Basic Needs Resources
We understand that the ever-changing landscape of closures, postponements, and rules regarding our public health can be stressful. To assist you, we have assembled information about some of the resources available.
Our Ridgewater College counselors, Dawn Bjork-Pedersen and Lisa Wagoner, are here to assist students. They are concerned about your wellness, whether it be academic or emotional. We encourage you to reach out to them if needed. To make an appointment for a phone or ZOOM (video conferencing) meeting, please call Student Services at 320-222-5971.
If you are worried about basic needs like food support, payments to utilities, financial support, internet, data usage, or what to do with yourself or kids at home, see the links below. In addition to these links, all social media platforms have a search tool you can use to identify supports in your area. As a last resort, some student emergency resources may be available.
Energy Assistance Program
Minnesota’s Energy Assistance Program has funds to help pay energy bills. Households have until July 1 to apply. For more information, click the links below.
Commerce – Consumer Alert COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program [PDF]
EAP facts during COVID-19
EAP Flyer, April 2020 (English)
EAP Flyer, April 2020 (Hmong)
EAP Flyer, April 2020 (Somali)
EAP Flyer, April 2020 (Spanish)
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA)
CONNECT is offering free services provided by volunteers to individuals who may be experiencing anxiety, stress and worry.
Greater Minnesota Family Services is offering free Tele Help service by calling 320-403-4167 to speak to a counselor. For more information, refer to the Greater Minnesota Family Services flyer [PDF] for details. GMFS provides services to a number of counties including but not limited to Chippewa, Kandiyohi, Swift, Stearns, Sherburne, Big Stone, Lac Qui Parle.
Unemployment insurance for those who are displaced by COVID-19.
Feeling stressed about what is happening right now? Help is a click away.
Minnesota Department of Health
Social Service Agencies by County
Meeker County Social Services
Kandiyohi Family Services
Swift County Human Services
McLeod County Social Services Financial Assistance
Carver County Income Support Services
Sibley County Income Maintenance Services
Hennepin County Community Action Services
Qualifying Low-Income Students and Needs-Based Programs
Reduced Rates for Broadband Service
Internet Essentials-affordable internet at home for eligible households
Spectrum Internet Assist to qualified households
Lifeline federal program for phone and internet service
Internet and Cell Service Information
Data carriers suspend data caps
Which companies are and are not suspending data carrier data caps
Public wifi locations in Hutchinson: Aquatic Center, Library Square, Masonic/West River Campground, McLeod County Fairgrounds, Veterans Memorial Park
Comcast and Spectrum: 1-844-488-8395 or 1-844-488-8398
Spectrum’s Response to COVID-19: Free 60-day internet service to new customers who have not had internet in the last 30 days. Call 844-579-3743.
MVTV Wireless: Free wireless internet service available in Pennock, Blomkest, and rural New London. The WiFi hot spots are courtesy of Kandiyohi County and MVTV Wireless. The log-in is mvtv and the password is 5705. For technical support, call the MVTV office at 320-564-4807.
Mediacom – Hutchinson 855-633-4226
Nuvera – Hutchinson 320-587-2323
Free or reduced meals/Food options around Hutchinson and Willmar Campuses
Free meals posted by Common Cup Ministry
Food Shelf and other food insecurity resources [PDF]
Free and reduced food Willmar, MN
United Community Action Partnership (UCAP), Willmar MN
The Willmar Area Food Shelf is currently delivering food to people. Call 320-444-6872 with your name, number of people in the household, and the address.
Keeping yourself and kids entertained during social distancing
Small Business Resources
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Save Small Business Initiative