News and Updates May 2020

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News and Updates May 2020

This email provides an update on USDA Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services (FNCS) response to COVID-19 regarding the implementation of phase two SNAP Emergency Allotments to States and Territories across the US.

USDA is granting the following blanket approval for SNAP Emergency Allotments under authority granted in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

FNS will allow States to provide SNAP Emergency Allotments month-to-month.

To qualify one or more of the following conditions are also required:
• Residents of the State are confirmed to have contracted Covid-19
• Some or all areas of the State are containment or quarantine zones
• Businesses have closed or significantly reduced their hours
• The State’s residents have experienced economic impacts due to job suspensions or losses
• The State’s residents have been directed to practice social distancing
• The State’s emergency or disaster declaration remains active.
• The Federal Public Health Emergency Declaration remains active.

States must submit information regarding the Emergency Allotment issuance date(s) and the estimated number of impacted households and benefit amount each month. This information will be submitted to FNS on the 15th of each month for the subsequent month. States will await FNS acknowledgement before sending the Emergency Allotment issuance file(s) to their EBT processor.

Please click here for additional SNAP Outreach information:

SNAP COVID 19 Outreach Info

Food Lasts a lot Longer than Most People Think…

From The New York Times:

The Food Expiration Dates You Should Actually Follow
The first thing you should know? The dates, as we know them, have nothing to do with safety. J. Kenji López-Alt explains.

Read More…

Serving Tri-Cities


Your connection to the resources and programs available in the Appalachian Highlands and beyond. Please provide this website to your recipients. There is info for all needs (it goes way beyond food assistance).

Read More…

Updated USDA Income Eligibility Guidelines

We have received a new update. For all of our USDA Approved agencies, please print this out and replace your previous guideline.

Survey Says

For those of you who have still NOT taken the most recent survey, please do… This helps us help your agency (and your community).

Take Survey

Valuable Resources for your recipients during this time…


Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth is compiling a list of resources at this link. Please feel free to visit!
There’s a COVID-19 link on the front page of This is updated daily with new information and resources.

Support group for moms


All lead by trained facilitators…we have a local group in Northeast TN ( and a national group with more options ( Perinatal moms are more anxious and fearful now more than ever and we’ve had an increase in calls in the last few weeks. In our first week of launching The Mom Support Group we supported over 100 moms virtually and it is a collaborative effort of multiple organizations. Cherished Mom is also sending handwritten cards to mamas at home (

If you have any questions, please let me know!

Thank you and be safe and well!


Kristina Dulaney, RN, PMH-C

40 Under 40 TriCities 2019

Cherished Mom, Founder

Subscribe to Cherished Mom’s YouTube Channel

Appalachian Perinatal Mental Health Alliance, CoFounder



Maintaining your recovery is especially important during times like these. Make use of these online recovery meetings and supports.

In The Rooms Recovery Community has meetings for a lot of different 12-step fellowships and other programs such as Narcotics Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous, Co-Dependents Anonymous, Marijuana Anonymous, Illness in Recovery, Dual Diagnosis, etc. People are asked about your interests when they sign up (for free). There are even meetings listed unrelated to substance abuse.

Friends of SMART Recovery and Harm Reduction

Friends of SMART Recovery and Harm Reduction is an excellent Facebook support group for those who utilize SMART Recovery, which is an alternative to 12-step spaces for recovery from various things, but particularly substance abuse. Please note, that this Facebook group is NOT an official substitute for a SMART Recovery Meeting, nor is it run by the SMART Recovery Organization. This group have some strict admins who do not allow too much 12-step language or promotion, which can be helpful for those who are uncomfortable with 12-step programs (for whatever reasons). This also means the language used here is very person-first oriented.

For official Smart-Recovery information and online meetings, click here.

This is a time to come together, albeit virtually. Check in on your friends who are self-quarantined or are social distancing. Make sure they are still getting the support they need. Isolation can be a big trigger for addiction-related struggles.

Helpful resources from AIMHiTN for parent/caregivers


Links for parents/caregivers of young children during this health crisis:

Harmony- Free online Parent Support Groups:

Pyramid Model Scripted Stories and activities to help deal with challenging behaviors:

PBS: How you and your kids can de-stress during coronavirus:


CDC Ideas on helping children cope with disasters:


Resources from first 3 years for Parents and Professionals on working with children during the pandemic:

PCAT text line for overwhelmed parents:

Video by Dr. Barbara Stroud:

Dr. Stroud has provided this informational video for parents in order to support caregivers in managing the emotional responses and developmental needs of their children during this crisis. Dr. Stroud provides parents with information and skills to support their children’s emotional health, mental well-being, and build necessary skills of resilience.


