COVID-19 Information: Community and Social Services

Last updated: 4:30 pm EST, July 22, 2020

Accessing services

For the latest information on community services and agencies, contact 211 Ontario.

 Food Banks and Community Meal Programs

At this time, food banks and community meal programs may have different hours of operation or be temporarily closed. Public Health has been working with our local food banks and community meal programs to ensure they can operate safely and prevent the spread of illness. 

Food banks and organizations that provide community meal programs understand that families may be under additional stress. They are trying their best to meet the needs of the communities they serve without jeopardizing the health of their staff, volunteers and clients.

Food banks have been supported to operate with appropriate precautions put in place.  Please call your local food bank to make an appointment. To find a food bank in your community, please go to 211 Ontario or visit Southwest Healthline Food Bank List.

Legal Help
For legal assistance or updates on law and legal services available during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit Steps to Justice.

Providing services

 Food Banks and Community Meal Programs

If you are interested in resuming your community meal program, or hosting a meal in your community, please contact the Environmental Health Duty Desk at 1-888-221-2133 ext. 3670 for Perth County inquiries or ext. 2670 for Huron County, or email Please be prepared to follow the Province's Stage 3 Reopening Guidelines as well as put in additional screening, physical distancing and food safety practices. 

If you offer a community meal to the public, dine-in options are not permitted under any circumstances. Your community meal can only be offered if you can provide a take-out option and limit social interactions between people. If you provide a take-out option, the following must be considered:

  • To protect staff, volunteers and patrons, do not allow patrons to wait inside the premises for food orders to be ready. As an alternative, you could:
    • Deliver the take-out order to their car
    • Have them wait in their car until you text or call them that their meal(s) are ready
    • Provide a door-to-door service if you have the capacity to do so and appropriate containers for transporting food safely
  • Continue to follow good hygiene practices and infection control practices to ensure:
    • Staff and volunteers are not working if they are sick
    • Staff and volunteers are washing hands frequently to minimize the chance of getting infected.
    • That regular and routine cleaning and disinfecting of the facility is continuing, especially high touch surfaces and objects.

If you have questions about how to safely operate your specific food bank or community meal program, please email or refer to our COVID-19 factsheet Food Premises Operators/business owners.

Congregate Living Settings (Shelters, Group homes)

Congregate living settings refer to a range of facilities where people (most or all of whom are not related) live or stay overnight and use shared spaces (e.g., common sleeping areas, bathrooms, kitchens) including:

  • Shelters
  • Group homes
  • Correctional facilities
  • Children or youth residential settings

Please see Public Health Ontario's COVID-19 Resources for Congregate Living Settings.

Learn more about COVID-19 and vulnerable populations


Interested in volunteering and supporting your community during this time? Visit the following:

Huron - Perth Covid 19 Resource Group - Help is Close to Home

Help Do Local Good

United Way Perth-Huron

Spark Ontario: Help People Affected by COVID-19