The disruption COVID-19 has caused for families is resulting in national and local efforts being made to alleviate the stress. Families and students are provided different resources on the national, state, and local levels.
Some resources that function at the national level include:
The official COVID-19 federally-run website that publishes updates and information about the pandemic and how to handle its spread.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention website that publishes content about how to stay safe during the pandemic and tracks the progress of the spread of COVID-19.
The U.S. Department of Treasury internal revenue service website that displays COVID-19 tax relief methods and stimulus resources.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture food and nutrition service website that outlines the programs and benefits that families can use to help pay for nutrition and healthy well-being, such as the Pandemic-Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) service for students receiving free or reduced-price school lunch.
The U.S. Department of Labor government benefits website that helps individuals determine what government-funded assistance they are eligible for and the accompanying information necessary to apply.
Due to the general demographic of the school being primarily lower-income students, many families utilized these resources to alleviate their financial burden, including junior Ashley Trinh. Trinh applied for a P-EBT card during the summer, granting her an additional $365 for grocery-related bills.
“Since school is online now, that means I’m going to have to spend most of my time on my computer, which uses a lot of power,” Trinh said. “This stresses me out mainly [because] it’ll add onto how much my mom has to pay for the electrical bill. Not having to worry about groceries [has] helped.”
Some resources that function at the state level include:
The California Employment Development Department benefits portal that provides workers with information on how to file for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and other workers’ benefits during COVID-19.
The California testing and treatment portal that answers questions about COVID-19 assessments and helps individuals find nearby testing centers.
With the economic repercussions of the pandemic, resources such as these have been crucial to the residents of California, especially among working families. For senior Jasmine Flores, the state aid was essential to keeping her family “afloat”.
“My mom quit her job because it didn’t provide personal protective equipment to protect my family,” Flores said. “So we had less money to go off on. [It showed me that] it is not embarrassing to get help from the government. It should not make you feel ashamed to go to a food bank or apply for financial aid.”
Some resources that are provided in the local area include:
The County of Los Angeles COVID-19 response website that contains portals to testing sites, tools, benefits, and updates for Los Angeles County residents.
The AUSD food and nutrition services website that has information about the distribution of Grab and Go breakfast and lunch meals during distance learning, such as the prerequisites, duration, and locations.
The AUSD device checkout form for students to request Chromebooks and technology equipment that will be returned upon the completion of the distance learning period.
The free immigration legal clinic registration form provided by the Alhambra High School Dream Resource Center with the purpose to provide legal advice from professional attorneys specializing in immigration issues and paperwork on Sept. 26. All members of the Alhambra community are free to apply.
District Superintendent Denise Jaramillo said that as the pandemic continues, the district plans to provide supplemental intervention services starting after Sept. 7, supper at most meal pick-up sites, and satellite-serving locations where school bus stops were. Jaramillo said that meal and technology distribution is just the beginning of how the district will continue to support the community.
“Our counselors are in contact with our most needy families and are connecting them with local resources for which they might qualify,” Jaramillo said. “I would also encourage families and students to reach out to their teacher or school site if they are struggling or feeling overwhelmed. This is definitely a stressful time for everyone. But…we are all in this together.”