Advice from Lerner Child Development on helping you and your child cope with the issues related to the coronavirus:

Financial Assistance Information for Families


Financial Aid Available for Certain Families

That Lost Employment Due to COVID-19

Emergency cash assistance applications are being accepted online for qualifying families that lost a job as a result of the pandemic state of emergency

Application is now available at

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) is making essential financial resources available to families that have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 emergency. Beginning 10 A.M. CST Thursday, March 26, families can begin applying, online, for up to two months of emergency cash assistance if they were employed as of March 11, 2020 and they’ve lost employment or at least 50% of their earned income as a result of the pandemic.

All TDHS offices are currently operating on appointment only as a precaution for COVID-19. During this time, the department is asking applicants to complete the application process for emergency cash assistance online at Applicants are required to upload their verification to the application prior to submitting to TDHS. Once the application and verifications have been submitted, no further action will be needed. Applicants DO NOT need to call the DHS office for an interview. Applicants will receive a notification of denial or approval via email within 5 days. If approved, applicants can expect an electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card to be sent within 5-7 days of approval via mail.

The Emergency Cash Assistance provides two monthly cash payments to families that were employed as of March 11, 2020 and have lost a job or lost at least 50% of their earned income due to the COVID-19 emergency. This money is funded by the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program and provides:

·    $500 for a household of 1 to 2 persons.

·    $750 for a household of 3 to 4 persons.

·    $1000 for a household with 5 or more persons.

This assistance is available in addition to any unemployment benefits individuals in the family may be receiving.

To be eligible, families must have been employed as of March 11, 2020 but have since then lost employment or at least 50% of their earned income due to the COVID-19 emergency, include a child under the age of 18 or a pregnant woman, have a valid Social Security Number, must not have resources exceeding $2000, and the gross and/or unearned monthly income may not exceed 85% of the State’s Median Income that’s currently:

·    Gross Monthly Income of $2,696 for a household of one.

·    Gross Monthly Income of $3,526 for a household of two.

·    Gross Monthly Income of $4,356 for a household of three.

·    Gross Monthly Income of $5,185 for a household of four.

·    Gross Monthly Income of $6,015 for a household of five.

“We know the next few months are going to be a challenge for families across our state who unexpectedly lost a job through no fault of their own,” said TDHS Commissioner Danielle W. Barnes. “This emergency cash assistance will provide families with the temporary resources they need to support themselves during what we hope will be a short time away from their jobs. Helping families through this emergency is how we continue building a thriving Tennessee.”

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program is a federal workforce development and employment program emphasizing work, training, and personal responsibility. It is temporary and has a primary focus on gaining self-sufficiency through employment. Existing TANF customers receiving Families First benefits will be eligible to apply for this emergency cash assistance.

Learn more about the Tennessee Department of Human Services at

Mental Health Assistance Info to pass along


COVID-19 Federal Announcements & Guidance

SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline: 24/7, 365-day-a-year crisis counseling and support for people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 224/7, 365-day-a-year hotline for people experiencing suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Call 1-800-273-8255.

Frontier Health Info here.

Go Outside! Pass this info on to your recipients:


Spending time in nature has robust effects on our health – physically, mentally and emotionally. As the world hunkers down to minimize the spread of COVID-19, we need the anti-stressors of nature, sunlight, and Vitamin D now more than ever. Even though we are advised to stay home, we can still get outdoors and active for our health. Given the current guidelines to minimize travel, we encourage you to get creative in ways to enjoy nature around your homes and neighborhoods. We also encourage you to download the Healthy Parks TN iOS app or use our web app to earn FREE rewards while doing so. See you outside (from at least 6 feet away)!

