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Resources, Free Lunches Available During School Closures and Social Distancing

Nathan C. Fortner, Creative Commons

Governor Bill Lee advised all schools districts in Tennessee to close by the end of the week, and remain closed at least until March 31st. Some districts in East Tennessee, including Knox County Schools, will be offering free lunches for students. See more details about meals for students, and a list of services for other residents below. 

Updated: March 26, 7:00 a.m.

Shopping and Services

Courtyard Estates is providing free meals to any Knoxville resident over the age of 75 on Mondays through Fridays for the next two weeks. Seniors can call (309) 289-2660 to set up arrangements for delivery.

Dollar General is dedicating every store's first hour to be open exclusively to senior citizens, the population the most vulnerable to COVID-19. More information on Dollar General's website

The Fresh Market will reserve the 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. hour Mondays through Fridays for seniors and immunocompromised people to grocery shop. 

Senior Citizens Home Assistance Service will do grocery shopping and and home delivery at no cost for people over the age of 62 or with a compromised immune system in East Tennessee. More information is available on their website or by calling (865) 523 - 2920. 

Spectrum is providing free internet for 60 days to any new family with K-12 students or college students that do not have internet access. More details on their website, or by calling (844) 488-8395.

Knoxville Utilities Board will suspend all disconnections until further notice, however bills will still accrue. This comes after more than a thousand community members signed an online petition

Meals for Students

A database of places to pick up meals for people under the age of 18 is available here

Knox County Schools will be providing breakfast and lunch to anyone under the age of 18 begining March 23, after spring break. Meals will be distributed from 25 sites on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. More details, and a full list of pick up locations is on Knox County School's website

Clinton City Schools will serve free breakfast and lunch to all students during school closures at North Clinton Elementary School. Any student 18 or younger can come to eat and do not have to be a Clinton City student. Adults can eat as well, though there is a charge for adults.

Yassin's Falafel House will be delivering free lunches to any student within five miles of their restaurant locations. Residents can sign up for the delivery service at Gateway.com

Other Emergency Resources

Centro Hispanico de East Tennessee is providing services and information in Spanish and Acateko

Knox County's 2-1-1 line has resources for a range of needs including rental asistance, transportation aid and food. There is a COVID-19 Reponse Fund as well. 

Here is a guide from the TN Department of Labor about how to file for unemployment if you are out of work due to COVID-19. 

Online applications open March 26th at 11 a.m. EST for emergency cash assistance from the Tennessee Department of Human Services. Families or individuals who were employed on March 11th and have since lost their jobs due to the pandemic are eligible for two months of emergency funds. Tennesseans can apply here

If you are a business owner or community organization providing support to residents impacted by COVID-19 precautions, please send us details at WUOTnews@utk.edu or tag @WUOTFM on Facebook.