Fall 2021 Information and Resources

The Grad Center is committed to supporting all graduate and professional students and is working with campus partners to provide resources and opportunities for engagement to help you stay connected and academically during the Fall 2021 semester and throughout your time at Penn.  

Announcements & Official Information  Grad Center Resources 

Resources and Support   Grad Student Spaces

Grad Center Resources and Activities

The Graduate Student Center building at 3615 Locust Walk will be closed through the fall semester for construction. Although our normal offices are closed, the Grad Center team is on campus and available to provide assistance and support to all Penn graduate and professional students. Email gradcenter@upenn.edu or use this form to connect with us.

Upcoming Events   Resource Guide  Connect with Us

Stay connected and informed: 

Twitter     Instagram      Facebook     Newsletter

COVID-19 Resources and Information
Announcements and Official Information
Testing & Vaccine Requirements

Testing and Vaccine Requirements 
Public health guidance on campus continues to evolve. The following requirements are in place as of July 2021:

  • Beginning July 1, faculty, staff, postdocs, and students must be fully vaccinated and upload their vaccine documentation or take part in Penn Cares screening testing.

  • Students who will be on campus for the Fall 2021 semester are required to undergo Gateway Testing.

  • For COVID-related guidance for visitors to campus, consult the Visitors page.

Testing & Vaccination Resources

Vaccination Information

Gateway Testing

Testing Program

Student FAQs | Student Compliance with Testing

Testing Positive, Contact Tracing, Quarantine & Isolation

Upload Your COVID-19 Vaccine Record in Student Health
Immunization records, including those for COVID-19, should be uploaded to the Student Health Service portal.

Conduct and Compliance 

One of the responsibilities of Student Citizenship, as outlined in the University’s Code of Conduct, is to respect the health and safety of others. This includes but is not limited to following current public health guidance, complying with isolation or quarantine, and cooperating with contact tracing efforts. Students who do not comply with these expectations may be brought before the Office of Student Conduct and may face disciplinary action.

University Updates & Announcements

The University of Pennsylvania has instituted mitigation practices and policies in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic. For the latest information visit the University’s coronavirus webpage.   

Conduct and Compliance 
One of the responsibilities of Student Citizenship, as outlined in the University’s Code of Conduct, is to respect the health and safety of others. This includes but is not limited to following current public health guidance, complying with isolation or quarantine, and cooperating with contact tracing efforts. Students who do not comply with these expectations may be brought before the Office of Student Conduct and may face disciplinary action.

Campus Operations 
Some campus departments and offices are continuing to provide services remotely. Please check official websites for the most up-to-date information. 

Unfortunately, bias-motivated attacks have been reported in Philadelphia and around the country. Penn’s Division of Public Safety supports the physical and emotional wellbeing of all Penn communities. Should any member of our community receive any threatening messages or become the victim of a criminal act, or see suspicious activity that should be indicative of a future act of violence, regardless of the location of the occurrence, please call the Division of Public Safety’s Emergency Communications Center immediately at 215-573-3333

Request a Walking Escort: Penn Public Safety and the University District Ambassador Program are available to provide Walking Escorts from 10:00am until 3:00am between 30th & 50th and Spring Garden Street to Woodland Avenue. Students can call 215-898-WALK (9255) 

Penn Transit and Parking

At this time, all Penn Transit Services are operating on regular routes and schedules. All Penn Transit riders are required to display a valid institutional identification card and a “green” PennOpen Screening Pass before entering a vehicle.

Penn’s on-demand Evening Shuttles and Penn Accessible Transit services will continue to operate as normal. Shuttles provide free transportation from campus stops to anywhere in the service boundaries between 20th & 50th and Spring Garden Street to Woodland Avenue.

Penn Dining 
Penn Dining is open and is providing limited service. Visit the Penn Dining Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information and Resources page for the most up-to-date information. Please be aware that hours and locations are subject to change. 

Penn On-Campus Housing 
Information and resources for campus residents can be found at https://residential-services.business-services.upenn.edu/

Official Information and Websites

Penn will be easing restrictions relating to both on-campus activities and University travel as conditions permit. These are important steps as we continue to transition toward  a more normal, on-campus experience for our students, faculty, staff, and researchers this fall. Please use the links below for the most up-to-date information.