“People that spend 2 hours a week in green spaces are substantially more likely to report good health and psychological well-being than those who don’t.” (Yale Environment, 2020)

Visit the web app at:

Download the iOS app in the Apple store: Healthy Parks TN

–Stacey Levine, Program Administrator for Healthy Parks, Healthy Person TN

Keeping a Safe Social Distance in Parks and on Trails During the COVID-19 Pandemic

As our daily lives change, people will want to be outdoors and will use open outdoor areas of parks and trails to keep healthy — physically and mentally — and to provide activities for kids who suddenly have no school and unlimited time without being able to hang with friends. CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) have been emphasizing that to control the COVID-19 epidemic, we must “flatten the curve” — that is, reduce the amount of transmission of the virus. One proven way to accomplish this is by social distancing — keeping six feet or more from other individuals and taking precautions to wash hands, refrain from being in enclosed spaces with other people, disinfect surfaces, and other precautions to prevent the spread of the virus.

To learn more about social distancing in parks and on trails, please read this article from the National Recreation and Parks Association.

There are several COVID-19 resources available.

First, the National Recreation and Park Association has a comprehensive news and resources page involving COVID-19. Different sections on this page include resources for operations, programming, parks and recreation facilities, and aquatics.

At this time, the Center for Disease Control has not put out any specific guidelines involving parks and recreation facilities. But they do have a very important page on cleaning and disinfection recommendations for community facilities with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19. They also have a useful page on how to prepare and take action for COVID-19 for schools, workplaces, and community locations. Lastly, the CDC also a page that is updated daily with the latest news and resources about COVID-19.

This is uncertain times for us all. But we will get through it and be stronger as a result.



Dear Down Dog Community,

In light of the lockdowns and quarantines still in place all over the world, we are extending free access to all of our apps until May 1st.

We hope that Down Dog, Yoga for Beginners, HIIT, Barre, and 7 Minute Workout will continue to support your mental and physical health during this time.

Please help us get the word out and share this widely with those you think would benefit from this extended free access. More information can be found at

Stay home and stay healthy.

With love,

The Down Dog Team

p.s. If you are a student or teacher (K-12 or college), go to to get free access until July 1st.

If you are a healthcare worker, you can visit to get free access until July 1st.

If your company has shifted to remote work and you’d like help extending wellness resources to your employees, please send us an email at and we’ll do what we can to help.

I wanted to share the free, youth fitness and family fitness resources we now have available at These resources are pulled from our evidence-based PowerUp Your School program, a physical activity program aligned with academic standards for K-8 and PowerUp Peanuts program for ages 2-5.

These resources include a combination of short videos of PowerUp exercises, sample PowerUp Your School and PowerUp Peanuts lessons, and lists of games and activities to support active learning, even in living rooms. Please feel free to share these resources with your staff, health councils, families, etc

Our available resources are growing daily and we hope they can provide a fun, educational family fitness outlet during these uncertain times.

Please let me know if there are additional educational physical activity resources I can provide that would be helpful!

Stacy Baugues

Founder & CEO

PowerUp Fitness, LLC

(c) 901-283-9018

A Hand Up; Not a  Handout

Young people in and leaving #FosterCare are incredibly vulnerable and being hit hard by the #COVID19 pandemic, as many do not have family support during these difficult times. #SupportFosterYouth #WithoutFamilyToTurnTo #UPChafee #ChildWelfareCOVID

Home practicing good physical distancing with a new baby? Know someone who is? DID YOU KNOW? The Tennessee Breastfeeding Hotline is available 24/7 to answer any questions you may have about breastfeeding. Call 855-4BFMOMS.

Important News if you are applying for SNAP or Families First.

Are you in need of childcare? We’ve created this list of agencies that are open during the COVID-19 Emergency to help you.

Our essential workers are the heartbeat of Tennessee right now. That’s why we’re launching a program to provide them with free child care. Details how to apply and who qualifies are on our website.

DID YOU KNOW? In TN, everyone is a mandated reporter. That means if you believe a child has been abused or neglected, you have a legal obligation to report it. Help spread the word during #ChildAbusePreventionMonth . Report by phone: 877-237-0004/ online:

FAMILIES– If you are looking for the closest meal pick up program to you, don’t forget to check out by @hoonuit . We have partnered with Hoonuit to provide you with the most up-to-date information. Learn more –>…

#HealthAlert ! Find an updated list of recalled household items to make sure your family stays safe.…

Doing chores at home this week? Make it fun and active with your family! For tips to fit in physical activity while multitasking at home, go to: #COVID19

Psychologists from the Vanderbilt Center of Excellence will talk with parents about how managing the “red ball” of emotions is the 1st & crucial step to helping children. This is meant to be an interactive discussion 4 parents. Click here to register:

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