Maricopa County area food banks

With a $3 million allocation, Maricopa County is boosting area food banks, which are experiencing high demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Maricopa County continues to distribute the nearly $400 million it received in federal CARES funds, targeted to alleviate the financial pain suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Board of Supervisors has approved funding for programs to help individuals and businesses, including:

• Rental assistance: Households can receive rental assistance payments for past due or owed rent for the months of March to December 2020. More than 1,700 households have received assistance to date, with more than $5 million in rent payments distributed so far. 

• Utility assistance: Households can receive up to $1,000 to help cover electric and gas bills.

• Business and nonprofit grants: Grants of up to $25,000 are available to small businesses and nonprofits experiencing financial hardship during the pandemic. More than $22 million in grants have been distributed so far.

Maricopa County received $399 million from the U.S. Treasury as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). The purpose of this money is to cover expenditures related to the public health emergency.

Last month, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors approved $5 million in funding to support nonprofit social service agencies. Administered by the Arizona Community Foundation, the funds will provide between 25 and 200 grants, with awards ranging from $25,000 to $200,000 each.

To support food banks experiencing increased demand from residents due to financial hardships caused by the pandemic, the county has allocated $3 million to the Arizona Food Bank Network. From those funds, the Network will administer small and large grants to St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance, United Food Bank and Desert Mission Food Bank and their community partners.

“By working with our valued partners at the Arizona Community Foundation and the Arizona Food Bank Network, who have the necessary experience and expertise, we are able to quickly deliver funding to support critical services that many families in our community need right now,” said Bruce Liggett, director of Maricopa County Human Services Department.

For more information, visit maricopa.gov/covidcommunityhelp.

Several adjustments have been made to the COVID Crisis Rental Assistance program.  The three-month limit on assistance has been removed so families can potentially qualify for rent payments dating back to March.

Less documentation is now required to streamline the qualification process.

So far, the COVID Crisis Rental Assistance program has provided help to more than 1,700 households for a combined 3,625 months (or $5.4 million) of paid rent since it began in mid-July. 

To check eligibility, apply for assistance and upload documents, visit maricopa.gov/covidrenthelp.

The Board of Supervisors allocated $6 million of CARES Act funding for utility assistance, which is administered through local community action programs. 

Eligible applicants will be provided up to $1,000 per household.

For details and information on how to apply, visit maricopa.gov/covidutilityhelp.