The expansion is made possible by a grant from The San Diego Foundation and funding support from San Diego Gas & Electric.
Thanks in part to a $100,000 grant, USO San Diego has expanded several food and nutrition programs to support military families countywide who have been impacted by the pandemic. These programs include "grab and go" bags of non-perishable items, a Thanksgiving meal kit giveaway, mobile farmers markets, virtual food nutrition workshops and healthy breakfast options for military kids participating in distance learning.
The grant was provided by The San Diego Foundation COVID-19 Community Response Fund – in large part due to funding support from San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E). To date, SDG&E has donated $2.5 million to the Fund and plans to contribute an additional $500,000 in early 2021. With the grant, military families can be confident that the resources they depend upon will remain readily available during these challenging times.
"Even without factoring in the impacts of the pandemic, military families face many stressors related to deployment and make great sacrifices to serve our country," said Eugene "Mitch" Mitchell, SDG&E's vice president of state governmental and external affairs. "Food insecurity is the last thing they should have to fear and we are happy to help address this situation.”
San Diego's active-duty population is considered essential personnel. With deployment cycles continuing amid the pandemic, service members are experiencing additional isolation and quarantines pre and post deployments, extending that separation period from their families. To compound matters, many military spouses, who worked to supplement their family's income may have faced job loss, further straining family finances.
"Immediately following the stay-at-home order in our county, USO San Diego recognized the importance of sustaining our food distributions," said Ashley Camac, USO San Diego's Executive Director. "We wanted our military families to be confident the resources they depended upon would remain accessible. The support of The San Diego Foundation and SDG&E makes the continuation and expansion of those much-needed programs possible."
Since the pandemic, San Diego USO has served over 200,000 military members and their families. For more details on the following resources, please visit sandiego.uso.org.
- Mobile Farmers Market/Food Distributions: held on the 1st and 3rd Friday of every month in various county locations.
- Groceries on the Go: offered daily at Liberty Station location: 2790 Truxtun Road, Suite 110 non-perishable food items are bagged and ready for those military families in need.
- Thanksgiving Meal Kit Giveaway on 11/23: will provide over 2,500 meal kits to local families from here to Camp Pendleton.
- Military Kids Club – Breakfast Program: provides military families with family activity, USO upcoming resources, and non-perishable healthy food options to kids.
If you would like to support local military and their families through a donation of time, money, or expertise, please visit sandiego.uso.org or call 619-235-6503.