Penn Cares Button

Wellness at Penn and Penn Public Health have partnered to create new social media accounts to serve as a central source of COVID-19 information for the Penn community.

Be sure to follow @COVIDPenn on Instagram & Twitter for the latest guidance & public health information from Penn!


Fall 2021
In-Person Events & Activities

Event Registration

As part of the University’s community care efforts, all student groups must register in-person events they would like to host on campus, at an off-campus residence, or at a third-party venue. This includes all events where alcohol will be served as well as dry events.

Event Registration

Fall 2021 Guidelines for Student Group Activities

This guidance governs in-person activity that can be organized and/or funded by your student organization in Fall 2021. Guidance is based on current university and city/state policies and has been communicated to the University community via the August 5 Message from the President and the Public Health Guidance website. If these policies change during the semester, the guidelines for student organizations may also change. In cases where these sets of guidelines are not aligned, deference should be given to the University public health guidance.

Fall 2021 Student Group Guidance


PennOpen Pass
  • PennOpen Pass is a daily symptom tracker and exposure reporting system designed to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading within the Penn community.
  • Beginning July 1, 2021, PennOpen Pass is not required for entry into most University buildings. However, PennOpen Pass is required to enter health care settings at Penn Medicine and University facilities that serve patients, such as Penn Dental at the Schattner Center, and Penn Cares testing sites.
  • Beginning July 1, 2021, only University faculty, postdoctoral trainees, staff, and students who are not fully vaccinated or have not recorded their fully vaccinated status in their appropriate system of record, Workday@Penn or Student Health Service, are required to use PennOpen Pass daily.
  • Beginning July 1, 2021, fully vaccinated University faculty, postdoctoral trainees, staff, and students who have recorded their fully vaccinated status in their appropriate system of record are not required to use PennOpen Pass daily.
  • While fully vaccinated individuals are not required to complete PennOpen Pass daily, all University campus members should continue to use PennOpen Pass to report new symptoms and exposures to guide testing and clinical management according to the latest guidelines.
  • Penn Medicine faculty, postdoctoral trainees, staff, and students entering Penn Medicine health care settings are required to complete daily symptom checks using PennOpen Pass and show a Green Pass upon entering.

For individuals who are not fully vaccinated or do not report their fully vaccinated status, symptom checks must be completed in PennOpen Pass before the start of each day, including on weekends, to reduce the risk that any COVID-19 case could lead to an outbreak. Daily symptom tracking enables PennOpen Pass to act as an early warning system of potential COVID-19 infections on campus. If COVID-19 cases are diagnosed, clinical staff and contact tracers will respond quickly to contain spread and connect individuals at risk to care in an expedited manner. For persons working or learning remotely 100% of the time, PennOpen Pass still provides access to expedited clinical guidance should a need arise.

For information on how it works, answers to frequently asked questions, the privacy policy, and other resources, visit the PennOpen Pass website.

Visit PennOpen Pass

Resources and Support
Hurricane Irma / Flooding Assistance

Flooding Assistance 

If you are a student who was displaced or seriously impacted by the recent flooding, there are several resources at Penn and beyond that may be able to help.


Short Term Housing

Off-Campus Housing: http://cms.business-services.upenn.edu/offcampusservices/

Through the Off-Campus Services website, there is a link to rental listings.  You can create a guest account to search the listings. I would also recommend the “more “ section. You select short term as a search parameter.  Most high-rise apartments have short-terms rentals.


There are several B&B’s in the area:

Cornerstone: https://www.cornerstonebandb.com  Phone: 215-387-6065

The Gables: http://www.gablesbb.com                         Phone: 215-662-1918

Akwaaba:   www.akwaaba.com                                        Phone: 866-466-3855


The following offer short-term stays and are close to the University

The Inn at Penn


The Sheraton


Club Quarters


Homewood Suites.



AKA University City Hotel & Serviced Residences*

Brand new high-rise hotel. Penn rates & free shuttle.


Homewood Suites University City*

All-suite hotel at 41st & Walnut. Complimentary full hot breakfast. Penn Rates available.


