Free Food Resources for December 2021 (San Diego County)

A new month means that it’s time for the monthly update of free food resources in San Diego.

With over 20 holidays and celebrations taking place in December, there is plenty of need. Here are a few Christmas/Holiday events where free toys/food are available.

Some food banks and charities will have extra distributions this month.

Keep in mind there are still supply chain issues, so there may not be a lot of food at some distributions.

You can still find resources here for Central and East County, and Here for North County.

If you are located outside San Diego County, call 211. If you are not familiar with 211, here is their website and it can point you in the right direction.

San Diego Food Bank Distributions for November 2021 can be found here. Enter your address (or just your zip code) and the map will show you all of the distributions in your area or closest to you. You can filter by the days of the week to find food when you are available. If there is an income requirement/limit to participate, each location/listing will say such.

Neighbor distributions are intermixed with the San Diego Food Bank Distributions, however, they have no income requirements, and you come as you are. These Distributions are primarily fruits & veg, however, some locations may also distribute canned goods, dairy, and bread.

Super Pantry Locations can be found here (this listing is countywide). The San Diego Foodbank website also has resources for Diaper banks, free food resources for seniors, and more.

All kids in public school K-12 in the State of California are eligible for free breakfasts and lunches at school. More information can be found here

If you know of other resources, please leave a comment! And feel free to share this post with anyone you may know in need.

2021 Holiday Resources

I usually do these types of posts before Thanksgiving, but I’ve been looking for as many resources as possible to help those in need.

Much like last year, there aren’t a lot of free events, and most resources are stretched thin, as 2021 was as hard as 2020 for a lot of families.

The holidays are more than food and gifts, but no one should go hungry any time of year!

Here is my post with a list of food banks/pantries in San Diego. Many of the food pantries also have special holiday distributions, it is worth a call to find out of any additional food or gift distributions will be done.

As of now, I am not aware of any free Christmas tree giveaways, however, as I gather more information, I will update this post.

Toys for Joy will not be holding their annual event this year, instead, their site sends you to other resources such as The Rock Church for food, and The Salvation Army for other additional resources. The Salvation Army does an Angel Tree program to gather gifts for children in need. For more information about this program, contact your local Salvation Army location.

Sunday, December 19th, 2021 from 11am-2pm  is the annual H.O.P.E. event hosted by New Vision Church. Every child ages 0-11 will get a free toy! This is an all-free family fun event filled with free toys, carnival games and prizes, a live petting zoo, big bike giveaways, food, haircuts, jumpers, arts and crafts, live performances, DJ, and a whole lot more! The event will be held at both New Vision Church and Colina Del Sol Park and Recreation which is directly across the street. The entrance is at 5310 Orange Ave., San Diego, CA 92115.

Hope Leadership Academy is hosting an Event, Toys for Hope on December 18, 2021,9:00am – 1:00pm at the King Chavez School: 415 31st St. San Diego, CA 92102. Toys for Hope will be a walk-thru experience this year! Free toys for kids 13 and younger, free groceries, and bike raffles!

211 San Diego has a listing of all sorts of holiday assistance from food to toys, events- all free. Some programs/events require proof of need, but not all.

santeesantas.pngIf you live in Santee and need help with food and gifts for the holiday, contact Santee Santas. You can download and print forms, check into eligibility (it is income-based and they are very strict from what I’ve been told), and see what forms you need in addition to the application here.

The window to apply for Santee Santas is closing in just a few days, so if you want to apply, I recommend checking their website TODAY and apply ASAP.

Talk Back: If you know of any free local events, please leave a comment. 

Free Food Resources for November 2021 (San Diego County)

A new month means that it’s time for the monthly update of free food resources in San Diego.

With Thanksgiving later this month, make sure to check your local distributions or Food Banks to see if there is a turkey or ham giveaway. In the past, the Santee Food Bank has had a drawing for those who visit early on in the month to receive a voucher for a free turkey from the local Grocery Outlet.

With supply chain issues and truck driver shortages, many of last month’s distributions were mainly canned or shelf-stable goods. Fingers crossed that food banks will start receiving more fresh goods.

You can still find resources here for Central and East County, and Here for North County.

If you are located outside San Diego County, call 211. If you are not familiar with 211, here is their website and it can point you in the right direction.

