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Where to get free meals and groceries in Sonoma County during coronavirus pandemic

If you’ve recently been laid off or are struggling to make ends meet during the coronavirus pandemic, we have compiled a list of local food banks and nonprofits in Sonoma County that are providing free meals and groceries.

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Petaluma City Schools

Petaluma City Schools are providing food service in the form of grab-and-go meals while schools are engaging in distance learning. Meals are available to all PCS students and any siblings under 18, and students do not need to be present in order for families to pick up their meals. You do not need to be eligible for free and reduced lunch. This service will be provided until school facilities re-open. If you have any questions, please contact the Food Services Department at rdigiaimo@petk12.org or 707-778-4636.

Meals are offered Mondays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. (3 breakfasts, 3 lunches) and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. (2 breakfasts, 2 lunches)

Petaluma Junior High pickup location is in front of the school, in the bus drop-off area. McDowell Elementary School pickup location is off McGregor in front of the multi, in the bus drop-off area. For more information, visit Petaluma City Schools website.

Santa Rosa City Schools

Santa Rosa City Schools is offering a drive-thru meal service for students on Mondays and Wednesdays from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at nine locations throughout the city. Students ages 18 and under from any school district are eligible to receive two breakfasts and lunches on Monday and three breakfasts and lunches on Wednesday. For more information, visit srcschools.org/freemeals.

Redwood Empire Food Bank

The Redwood Empire Food Bank is providing food to residents in need without proof of income, Food Connections manager Maria Fuentes said. Residents can visit the office (3990 Brickway Blvd., Santa Rosa) for a box of dry goods or to be directed to a pick-up location. Coronavirus concerns have forced some pick-up locations to close and others’ hours to be extended, so visit getfood.refb.org for an updated list. Additional questions can be directed to 707-523-7900.

The food bank also has partnered with local school kitchens to provide families lunch and care packages with groceries. The meals can be picked up from any of the participating schools, but children must be present to receive food. Click here for a list of participating schools and here for a map to see where they’re located.

Catholic Charities

Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Santa Rosa is continuing its food distribution programs for anyone who needs help feeding their family throughout the pandemic. Go here for a list of days, times and locations. Go here for more information and a full list of resources.

Salvation Army

Salvation Army is providing food to any resident in need Monday-Thursday from 10 a.m. to noon during the pandemic, said Santa Rosa Salvation Army Capt. Rio Ray. To receive food, go to the parking lot of the Corps Community Center (93 Stony Circle, Santa Rosa) with a valid ID. Families are limited to picking up groceries once per week. For more information, call 707-542-0981.

Windsor Service Alliance Food Pantry

The Windsor Service Alliance Food Pantry (8987 Windsor Road, Windsor) is doling out fresh produce and packaged groceries to Windsor residents on Fridays from 2-5 p.m. Go here or call 707-838- 6947 for more information.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma-Marin

Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma-Marin are providing grab-and-go lunches for children who live in west county. Meals can be picked up at Guerneville Elementary School (14630 Armstrong Woods Road, Guerneville) from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Children must be present to receive the meals. For more information, go here.

Rotary Clubs of Santa Rosa, Petaluma and Rohnert Park

Several Rotary Clubs in Sonoma County are offering drive-thru meal services every Saturday at noon for both laid-off and employed hospitality and service workers in need. Meals can be picked up at these locations: Rohnert Park-Cotati Regional Library (6250 Lynne Condé Way, Rohnert Park), the Multicultural Child Development Center (1650 W. 3rd St., Santa Rosa) and the Petaluma Community Center (320 N. McDowell Blvd., Petaluma).

Ceres Community Project

Ceres Community Project is providing meals and food assistance to Sonoma and Marin County residents who are facing serious medical and financial challenges. Residents must meet several qualifications to receive assistance, such as being without a caretaker to provide meals. If you meet Ceres’ qualifications, call the client intake line at 707-829-5833, ext. 201. It may take up to three weeks to receive meals. The organization is working to expand its capacity.

Food For Thought

Food For Thought provides weekly groceries and frozen meals to people living with HIV and other serious illnesses in Sonoma County. Go here for more information. To apply for assistance, contact client services director Nina Redman at NinaR@FFTfoodbank.org or 707-887-1647 ext. 119.

Friends in Sonoma Helping

Friends in Sonoma Helping will provide Sonoma Valley families in need with groceries twice per month. To receive groceries, first call 707-996-0111 between 9 a.m.-noon on weekdays. For more information, go here.

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