Warwick Rittenhouse Square*

A 4 diamond hotel. 1.7 miles from campus. Penn Rate $155 includes breakfast.


The Windsor Suites*

Home away from home in Center City, on the famed Ben Franklin Pkwy. Studios and suites.


Hilton Garden Inn Center City*

At the Convention Center, in the heart of the city's best shopping, restaurants and historic areas.


The Rittenhouse*

AAA 5-Diamond" luxury hotel, on center city's beautiful Rittenhouse Square. The Rittenhouse is now affordable, with your special Penn discount. P.O. Approved.



A totally redesigned hotel in 2014, prime location - only 1.63 miles away from campus in center city, walking distance to all city attractions & vibes, P.O. approved.


The Study at University City*

Brand new hotel in the heart of vibrant University City.


Hampton by Hilton*

Center City modern hotel next to Convention Center and walking distance to many historic attractions and restaurants.


The Logan, Curio Collection by Hilton*

Newly renovated, downtown modern luxury hotel at museum district, near Rittenhouse Sq, shopping, restaurants. HHonors points.


Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown*

Center city near City Hall, shopping & restaurants!


AKA Rittenhouse Square*

Offering short & long term stays, AKA suites offers preferred amenities for Penn travelers.  PO approved.


DoubleTree by Hilton Philadelphia*

481 rooms including 52 extended-stay suites in the heart of Center City. Special: 20% off best avail rates for Penn Groups!


Holiday Inn Express Midtown*

Center City at 13th and Walnut, within walking distance to historic sites, shopping and restaurants.


UR Home in Philly*

All the comforts of home in Center City. Various locations, fully furnished, for temporary, short or long term stays. Penn Preferred rates plus use our Car Service.


Palomar Philadelphia*

Boutique hotel housed in a striking 1929 Art Deco landmark.  Ideally located in the heart of Center City.



ROOST offers the comfort and convenience of an apartment with the amenities of a boutique hotel.  Call 267-737-9012 for Penn discounted nightly rates.

Health and Wellness

Rest & Recharge 
As a reminder, PhD and research master’s degree students will have three days off from classes and assignments in the coming weeks: 

  • Friday, February 12 
  • Tuesday, March 30 
  • Monday, April 12 

Professional students should check with your programs regarding plans for these days. If the days are available to you, we urge you to use them to rest and recharge – relax, unplug, and take part in the virtual events of these three Engagement Days.  

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
CAPS is offering counseling sessions by phone or video conference, as well as in person. CAPS is available for students seeking drop-in or individual appointments. To schedule an appointment, dial 215-898-7021 and press 2 to speak to the Front Desk (M-F, 9am-5pm) or you can press 1 to talk to a clinician 24/7. For more information, visit https://caps.wellness.upenn.edu/

CAPS also provides support groups for students on various topics, including groups for those experiencing racial trauma and grief.

Your Mental Health and COVID-19: Tips and resources to help you cope with COVID-19, including dealing with issues of bias, coping skills, and more. CAPS also introduced Wellnest, a gamified, mindfulness app that promotes self-reflection and journaling in a fun and creative way. Learn more about the benefits of journaling in this YouTube video of a recent workshop we held. You can download the Wellnest app on your iOS device or join Wellnest on their web-based app

The Office of the Chaplain | SPARC
The Chaplain / SPARC staff is available to students, faculty and staff for pastoral support, guidance, or informal advising and counseling via phone or video chat. 

Student Health Services
Student Health Services remains available for students in need of medical services. Visit their website for more information: https://shs.wellness.upenn.edu/. SHS services are available for free to all students who pay the clinical fee.  

Students with medical emergencies should utilize emergency medical services and dial 911. 

Please note: In addition to behavioral and COVID-19 testing expectations, the Campus Compact requires all enrolled students to receive a flu shot this year. PSIP and many other insurers cover the flu shot for free. Students can receive a flu shot at Student Health or your primary care provider.

Important changes to PSIP in response to the COVID-19 outbreak:

Please contact the Insurance Office at 215 746 3535 or vpul-shsinsur@pobox.upenn.edu with any questions.