San Diego Food Bank Distributions for November 2021 can be found here. Enter your address (or just your zip code) and the map will show you all of the distributions in your area or closest to you. You can filter by the days of the week to find food when you are available. If there is an income requirement/limit to participate, each location/listing will say such.

Neighbor distributions are intermixed with the San Diego Food Bank Distributions, however, they have no income requirements, and you come as you are. These Distributions are primarily fruits & veg, however, some locations may also distribute canned goods, dairy, and bread.

Super Pantry Locations can be found here (this listing is countywide). The San Diego Foodbank website also has resources for Diaper banks, free food resources for seniors, and more.

All kids in public school K-12 in the State of California are eligible for free breakfasts and lunches at school. More information can be found here

If you know of other resources, please leave a comment! And feel free to share this post with anyone you may know in need.

Naomi’s Closet: Helping San Diego, CA area women in need

I’ve written about Naomi’s Closet before, but it’s been a few years, and I wanted to bring it to the attention of some newer readers.

If you are a San Diego, Ca area resident, female, and in need, I have a great resource for you.

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Naomi’s Closet is run through the Santee United Methodist Church (Located at 8964 N. Magnolia Ave., Santee, CA 92071). They provide up to five items of clothing per month (Your choice from a very good selection in a wide variety of sizes), and 2 toiletries.

Starting in September, Naomi’s Closet is open on the following days and times:

  • Wednesdays 10am-12pm
  • 1st & 3rd Saturdays 9am-1pm

No appointment is needed, just show up during open hours. You do not need to show proof of need.

Donations accepted during open hours: Seeking clean, gently-used casual and business-casual clothing (no suits please), accessories, shoes. New/unused undergarments, sports bras, toiletries, and hygiene items of any type or size. I donate a lot of the toiletry freebies I receive, as well as clothes that I no longer wear.

If you have questions, or you would like more information, you can contact Naomi’s Closet at naomiscloset@cox.net.

 

Free Food Resources for September 2021 (San Diego County)

A new month means that it’s time for the monthly update of free food resources in San Diego.

You can still find resources here for Central and East County, and Here for North County.

If you are located outside San Diego County, call 211. If you are not familiar with 211, here is their website and it can point you in the right direction.

San Diego Food Bank Distributions for September 2021 can be found here. Enter your address (or just your zip code) and the map will show you all of the distributions in your area or closest to you. You can filter by the days of the week to find food when you are available. If there is an income requirement/limit to participate, each location/listing will say such.

Neighbor distributions are intermixed with the San Diego Food Bank Distributions, however, they have no income requirements, and you come as you are. These Distributions are primarily fruits & veg, however, some locations may also distribute canned goods, dairy, and bread.

Super Pantry Locations can be found here (this listing is countywide). The San Diego Foodbank website also has resources for Diaper banks, free food resources for seniors, and more.

All kids in public school K-12 in the State of California are eligible for free breakfasts and lunches at school. More information can be found here

If you know of other resources, please leave a comment! And feel free to share this post with anyone you may know in need.

Free Credit Score and Monitoring with Credit Sesame!

April is Financial Literacy Month. Part of being financially literate or aware of your financial situation is to make sure that your credit report is correct. If you haven’t taken a look at your credit report lately,  it’s time to give your finances a fresh look and get your credit in tip-top shape.

Did you know that the recent FTC study found that over 20% of Americans or 40 Million credit reports have reporting errors that are costing consumers money in credit card interest rates and loans? These reports aren’t always indicative of something nefarious like your personal data being stolen, sometimes information on your credit report may belong to someone with a similar name as yours, or someone with a social security number close to yours. Whatever the case, it’s important to check your credit report once a year at a minimum, and make sure it’s correct.

Start by making sure that your credit report does not contain erroneous information that could be impacting your credit score. Keep tabs on your credit report activities and your score by signing up for free credit monitoring and score services like Credit Sesame, so that you can easily protect your financial good standing.

Credit Sesame is 100% free and offers-

  • Receive daily credit monitoring alerts
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  • Limit ID Theft Damage
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What are you waiting for? Click here to register for free in under 2 minutes. You’ll get your free credit score and a complete view of your credit and loans. Plus, when you turn on the Credit Monitoring feature, you’ll be notified of changes to your credit profile, along with $50K identity theft insurance and live agents to help you restore your identity in case of theft. All for free. All in one place.

