Solana Beach to issue CDBG to North County Food Bank

Solana Beach City Hall
(File photo)

North County Food Bank will receive $26,910 in community development block grant funding from the city of Solana Beach, which received the money as part of the CARES Act that Congress approved to combat the economic effects of the novel coronavirus.

The food bank’s work has taken on a greater sense of urgency with the sharp increase in unemployment due to the coronavirus public health guidelines that have closed many businesses and caused mass layoffs.

In California, approximately $19 billion in unemployment benefits have been paid to more than 5 million state residents, according to the state’s Employment Development Department.

“Food insecurity has spread from low-income to mid-income folks,” Solana Beach Mayor Jewel Edson said during the council’s May 27 meeting. “It’s something people are seeing countywide, countrywide.”

According to a city staff report, the North County Food Bank would partner with Casa de Amistad, St. James-St. Leo Catholic community and other local nonprofits to use the food bank’s mobile pantry throughout the city.

Over the last few months, there have been food drives at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, Saddleback Church and other local organizations have held food drives to help families that have had trouble putting food on the table.

“I’m hoping people who do have food insecurity will open themselves up to being recipients of the program if they need it,” Edson said.

Cities with populations under 500,000 were not eligible to receive funding directly from the CARES Act. The city of San Diego was the only city in the county that met that requirement. Through an anticipated $2.5 million allocated to San Diego County from CARES Act supplemental funding for community development block grants, Solana Beach and other non-entitlement cities will receive relatively small stipends.

Cities are required to use the funding in ways that benefit low- to moderate-income residents, address community development needs or other related criteria.

In addition to Solana Beach’s allocation, there will be approximately $8,000 given to the city of Del Mar, $44,000 to Coronado, $60,000 to Lemon Grove, $65,000 to Imperial Beach, and $92,000 to Poway.

City Council members discussed the funding and possible recipients during their May 13 meeting. Edson and Deputy Mayor Judy Hegenauer had a followup teleconference with county officials to affirm that North County Food Bank was an appropriate choice, according to city staff.

“I’m always supportive and pleased we were able to put this together so quickly,” Solana Beach City Councilman David Zito said.