COVID-19 Testing Information
Any Penn student who needs to schedule a one-time COVID-19 test can do so by following the instructions provided on the Wellness COVID-19 page. This includes students who believe they may have been exposed to or who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. 

Students who are living or working in congregate settings or who otherwise wish to participate in more routine testing should sign up to participate in surveillance testing. Students should complete this form and agree to show up for weekly testing in order to participate.

Students can look up their own test results in the new student results portal at https://sct.wellness.upenn.edu 

One call to the HELP LINE can assist you in finding personal and mental health support, 215-898-HELP.

Additional Resources and Information 

Wellness and Engagement Resources 

Last updated: April 28, 2021
Technology & Software Access

All Penn students have unlimited data storage via Penn+Box, a cloud-based collaboration service for securely managing and sharing files and folders within the Penn community and externally. Users can access, create, manage, and distribute content across various device types and operating systems via Single Sign On (SSO). 

Used to using a whiteboard for teaching, research, or office hours? CTL has some low- & medium-tech solutions you can use in live and recorded sessions! Many also recommend low-cost tablets for simulating whiteboards

Penn Libraries Virtual Support page provides a range of guides, tutorials, and support services to help with virtual classes. The Penn Libraries software guide includes tutorials and information on virtual meeting platforms — including Adobe Connect, BlueJeans, GoToMeeting, and Zoom

The Using Electronic Resources guide provides information on accessing e-resources, optimal browser settings, as well as common connection problems and solutions.

Internet and Phone Service 
Information about free and low-cost internet & wi-fi access and updates made to mobile phone service plans to help support individuals during the COVID-19 crisis.

IT Support
Penn Information Systems & Computing (ISC) has put together a Remote IT Support Guide to assist students with accessing and using virtual instruction and software. Please click on a link below to jump to a section in the guide: 

Last updated: November 30, 2020
Academic and Research Support

Graduate Study Space
Beginning Monday, March 22, the Graduate Student Center is providing a limited number of tables for quiet, individual study (through April 30). Currently enrolled graduate and professional students will be able to reserve a seat in the Grad Center Common Room for up to three hours each weekday through the end of the semester. Students may also reserve a seat in Van Pelt Library for individual study. All campus facilities will require students to comply with the Student Campus Compact and show both a confirmed reservation and a PennOpen Green pass.

Penn Libraries 
Penn Libraries Virtual Support page provides the information you’ll need to access digital content, collaborate with research partners, and directly consult with librarians. They have been working with academic publishers to make additional virtual content openly available. In addition, subject librarians are standing by to support online teaching, research, and learning throughout the rest of the semester.

The following services are available for physical books located in Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center, the Libraries’ Research Annex (LIBRA), Fisher Fine Arts Library, and the Museum Library:

  • Books by Mail for current Penn students, faculty, and staff within North America. International requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
  • Pickup@Penn enables members of the Penn community to request books and pick them up outside Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center.

**Update**  Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center has opened limited seating for individual study Monday-Thursday, 11 am to 7 pm and Fridays noon to 5 pm. All undergraduate, graduate, and professional students are eligible to reserve seats (at least 12 hours in advance). You must comply with Penn's COVID-19 testing protocols, showing your reservation and PennOpen Green Pass for entry. Learn more and make reservations at the Penn Libraries website

If you have books or personal materials in a carrel, email vpcircdk@pobox.upenn.edu to arrange a pick-up or register for Books By Mail to have books and personal items shipped to you.

Additional resources and information : 

Weingarten Learning Resources Center 
The Weingarten Center staff is working remotely but will continue to support students by providing academic assistance (e.g., individual consultations with learning instructors, tutoring) through virtual platforms and by overseeing the implementation of accommodations for students with disabilities.

  • The Office of Learning Resources (OLR) is offering virtual access to academic support resources and advising. Students can schedule 50-minute virtual meetings or sign up for 25-minute virtual drop-in sessions with a learning instructor via the MyWLRC portal to discuss their study strategies and approaches to a variety of academic assignments and assessments. More details at www.vpul.upenn.edu/lrc/lr/

  • Student Disabilities Services staff members are available by phone and email to answer questions from members of the University community about accessibility and accommodations. For information explaining how SDS will provide the most common support services in the virtual classroom environment, visit www.vpul.upenn.edu/lrc/sds/. Contact SDS directly by email or phone (215-573-9235) with any additional questions or concerns.

