SOLANA BEACH – Smaller cities in San Diego have seen little in the way of federal or state financial support during the COVID-19 pandemic. But it was recently announced that Solana Beach is to receive over $25,000 in federal aid to help address community needs related to the crisis — funds made possible through the CARES Act.
All of the funding will go to the North County Food Bank, to help provide both perishable and non-perishable food items to Solana Beach residents in need.
The organization will be setting up mobile food pantries through Casa de Amistad and St. Leo’s Catholic Community – two Solana Beach nonprofits.
The funds have been made available through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Community Development Block Grant Program, which typically provides annual grants to jurisdictions to help benefit low- or moderate-income families or to fund issues related to urgent community development needs. But this particular round of funding is also meant to address needs related to the pandemic.
The funding is to be allocated to San Diego County and then distributed to “non-entitlement areas,” or smaller units of government that do not receive direct funding from HUD.
In San Diego, that includes Imperial Beach, Coronado, Lemon Grove, Del Mar, Solana Beach, Poway and county areas.
Of the approximately $2.5 million San Diego received, about $300,000 will be allocated to the aforementioned cities, and about $1.7 million will go to the county.
Solana Beach is receiving $26,190 – just over 1% of the available funding. Del Mar, the city’s neighbor to the south, is receiving $7,925.
The North County Food Bank – a chapter of the San Diego Food Bank – has been conducting emergency food assistance throughout the quarantine, at locations in Encinitas, Oceanside, Vista and beyond.
Although the details of the food drives in Solana Beach have not been finalized, San Diego Food Bank Director of Programs Shelly Parks said the organization is flexible and will work with nonprofits to come up with an appropriate combination of fresh produce and canned goods.
“This is what we do every day and we’ve done it for 40 years, so bring us in and we’ll figure out what’s right for the community and the partners you guys designate with us,” said Parks at the city’s May 27 city council meeting.
According to the city’s Assistant City Manager Dan King, the organization is aiming to kick off the first food drive sometime in June.