6 Charities Providing Coronavirus Relief—And How You Can Help

Direct Relief is shipping masks and other personal protective equipment to healthcare institutions around the nation.
Direct Relief is shipping masks and other personal protective equipment to healthcare institutions around the nation. / Randy Shropshire/Getty Images for Qantas

Right now, many charities are working hard to enact coronavirus-specific response plans that will alleviate the effects of the pandemic on both local and national levels. And while you yourself might not be able to send medical equipment to a hospital or serve dinner directly to a family in need, you could donate to organizations that are doing exactly that. From food banks to disaster relief foundations, here are six charities worth checking out if you’re looking for ways to help.

1. Feeding America

With a network of 200 food banks (where the food is stored) and 60,000 food pantries (where it’s distributed to people in need) across all 50 states (as well as Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico), Feeding America is the largest hunger relief organization in the U.S. In addition to transitioning to drive-through and outdoor food distribution to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, it’s also currently focusing on providing food to children who, in the wake of school closures, are missing out on meals they’d normally get at school.

You can donate to the COVID-19 Response Fund and let the folks at Feeding America decide where and how your money will have the biggest impact, or you can find a food bank near you through this map, and donate right to that one.

2. Direct Relief

Since its establishment in 1948, Direct Relief has been providing communities around the world with assistance tailored to their specific needs, be it disease prevention, disaster relief, general healthcare, or something else. Its coronavirus response plan is centered on delivering personal protective equipment (like gowns and masks) and other necessary medical products to healthcare institutions around the country, and also helping those institutions expand tele-health programs, COVID-19 testing capabilities, and more. You can make a donation here.

3. Family Promise

Family Promise provides low-income and homeless families with temporary housing, meals, educational programs, and other resources that help them achieve sustainable independence. With the influx of school and business shutdowns, many of those families are especially vulnerable right now, and Family Promise’s services are even more important.

You can donate to their COVID-19 relief fund here, or you can search for a Family Promise affiliate location near you and donate directly there. If you’d rather donate goods than money, Family Promise is a great option, since many of the affiliates’ sites include wish lists of items in high demand.

4. Feed the Front Lines

Feed the Front Lines is a food-focused charity with a specific demographic: healthcare workers and food service employees. Founded this year by New York restaurant owner Luca Di Pietro, the organization is helping New York restaurants stay in business during the shutdown by pivoting to producing meals for medical professionals who are working nonstop to combat the novel coronavirus. So far, they’ve delivered nearly 32,000 free meals to hospitals and medical centers around the city, including Lenox Hill Hospital, NYU Langone Health, and more.

It’s $25 to donate one meal (though you can enter a custom amount), and you have the option to choose which healthcare center it goes to. And while Feed the Front Lines began in New York, other cities have followed suit with similar services; there are currently Feed the Front Lines organizations in Boston, Miami, Sacramento, Toronto, and more.

5. NYC Health + Hospitals

Because New York is dealing with one of the most devastating coronavirus outbreaks in the country right now, here’s another New York-based organization that would greatly appreciate a little extra help. As the largest public healthcare system in the U.S., NYC Health + Hospitals employs more than 42,000 people across more than 70 locations. All hands are on deck during this crisis, and while healthcare workers are busy taking care of patients, they need us to take care of them. Donations go toward meals, laundry services, pre-packaged groceries, and even hotel rooms so they can self-isolate from their families between their shifts. You can make a donation here.

6. CDC Foundation

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are funded by the government, but there’s a nonprofit organization called the CDC Foundation that helps them expand their capabilities with donations from the private sector. Right now, the Foundation has an emergency response fund set up to cover coronavirus-related activities like helping communities prevent and detect COVID-19 cases, deploying trained staff members to specific areas in need of extra hands, developing awareness campaigns to combat misinformation, and more. Find out additional information and donate here.