Contact the Weingarten Center at 215-573-9235 to get updated information about Student Disabilities Services, Office of Learning Resources, and Tutoring Services and to be connected with a staff member who can address your needs.

Writing Center 
The Writing Center provides writing support to graduate students enrolled in credit-bearing courses during specific hoursGraduate students are able to schedule appointments by selecting the schedule "Graduate Tutoring: Spring 2021" on the left of our online scheduling system. All appointments must be scheduled ahead of time and will be conducted online. Please email tutorhelp@writing.upenn.edu for assistance.  

A guide to scheduling and attending online writing consultations is available at writing.upenn.edu/critical/wc/files/Online_Appointments.pdf (PDF, opens in new tab) 

Those students in time zones not well-suited to Writing Center hours should contact Stacy Kastner, PhD, Associate Director of The Writing Center.   

COVID-19 Related Academic Resources and FAQ 

Additional Academic Resources and Support

Last updated: March 31, 2021
Support for Teaching Remotely

The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) and Online Learning Initiative (OLI) have partnered to provide a guide to strategies and tools for teaching remotely. Check out the guide to teaching remotely at www.ctl.upenn.edu/resources-and-strategies-teaching-remotely.

CTL is also offering a series of online workshops related to teaching remotely. More details at https://bit.ly/ctl-grad-workshops

Check out our Penn Grad Blog where Grad Center Fellow Elizabeth Bynum outlines some of the things graduate instructors will take with them when we go back to in-person classes.

Used to using a whiteboard for teaching or office hours? CTL has some low- & medium-tech solutions you can use in live and recorded sessions! Many also recommend low-cost tablets for simulating whiteboards

Penn Libraries Virtual Support page provides a range of guides, tutorials, and support services to help with virtual classes.

The Penn Libraries software guide includes tutorials and information on virtual meeting platforms — including Adobe Connect, BlueJeans, GoToMeeting, and Zoom

The Using Electronic Resources guide provides information on accessing e-resources, optimal browser settings, as well as common connection problems and solutions.

Last updated: March 31, 2021
Student Groups and Organizations

Until further notice, all student group and social activities should be conducted virtually to the extent possible. Please see the In-Person Events & Activities drop-down in the Announcements & Official Information above if you are planning an in-person event with your student group.

Current guidance from the Philadelphia Department of Public Health instructs college and university students to avoid ALL social gatherings with people outside of their household. Penn students in the Philadelphia area are expected to comply with this and other guidelines, as indicated in the Student Campus Compact.

All student groups should review and comply with the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) Spring 2021 Rules for Student Group Operations (2.1.21). Additional updates and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) can be found on the OSA website

There are a number of resources and tools available for groups planning virtual activities and engagement, including: 

General Tips and Suggestions 

  • Update your group's PennClubs page, website and social media pages - stay active online and engage new members! 
  • Create new goals and objectives for your organization to reflect the nature of this semester. 

Group Meetings 

  • Continue to meet virtually on a regular basis 
  • Consider alternating or varying meeting times to accommodate members in other time zones 
  • Meet with your group faculty/staff adviser, OSA, or the Grad Center Director for support and guidance
  • Establish a communication plan with your exec team, adviser, and organization
  • Continue to build community with your organization members with online group activities
  • Maintain an online social media presence as an organization
  • Make an effort to recognize members and their contributions online
  • Try to conclude each meeting with a discussion of "what happens next?" - Summarize the meeting, review tasks that were assigned, discuss next meeting time or when you will talk next

Connection and Communication 
Think creatively about the best ways to share information and connect with one another while remote. 

  • Communication platforms and tools include: FaceTime, GroupMe, Phone calls (!), Social media groups/pages, Slack/Teams/Discord 
  • Social media takeovers: assign a member for a day/week to take over the org’s account and share their personal story, reflections, or favorite posts 
  • Video challenges: Use TikTok, IG Reels, or other tools to challenge your members - or other student groups - to fun video challenges 
  • Q&A: Use social media or online polls to help other students learn more about your organization and how to get/stay involved
  • Memories and Stories: share older posts or photos as a way of highlighting favorite events and memories or sharing stories about your members and activities. 

