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Flower Hill donating meals to Safe Parking Lot Program

Flower Hill Promenade's Cucina Enoteca is partnering in the effort to support Jewish Family Services' Safe Parking Program.
(Courtesy)

Instead of holiday events this year, Flower Hill Promenade is focusing on giving back to the community while helping the center’s restaurants survive through the pandemic.

The Del Mar center is fundraising for meal donations that will support the Safe Parking Program. The Safe Parking Program provides support to unsheltered San Diegan families living out of their vehicles, many of whom are experiencing homelessness for the first time. The lots provide a safe, welcoming environment for these families and a warm meal is provided every night by generous supporters.

All money raised will go to provide meals for the program and support local Flower Hill restaurants at the same time. Over $20,000 has been raised so far and the first delivery of meals will be made on Dec. 18.

“As part of our charitable giving campaign Flower Hill wanted to do something that not only benefited the many homeless families in San Diego but also help our local restaurants who have been struggling during this pandemic, forced to shut down and lay off many employees,” said Nicole Ludwig, asset manager at Flower Hill. “We hope to continue to grow this program into next year and be able to serve thousands of meals to those in need while supporting our local community and restaurants.”

The Safe Parking Program program is needed now more than ever as COVID-19 and its economic impact has led to increased unemployment in the community. The city of San Diego operates three safe parking lots that are run by Jewish Family Services. The nonprofit Dreams for Change operates two other lots in San Diego. The program operates seven nights a week at four secured lots at Balboa Avenue, Aero Drive, Mission Village Drive and the newest lot in Encinitas, which opened in February of this year.

Flower Hill restaurants participating in the fundraiser include Miltons’s Deli, Burger Lounge, Cucina Enoteca, Richard Walker’s Pancake House, Venissimo Cheese, Flower Child and Chipotle.

“Burger Lounge is excited to partner with Safe Lots and help feed those in need. During these tough times, we want to spread holiday cheer with a hot meal that isn’t only good for the body, but also makes you feel good,” said Bianca Puopolo, marketing manager for Burger Lounge Restaurants. “We are in awe of what Safe Lots is doing and were honored when asked to help out.”

For COVID-19 safety precautions, meals are individually packaged and are delivered by the local restaurants, who welcome the business at this time. Whole Foods at Flower Hill has also donated enough soft drinks to be delivered with the meals every evening throughout the initiative.

“The impact of the pandemic on our industry is unlike any challenge we’ve previously faced,” said Tracy Borkum, owner of Cucina Enoteca. “We’re proud to be part of initiatives like the Safe Lot Program so that we can return support to our community members, including our many friends and colleagues of the service industry.”

To donate, visit jfssd.org/flowerhill

Updates

11:38 AM, Jan. 27, 2021: This article has been updated to clarify that while Jewish Family Services operates safe parking lots, they did not “create” the concept.


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