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How to Help the Downtown Rochester Community during COVID-19

Last updated: March 10, 2021

As information regarding COVID-19 continues to evolve, the Rochester Downtown Alliance will serve our community by sharing resources and information that may be helpful. Here are ways you can help support the Rochester community, both downtown and throughout the city.


Support local


The United Way of Olmsted County is hosting a master list of public volunteer opportunities in the community in response to COVID-19.

The Rochester Salvation Army is looking for help in ringing bells this holiday season. Learn more about the opportunity here.

Channel One Regional Food Bank is in need of volunteers to sort food, stock food shelves, and pack emergency boxes. Click here for the details.


  • Financial contributions: Most organizations are working overtime to meet unprecedented needs in the community. The United Way of Olmsted County and the Rochester Nonprofit Consortium may be able to direct you toward the cause that most resonates with you.
  • In-kind donations: The donation of goods is generally being discouraged because of transmission risks. Please consult organizations'  websites before attempting to donate. Cash donations will be most useful in most scenarios. There are a couple exceptions:
    • Laptops: The Rochester Area Youth Tech Foundation is providing laptops to students who do not currently have access to technology at home. If you have computers that are in relatively good working order, have a power cord, and are from the year 2000 or later, please consider bringing it to:
      • RPS Technology Support Services
        3018 40th Ave NW
        Rochester, MN 55901
      • Hours of operation: 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday
      • Contact John Bartucz at to arrange a pick up.
    • PPE, face coverings, and masks: If you are interested in making masks, please contact Zumbro Valley Medical Society, which is centralizing collection and distribution of fabric masks.
  • Blood donations: Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program is still in need of blood donations. Please contact them directly for more information.

Seek assistance

  • Social service hotlines: The contacts below keep a full list of all social service resources available in Rochester.
  • Food assistance: Channel One Regional Food Bank is leading coordinated efforts in Rochester and meals are being distributed through Rochester Public Schools, the Salvation Army, and WIC, among other organizations. Start here for more information.
  • Housing assistance: People and families adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic can apply for the Olmsted County COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Program. Funds will assist those impacted by job loss, reduced work hours, illness, or other COVID-19 related circumstances. Assistance will cover past due rent payments, mortgage payments, homeowner association dues, contract for​ deed payments, homeowner insurance payments, utility payments, ​or other housing-related expenses that incurred after March 1, 2020.
  • City services: The City of Rochester has set up a COVID-19 hotline, which is staffed from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Call 507-328-2822.