South Bay Community Services has been awarded nearly $200,000 in grant funding as well as tens of thousands of pounds of food from local foundations over the last month to bolster the agency’s swift and comprehensive response to meet profound education support and safety-net needs throughout the San Diego community in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Foundations that have recently partnered with SBCS to help bring distance learning technology; free childcare; and essential food, cleaning and hygiene supplies to local neighbors in need include The San Diego Foundation, Price Philanthropies, JEM Project and Smart Food Foundation.
The San Diego Foundation awarded SBCS $100,000 from its San Diego COVID-19 Community Response Fund to help provide computers to students in grades Pre-K through 12 in SBCS’ shelter, transitional housing sites and educational and mental health programs to support distance learning and tele-therapy services. The award also supported essential living supplies including food, cleaning supplies and toys for homebound children and families living in shelter and transitional housing sites.
Price Philanthropies also made possible the delivery of laptop computers to students in need for distance learning with a $25,000 contribution, in addition to connecting SBCS to discounted prices on various devices.
The JEM Project provided a generous $39,000 grant to support the expansion of SBCS’ Mi Escuelita Therapeutic Preschool to serve the childcare needs of local first responders free of cost during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as increased cleaning and hygiene items necessary to safely and securely house families in SBCS’ shelter and transitional housing sites.
The Smart Food Foundation donated three months’ worth of whole grains, dried beans, fruits and vegetables, canola oil and spices to support SBCS’ free drive-thru distributions of healthy food for South Bay families, which have increased from one to three times a week to meet increased community need related to COVID-19. The supply totaled over 70,000 pounds of food and also included cookbooks with recipes for food recipients to try using items received. This donation is part of Smart Food’s continued commitment to provide healthy food for vulnerable families in the South Bay, with additional aid promised to address the unprecedented need during the COVID-19 crisis.
“We are grateful for the generous funding support from these four foundation partners that has helped SBCS equip 450 students with devices to enable them to get the most out of distance learning and other virtual programming, as well as helping provide 5,000 families with healthy food,” said Kathryn Lembo, President and CEO of South Bay Community Services. “SBCS is committed to meeting both the essential food and shelter needs of our community at this time, as well as supporting education, mental health and violence prevention through our array of support services.”
South Bay Community Services (SBCS) transforms communities to support the well-being and prosperity of children, youth and families. Through comprehensive and coordinated services and supports, SBCS assists all individuals and communities to reach their fullest potential and touches the lives of more than 50,000 annually.
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