Practical Resources for Low-Income and Other Groups

Fruits and vegetables
In this section:

This expertise is provided by William Martinez, PhD; Samantha Schilf, and Elena Fromer.

There are a number of great unmet needs for low-income families. This section provides information on unemployment benefits, emergency Medi-Cal, free wi-fi, and resources for undocumented individuals and immigrants.

For people in the Bay Area, information on food pantries, school lunch access, childcare, and other resources for low income families can be found below. The UCSF Office of Diversity and Outreach has also developed a site with resources and guidance in support of diversity, equity, and inclusion specific to the COVID-19 crisis.

In addition, UCSF Medical students and the Freedom Community Clinic have put together a document assembling the vast array of community resources in the Bay Area including food, shelter, employment, and childcare. The guides are in English and Spanish below. On page 5 and onward, it lists food pantries and shopping hours for vulnerable groups.

Resources for low-income families and individuals


  • Unemployment insurance benefits: If your child’s school is closed, and you have to miss work to provide care for your children, you may be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits. Eligibility considerations include having no other care options and being unable to continue working your normal hours remotely. If your employer has reduced your hours or shut down operations due to COVID-19, you can file an unemployment insurance claim. If you’re unable to work because you are caring for an ill or quarantined family member with COVID-19 (certified by a medical professional), you can file a paid family leave claim.
  • Qualifying for emergency Medi-Cal coverage

Free or low-cost internet service

California and Bay Area resources

  • San Francisco hand washing stations map: Free locations open to the public for hygiene purposes.
  • San Francisco free meals for students: SFUSD is providing free breakfast, lunch, supper, fresh fruit, vegetables and milk to all children 18 and younger at 19 pick-up sites, Monday through Friday. No identification or proof of school enrollment is required, but a child must be present.
  • San Francisco emergency child care: 37 recreation sites around the city are operating as emergency child care facilities, serving children of Department of Public Health staff, health care workers from San Francisco hospitals, city employees who have been activated as disaster service workers, and low-income working families. San Francisco Public Library will cease regular operations of its branches and provide child care for youth, grades 6-12.
  • Great Plates Delivered: A meal delivery service for California's older adults

Financial resources

  • Temporary student loan relief: As of March 13, anyone may request a no-penalty forbearance on their student loans and not pay their payments for the next 60 days. Loans will not accrue interest during this time. To skip a payment, contact your loan servicer and request forbearance. Normally forbearance requires submitting proof of need, but that has been waived and they must grant you permission to not pay for the next 60 days.

Resources for undocumented individuals

Resources for immigrants

Spanish-language resources

Informatión sobre las vacunas