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City of Solana Beach to hold second free food distribution event

SOLANA BEACH – Hoping to assist local residents impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, the City of Solana Beach is hosting a second free food distribution event from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. on Monday, July 27.

Solana Beach residents can either drive by or come on foot (with face coverings) to the La Colonia parking lot on 715 Valley Ave. to secure 25- or 40-pound bags of both nonperishable and perishable food items. The first such event was held in June – and provided food for about 300 families.

The mobile pantry is a collaboration between the city of Solana Beach, the San Diego Food Bank and local organizations Casa de Amistad and St. Leo’s, both of which have helped get the word out to families who might benefit.

There will be another such event Aug. 31, at the same time.

The distributions are funded through a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). The city received about $25,000 through the block grant program – made available through the CARES Act – to help address community needs related to the pandemic.

The city opted to partner with the North County branch of the San Diego Food Bank to bring food distribution services to Solana Beach. Although the nonprofit hosts about 200 distributions a month throughout San Diego, there have been no regular San Diego Food Bank distributions in Solana Beach.

“There’s a big gap in service here in Solana Beach, definitely with everyone losing jobs right now,” said Shelly Parks, the food bank’s director of programs.

Parks said the event is open to “anyone who is in need” due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“If we can put food on the table, they can use any income they have to pay the bills and stay afloat during this crisis,” Parks said.

Participants do not need proof of income or job loss to pick up food, though participants are required to self-attest that they are in need. Individuals will need to provide proof of residency in Solana Beach.

The food bags will be filled with about 50% fresh produce and 50% non-perishable food items.

San Diego Food Bank staff will also be available at the event to help residents sign up for CalFresh, a program that allows low-income individuals to secure food through food stamps. Parks said this is a great long-term, sustainable way for families to keep food on the table – particularly for those who are now eligible due to the crisis.

For more information, contact Assistant City Manager Dan King at [email protected].