See additional resources and information for student groups in our resource guide.

last updated: May 12, 2021
Support for Specific Populations

International Students
International students who have questions about travel and visas can contact ISSS directly to schedule virtual advising: https://global.upenn.edu/isss

Although International Student & Scholar Service's (ISSS) in-person services remain suspended, ISSS advisors are available by email or virtual advising appointment. For instructions, visit https://global.upenn.edu/isss/advising.

ISSS has created a list of Frequently Asked Questions related to COVID-19 at https://global.upenn.edu/isss/coronavirus-FAQ and is scheduling a series of virtual town halls and webinars (https://global.upenn.edu/isss/coronavirus#townhalls).

Students leaving the United States do not need a travel signature on your I-20/DS-2019 before exiting the country. Before you return to the US, please complete the Travel Signature request form in iPenn. Once your request has been approved, please complete the Shipping Request form and your document will be mailed to you. 

Students and Postdocs with Children 
The Family Resource Center facility will remain closed through the spring semester. Family Center staff remain available to advise and meet with students, postdocs, and campus partners via phone, email, or Skype. 

Visit the Family Center Virtual Resources Page with special resources for parents and families during the COVID-19 outbreak and connect with other students, faculty, and staff parents through the Parents at Penn group on Facebook. 

Working from home while juggling caregiving can be a challenge, and many of you have asked for neighborhood-based approaches to help meet your caregiving needs. In response, Penn has launched Caregiver Connections, a new online platform for faculty, staff, graduate students, and postdocs who are also caregivers to build connections and find support in our local neighborhoods. We welcome feedback on this pilot program as we aim to develop the most useful solutions for members of the Penn community.

Students with Disabilities 
Student Disabilities Services is currently offering virtual support services for students in online classes. While the physical office is closed, SDS staff members are available by phone and email to answer questions from members of the University community about accessibility and accommodations.

For information about how SDS will provide the most common support services in the virtual classroom environment, visit www.vpul.upenn.edu/lrc/sds/. Contact SDS directly by email or phone (215-573-9235) with any additional questions or concerns.

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Resources

Visit the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion section of our resource guide for additional resources and information.

last updated: March 10, 2021 
Public Assistance Programs

Resource Connects: Philadelphia Assistance Programs 
Find community services to support your family, such as help with food, utilities, transportation and more. Resource Connects is part of a greater Philadelphia collaborative working to expand access to valuable programs and services to support your needs. 

Benefits.gov Coronavirus Resources
On Benefits.gov, you can find government benefits related to unemployment assistancehealthcare, and food and nutrition. You can also use the Benefit Finder to find additional benefits for which you may be eligible. 

To learn more and stay up to date about the steps you can take to keep safe and healthy during the coronavirus outbreak, refer to Coronavirus.gov, offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the White House. You can also visit USA.gov to learn more about the government's response to the outbreak. 

Public Benefits for PA Residents 
Individuals in Pennsylvania who lost a job or have reduced hours due to coronavirus may be eligible for food stamps (SNAP), Medicaid, cash assistance, or assistance with utilities. Visit https://clsphila.org/public-benefits/benefits-coronavirus/ for more information. 

Assistance for Philadelphia Renters and Homeowners
There are resources available to help Philadelphia renters and homeowners facing housing issues during the pandemic. For more information, visit: https://www.phila.gov/programs/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/updates/support-for-residents/#housing-and-utilities

Unemployment Resources 

If you are facing unemployment or a lapse in employment due to the coronavirus, the following resources may be available to you:  

Under the Federal CARES Act, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) expanded eligibility for individuals who have traditionally been ineligible for unemployment benefits. Individuals covered under PUA include the self-employed, those unable to start a new job, those seeking part-time employment, individuals lacking sufficient work history, and those who otherwise do not qualify for regular unemployment compensation or extended benefits.

