The Coast News Group
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Solana Beach

Food bank plans Solana Beach food distribution event

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Solana Beach residents can either drive by or come on foot (with face coverings) to the La Colonia parking lot on 715 Valley Avenue to secure 25-40 pound bags of both nonperishable and perishable food items.

The event will take place from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. According to Solana Beach Assistant City Manager Dan King, food will be available for up to 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 – which have helped get the word out to families who might benefit.

The event will be the first of three, which the entities are hoping to host monthly through the summer.

The distributions will be funded through a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). The city recently 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.

Although the city was originally soliciting volunteers for the event, King said community response to volunteer needs has been “overwhelming,” with a wait list of people already ready to volunteer for the next two events.

The dates and locations of the next two distributions have not been determined.

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