Al-Azhar Islamic Research Academy (AIRA): Zakat-ul-Fiṭr is permissible to be paid in cash to make it easier for the poor.
The AIRA Main Fatwa Committee said, “The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) prescribed that Zakat-ul-Fiṭr (the zakat relating to fast breaking of Ramadan) is payable in Ramadan by every adult sane Muslim, for himself and on whom he is required to spend, such as his young children, adult children who are still under his responsibility, his wife and his poor parents."
The Main Fatwa Committee added that the Honorable Sunnah stated the amount of Zakat-ul-Fiṭr. Ibn ‘Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) said, “Allah’s Messenger prescribed as the Zakat-ul-Fiṭr payable by every Muslim; male and female, young and old, a ṣāʿ of dried dates or a ṣāʿ of barley, and gave command that it should be paid before people go out to prayer (ʿEīd-ul-Fiṭr Prayer).” [Saḥīḥ Bukhāri].
The amount of Zakat-ul-Fiṭr is given by a Muslim from what the people of his country mostly eat. Narrated Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (May Allah be pleased with him), “During the lifetime of Allah's Messenger (PBUH), we used to give one ṣāʿ of food. Our food used to be either barley, raisins, ..., or dates.” [Saḥīḥ Bukhāri]. This indicates that giving Zakat-ul-Fiṭr during the lifetime of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) was from the most dominant food for the people of the country.
With regard to the permissibility of paying the value in cash, which is a question that is raised every year, the Main Fatwa Committee stated that it is permissible to pay the value of Zakat-ul-Fiṭr in cash. This is the opinion of the Ḥanafis, Muʿāwiyah (May Allah be pleased with him), ʿUmar Ibn ʿAbdul-ʿazīz and Al-Ḥasan Al-Baṣri, rather it is more appropriate to facilitate the matter for the poor so that he can buy what he needs on the day of ʿEīd Because he may not be in need of grains, but rather he needs clothes, meat, etc., and it is also permissible for him to delegate someone else if he is traveling to pay zakat on his behalf.
As for paying a part of Zakat-ul-Fiṭr and directing it to the poor affected by the Corona crisis and their need to buy food or some health supplies, there is nothing wrong with that They are even most in need of it.