To apply for unemployment assistance, please contact your State Unemployment Assistance Agency. For more information, visit the U.S. Department of Labor's Unemployment Assistance Page

Economic Impact Payments (stimulus checks)
First check: According to the IRS, stimulus checks will be distributed automatically, with no action required for most people. Eligible taxpayers, who filed tax returns for either 2019 or 2018 will automatically receive an economic impact payment of up to $1,200 for individuals or $2,400 for married couples. Parents will receive $500 for each qualifying child. Visit the IRS Economic Impact Payment Information Center to learn more. 

Second check: Eligible individuals who filed a 2019 joint tax return will receive up to $1,200, and all other eligible individuals will receive up to $600. Those with qualifying children on their 2019 tax return will receive up to $600 in additional payment per qualifying child. Visit the IRS Questions and Answers about the Second Economic Impact Payment page for more information.

Third check: Those eligible will automatically receive an Economic Impact Payment of up to $1,400 for individuals or $2,800 for married couples, plus $1,400 for each dependent. Unlike EIP1 and EIP2, families will get a payment for all their dependents claimed on a tax return, not just their qualifying children under 17. Visit the IRS More details about the third round of Economic Impact Payments for more information.

The IRS also has information on obtaining Economic Impact Payments for people experiencing homelessness.

For more information specific to Social Security during the COVID-19 outbreak, visit the U.S. Social Security Administration's Coronavirus Disease Page

Resources for Families in Need
For families requiring temporary assistance during the outbreak, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program can help provide financial assistance and related support.

Philadelphia residents who are pregnant or caring for an infant or toddler: see a list of resources and free supplies available to you and your family during COVID-19.

Food and Nutrition
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) serves millions of people annually, ensuring that they and their families have access to nutritious food options. The SNAP for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides for the special dietary needs of nursing and pregnant women, infants, and children under the age of five.

Additional federal programs can be found on the Benefits.gov Food and Nutrition Page. See additional food assistance programs and food banks in the "Other Assistance Programs" box on this page. 

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps provide low-income families with their heating and cooling energy costs. See a state-by-state list of utility assistance programs on the  Benefits.gov Housing and Public Utilities Page 

For Philadelphia and Pennsylvania specific utility assistance programs, please visit the city of Philadelphia's support for residents page.


211 Help
United Way-supported 211Help connects you to a specialist in your area who can put you in touch with organizations that provide critical services like food, housing, and utility programs and more.


Wifi, data, and internet. 
See information about free and low-cost Internet and Phone Service available to local residents.

See this guide to internet and mobile service plans for those with financial need for more information about qualifying for discounts on internet, computers, and resources to stay connected remotely. 

Food Assistance 
Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services offers the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, to help low-income households get more food. Applications can be submitted online or filed in person at your county assistance officeFor additional information and resources, visit the Department of Human Services website.

The Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger connects people with food assistance programs and nutrition education; provides resources to a network of food pantries; and educates the public and policymakers about responsible solutions to food insecurity. 

If you or someone you know is experiencing food insecurity, you can call the WHY Hunger Hotline at 1-800-5-HUNGRY or visit http://www.auntbertha.com

  • Philadelphia
    The City of Philadelphia and partners are providing free food for households and students at sites throughout the city.  
  • Montgomery County 
    Visit MontCo Anti-Hunger Network for the latest information on food pantries in Montgomery County.

Many area food banks were still operating with adjusted or limited hours. Please call in advance.  Many food pantries and banks are also accepting volunteers and donations. 

  • Philabundance 3616 South Galloway Street Philadelphia, PA 19148
  • Food Bank of South Jersey 1501 John Tipton Blvd. Pennsauken, NJ 08110
  • Share Food Program 2901 W. Hunting Park Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19129
  • Mary's Cupboard 100 Levittown Parkway Levittown, PA 19054
  • Manna on Main Street 606 E. Main Street Lansdale, PA 19446
  • Narberth Community Food Bank 201 Sabine Avenue, 2nd Floor Narberth, PA 19072
  • St. Mark's United Methodist Church Food Pantry 220 S. Sproul Rd. Broomall, PA 19008
  • Chester County Food Bank 650 Pennsylvania Drive Exton, PA 19341
last updated March 17, 2021

Calendar of Events 
Have a suggestion for resources or activities you'd like to see offered? Let us know