available for pick-up by appointment. Contact Paula Buxbaum, Executive Director, at 413.663.0250

Hoosac Valley Elementary School in Adams is now serving grab & go meals that are purchased from restaurants and free to families of the school district. Saturday, 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

The P-EBT program provides additional food support for students who would have received free or reduced-price meals under the National School Lunch Program if not for the school closures from COVID-19. This inlcudes any student in a school that provides free meals to all students. Families will receive $5.70 per student per day for every day school is closed to buy food. Families receiving DTA benefits will receive their benefits on their existing EBT card. Families not currently receiving DTA benefits will be mailed a new P-EBT card. Using P-EBT benefits does not impact you or your child’s immigration status. The Public Charge rule does not apply to P-EBT benefits.

Berkshire Food Project Update!, North Adams – M-W-F Only from 11:30am-1:00pm. Meal distribution will be moving inside. Meals will still be take-out only, for home enjoyment. No rest room facility is available.  Traffic will be one way, entering through the breezeway and exiting directly from the dining room onto Summer Street. Masks (properly worn so they cover your nose and mouth) are required to be in line outside and to enter the building. Masks are available if you don’t have one. Social distancing required. Only eight people will be allowed in the building at one time… each time a person leaves, another person will be able to enter. Contact berkshirefoodproject.org

The Al Nelson Friendship Center Food Pantry will be open on Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. The pantry is returning to 45 Eagle Street, North Adams. Deliveries will be made on Thursday 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Contact 413.664.0123 or visit their website at www.friendshipfoodpantry.org or northernberkshireinterfaith@gmail.com.

The Salvation Army Food Pantry, River Street, North Adams – Tuesday, 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Please use front door.

Williamstown Food Pantry at Saint Patrick and Raphael Parish, 53 Southworth Street – Wednesday, 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

The Community Bible Church Food Pantry, 160 Bridges Road, Williamstown. Contact Phyllis Babcock 413.663.6094

Meal Site Distribution:

First Baptist Church, North Adams – Saturday, 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Grab & Go meals

Adams Council on Aging – Monday through Friday, Grab & Go congregate meals – must call ahead 413. 743.8333

Cheshire Council on Aging – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Grab & Go congregate meals – must call ahead 413.743.9719

Meals on Wheels (Elder Services) – Monday through Friday, call ahead 413.499.0524

Williamstown Elementary School – Monday-Friday from 9:30-10:30. Anyone in Lanesborough or Williamstown wishing to participate in the program is asked to call and leave their information at 413-458-9582, Ext. 1195, or email lunches@mgrhs.org. The district asks that potential recipients respond in advance so it can plan for the proper number of meals. Delivery is available for seniors who ask in advance; leave a call back number when you notify the district. Residents who need breakfast items are asked to leave that information in their message.
Lanesborough Elementary School – Monday-Friday from 9:30-10:30. Anyone in Lanesborough or Williamstown wishing to participate in the program is asked to call and leave their information at 413-458-9582, Ext. 1195, or email lunches@mgrhs.org. The district asks that potential recipients respond in advance so it can plan for the proper number of meals. Delivery is available for seniors who ask in advance; leave a call back number when you notify the district. Residents who need breakfast items are asked to leave that information in their message.

Community Notes:

Child Care of the Berkshires staff have returned to the office as of June 15th. Child care programs continue to work towards opening in the coming weeks. CCB’s building is closed to the public at this time. Follow CCB’s Facebook page for updates. The Family Center; a program of CCB, can provide children’s clothing sizes 0-10, diapers or formula through contactless pick up. Please contact the Family Center office by calling 413.664.4821 to arrange pick up.

Diapers – call to coordinate appointment for pickup. North County: Berkshire Diaper Project 413.446.5038, New Direction Women Center, 98 Church Hill, North Adams 413.346.4291, Al Nelson Friendship Food Pantry, 70 Holden St., North Adams, 413.664.0123, Northern Berkshire Community Coalition, 61 Main St., North Adams 413.663.7588

The Northern Berkshire Community Coalition is open by appointment only, Monday thru Friday from 9:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m. They can be reached at 413.663.7588. All nbCC events and group programs have been temporarily suspended. For a listing of services please visit www.nbccoaltion.org.

Our 510 North Street & North Adams WIC sites are currently closed until further notice, but we are serving our Participants over the phone. If you already have an upcoming appointment, we will call you in the near future to help you and to load your benefits onto your WIC Card. If you do not have a scheduled appointment or if you have questions, please call our Pittsfield office at 413.447.3495 – if we are unable to answer, please leave a voicemail. We will call you back as soon as possible and apologize for the delay.

MassHealth has expanded eligibility and coverage in response to COVID19. See https://www.mass.gov/topics/masshealth for more information.

Berkshire County Regional Housing: www.bcrha.com BCRHA’s contact number is 413.443.7138.  People can call the triage line at ext. 229 or use our names directory.

Financial Resources:

Neighbor to Neighbor Fund grant program. http://www.berkshiretaconic.org/bReceivebNonprofitsIndividuals/SearchApplyforGrants/NeighbortoNeighborN2N

DTA Assistance Line: 877.382.2363

Berkshire Community Action Council: 413.445.4503

Department of Unemployment Assistance: 877.626.6800, 617.626.6338

*Unemployment has waived the waiting period https://www.mass.gov/unemployment-insurance-ui-online

 

 

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