SAN DIEGO–With 40% of children under 12 living in poverty in San Diego County – for a total of nearly 200,000 children – the region will experience great hardship as a result of the coronavirus crisis and recent school closures.

From limited access to school breakfast and lunch to a shortage of reliable childcare, families already struggling to make ends meet are disproportionately affected by this pandemic.

In response, San Diego for Every Child – in partnership with the Center on Policy Initiatives, Child Development Associates, LISC San Diego, Parent Institute for Quality Education, Jewish Family Service of San Diego, San Diego Grantmakers, San Diego Unified School District, San Diego Workforce Partnership, the YMCA Childcare Resource Service, and others – has established the San Diego COVID-19 Children’s Fund to help the county’s most vulnerable families with their urgent needs, including food assistance, childcare, and remote learning opportunities. The fund is facilitated through Jewish Family Service of San Diego, a recipient of Charity Navigator’s highest rating for 12 consecutive years.

To kickstart the fund, San Diego for Every Child Chair Sara Jacobs is donating $500,000, tripling every donation made 3:1. 

Partners have identified childcare as the first priority, with initial funding going to Child Development Associates (CDA) and the YMCA Childcare Resource Service to work with families, family childcare centers and other childcare providers countywide. CDA and YMCA are also donating $10,000 each in in-kind administrative services, so that more of the funding can go directly to the community. 

“These are unprecedented times. The San Diego COVID-19 Children’s Fund will remain responsive and flexible to meet the ever-changing situation,” said San Diego for Every Child Director Erin Hogeboom. “We will continue to distribute funding to the areas of greatest need to assist San Diego County’s most cost-burdened families.” 

San Diego for Every Child has also been facilitating calls and an updated list of resources with direct service providers across the county to coordinate organizations’ response to school closures. To get involved, providers can contact