Woman using cell phone

Basic Needs Resources in response to COVID-19

Pierce College and the Basic Needs Committee are working tirelessly to ensure that we are supporting our staff and students in all ways that may affect you during this crisis. The best way for you to get the customized support you need is to reach out to the companies that provide your energy, housing, internet, medical services and more to ask questions about what they may be able to do to support you and your family. Some companies have already begun to advertise their efforts through social media, on their web pages and through personal emails to their customers.

Here, you can find a variety of resources to help you with medical, food, financial and other immediate needs. For even more resources, visit our Pierce Advocacy and Resource Connections section.


Are you worried about your health or the health of your family? These local medical providers can offer low-cost services depending on your income level, for COVID-19 or for other concerns.

Low cost or free medical providers

SeaMar Medical Clinic (four locations)

SeaMar Health Education / Preventative health

MultiCare Lakewood Clinic

MultiCare East Pierce Family Medicine

Community Health Care (Multiple locations in Tacoma area)


Franciscan and Multicare Free virtual visits

  • Provided to anyone with COVID-19 symptoms
  • Register with your email address. If you need an email address, you can set one up for free through Gmail or Yahoo
  • Enter code COVID-19 to waive fee

Apple Health (Medicaid) Coverage

  • In Washington State, Medicaid is called Apple Health. Apple Health provides preventative care, like cancer screenings, treatment for diabetes and high blood pressure, and many other health care services.
  • Visit Washington State Health Care Authority for more information on eligibility requirements, applications, and benefit information.
  • Apply or renew your coverage on the Apple Online website
  • Their Customer Service line, 1-800-562-3022, can connect you with Nursing 24/7 and is offering telehealth services when medically necessary.


Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) Basic Food/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Department of Health Women, Infants and Children Nutrition Program (WIC)

Food Banks

The Nourish Pierce County Mobile Food Bank truck stops in Parking Lot D at the Fort Steilacoom campus every Tuesday at 1 p.m.

To find a food bank near you, check out this interactive map of food banks in Pierce County.

St. Francis House (East Pierce County)

  • 322 7th St SE, Puyallup, WA 98372
  • 253-770-6991
  • Supports individuals and families who fall into the Federal Poverty Guidelines
  • Provides evening meals, clothing banks, emergency food pantry, homelessness assistance and more
  • St. Francis House website

True Grace Church (Lacey)

  • 5615 30th Ave SE, Lacey, WA 98503
  • 360-459-1444
  • Open 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Sunday and Wednesday

Lakewood Lakes NOURISH

  • United Methodist Church at Lakewood: 6900 Steilacoom Blvd SW, Lakewood, WA 98499
  • 253-581-1116
  • No one in need will be turned away
  • Will ask for name, birthday, address and zip code for first time clients


Financial Support

If you find yourself short of financial resources, we encourage you to reach out to Financial Aid – even if you never have before.  Leave a message on their phone with details of your situation, or provide them in email. Counselors will research your situation and get back to you.


Pierce College students who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak can now access emergency funding through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Funding is now available through the Pierce College Financial Aid office to assist students with expenses related to disruptions to their education due to the pandemic. Visit our CARES Act Funding page for details about how these funds will work, and how you can apply.


  • Call 1-800-318-6022 if you have lost significant hours without paid time leave.
  • Or visit the Employment Security Department website to learn more about who qualifies and the latest updates to the program

Puget Sound Energy

Tacoma Public Utilities

  • Due date for bills extended from 15 days to 12 weeks
  • Late fees can be waived
  • Has an energy assistance program for low income individuals and families

MDC Energy Assistance

Mental Health

Pierce College Counselors

  • Counselors will be available for students and support of students from home via email, phone and instant messaging
  • It is recommended to email all three counselors to assure your needs are addressed as quickly as possible. If you want to schedule, reach out to all three counselors and they will touch base to see if you are available for phone or video sessions.
  • Megan Irby:
  • Jennifer Wright:
  • Brenda Rogers:

Pierce College Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

  • Non-student staff may utilize our EAP for support during this crisis
  • 1-877-313-4455



For financial assistance with access to computer equipment or internet, please reach out to Financial Aid, even if you haven’t worked with them before.  Contact Financial Aid at 253-964-6544 or

Parking Lot Wi-Fi Access

Pierce College has extended Wi-Fi into designated parking lots at our Fort Steilacoom and Puyallup campuses for those of you who do not have internet service. These parking lots are accessible to students 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Please see the parking lot Wi-Fi map for designated areas at both campuses.

For the health and safety of everyone, there are a few rules and guidelines to keep in mind:

  • People must remain in their cars; and they should remain on site only as long as necessary.
  • Vehicle engines should be turned off to save gas and reduce emissions.
  • Children should never be left unattended.
  • Parking is only permitted in designated spaces; cars should not be parked immediately next to each other.
  • In addition, our buildings remain closed and locked and no restrooms will be available for use.

Washington State Drive-In Wi-Fi Hotspots

The Washington State Department of Commerce is providing free wireless internet access for those in need on a drive-in basis. Find a Drive-In Hotspot near you.

Comcast Internet Essentials

  • Free for the first 60 days for new low income customers. Just visit the Comcast Internet Essentials website for details. You must apply by December 31, 2020. After 60 days, the cost is $9.95 + tax per month.
  • Once you are an Internet Essentials customer, you also qualify to buy a low cost computer from Comcast.
  • Free Wi-Fi hotspots to are currently available to Comcast customers AND non-customers. Visit the Comcast Xfinity Wi-Fi website for details.

Childcare and K - 12 Instruction

Child Care Aware

  • Call 1-800-446-1114 for help with finding childcare if your daycare is closed

School District Support

Tacoma Public Schools

  • Offering free lunch and breakfast for students at all Tacoma Middle school locations
  • Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
  • Visit the Tacoma Public Schools website for a map of locations and details regarding other resources.
  • Tacoma Public Libraries are offering free eResources for Tacoma Public School students with a  student ID. Links to each resource are available on the Tacoma Public Library website.

Puyallup School District

  • Offering Grab and Go lunch and breakfast in a single bag
  • Available for anyone 0 to 18 years old
  • March 16 - April 24
  • 11 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
  • Pickup locations: Firgrove Elementary, Stewart Elementary, Wildwood Elementary, and Waller Rd Elementary

Franklin Pierce School District

  • Offering Grab and Go lunch and breakfast for the next day
  • Available to all children 0 to 18 years
  • Monday – Friday, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Visit the Franklin Pierce School District website for pickup locations as well as information on other resources.

Clover Park School District

  • Offering Grab and Go lunch and breakfast at all bus stops in the district as well as packet of academic resources
  • Available to all children 0 to 18 years
  • Call 253-583-5490 for children with special dietary restrictions
  • Details and map available on the Clover Park School District website

Online Learning Resources

Veterans Assistance

If you are a veteran at risk of eviction or late on bills, please call Pierce County Veterans Assistance Programs at 253-798-7449 to see what emergency assistance may be available to you and your family.