Use this interactive map to find free meals, COVID-19 tests, handwashing stations, and more. Credit: Alameda County (screenshot)

If you need a hot meal or a COVID-19 test, there are numerous places where you can receive these services for free in Oakland and throughout Alameda County. But these programs are run by countless different organizations, all following different protocols and schedules, making it difficult to know when and where services are available.

An interactive map from Alameda County clarifies how to access the resources: It shows locations for food distribution programs, coronavirus testing sites, hygiene stations, and other pandemic services. Select a site on the map—clinics like the Native American Health Center are represented by little building icons and food distributions sites like Cleveland Elementary School appear as a tiny fork and knife—and click the arrow icon to learn more about the services offered there, who’s eligible to receive them, and hours of operation.

The Oaklandside has compiled a few in-depth guides to local pandemic services as well. Check out our up-to-date list of free COVID-19 testing sites in Oakland, with information about what to expect when you make an appointment. With vaccines becoming available locally—albeit quite slowly—here’s our guide explaining who’s eligible and what’s planned for the coming weeks. We’ve covered local programs providing free groceries and supplies to the community, too, like Homies Empowerment’s Freedom Store and Town Fridge

Get in touch if you’re unsure how to get connected to specific resources, of if you know of a program that should be on our radar. 

Click the image above to access the county map and identify the services closest to you.

Natalie Orenstein covers housing and homelessness for The Oaklandside. She was previously on staff at Berkeleyside, where her extensive reporting on the legacy of school desegregation received recognition from the Society of Professional Journalists NorCal and the Education Writers Association. Natalie’s reporting has also appeared in The J Weekly, The San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere, and she’s written about public policy for a number of research institutes and think tanks. Natalie lives in Oakland, grew up in Berkeley, and has only left her beloved East Bay once, to attend Pomona College.