Free Food Resources for March 2021 (San Diego County)

I’m sorry this is a little late coming for March. Fear not, you haven’t missed out! There are still many free Neighborhood Distributions for this month!

You can still find resources here for Central and East County, and Here for North County.

Neighborhood Distributions for March 2021:

These Distributions are primarily produce/fruits & veg, however, some locations may also distribute canned goods, dairy, and bread.

Super Pantry Locations can be found here (this listing is countywide).

If you have a child attending public school in San Diego County, check to see if your school distributes free lunches daily.

In Eastern San Diego County, Grossmont Union High School District schools are distributing lunches to kids ages 2-18, Monday through Friday at various times  (Check your closest school to find out exact times and locations within each school). They also do Pizza Fridays, where each kid receives a pizza, drink, salad, plus food to be eaten over the weekend. It is definitely more than enough food to keep kids fed over the weekend.

Forgive the blurriness of this picture, but Grossmont Union High School District will be giving out two family meals over their Spring Break. Monday, March 15, 2021 and Monday March 22, 2021. The offers vary by week, but it’s a great chance to pick up some extra food to feed the kiddos. Yes, I know it says March 2020, but it is for this year.

If you know of other resources, please leave a comment! And feel free to share this post with anyone you may know in need.

Food Resources for February 2021 (San Diego County)

I’ve decided to put together a monthly round-up of food resources for San Diego County.

You can still find resources here for Central and East County, and Here for North County.

Neighborhood Distributions for February 2021:

These Distributions are primarily produce/fruits & veg, however, some locations may also distribute canned goods, dairy, and bread.

Super Pantry Locations can be found here (this listing is countywide).

If you have a child attending public school in San Diego County, check to see if your school distributes free lunches daily.

In Eastern San Diego County, Grossmont Union High School District schools are distributing lunches to kids ages 2-18, Monday through Friday at various times (Check your closest school to find out exact times and locations within each school). They also do Pizza Fridays, where each kid receives a pizza, drink, salad, plus food to be eaten over the weekend. It is definitely more than enough food to keep kids fed over the weekend.

 

If you know of other resources, please leave a comment! And feel free to share this post with anyone you may know in need.

 

 

 

 

Taking Care of Yourself and Your Family During Covid Fatigue (& A Giveaway)

So many of us are suffering from Covid Fatigue. Our bodies and minds have been put through the wringer. Worrying about our health, jobs, finances… It takes its toll.

I’m here to tell you- We don’t know when it’s going to end, but there are resources out there to help you. Don’t be proud. Take help that is offered, when you do, it can relieve some of the burden on your mind. 

I post a lot about different free and frugal opportunities to help my readers. When I talk to readers (I text and chat on FB messenger with a lot of y’all), I am frequently met with many of the same responses when I suggest that y’all take advantage of some of the opportunities I post. People feel bad about taking advantage of deals, offers, and freebies. 

I recommend that even if you feel like you aren’t “that bad off”, or that you know there are other people who “have it worse”, take advantage of free food events. Many times I have gone or driven a friend to events and the people sponsoring the events are so glad that SOMEONE has shown up, and because they have X number of items to give, but far fewer people show up.

If you feel like you aren’t in “enough” need, offer to drive people in your bubble, or grab food for t friends and coordinate a porch drop off. Most of them are sponsored or paid for by government entities, grants, or subsidies that are funded by our tax dollars. These resources may not have the ability to store or drive food to people who don’t have transportation. 

Helping others, even if it’s a porch drop off of produce can brighten your spirits. There are so many ways to release some of the heaviness that weighs on you. That heaviness is Covid Fatigue.

Here are a few ways I’ve tried to lessen the stress monster sitting on my chest:

Focus on what I can change. For me that’s making sure we are all clean and fed. That we get outside to play (socially distanced with masks), get fresh air, move our bodies, and get to bed at a decent time.

Work hard, but not to the point where I am burnt out. Tomorrow is another day. Laundry can wait to be put away, the carpet will still need to be vacuumed tomorrow.

Take time to contact friends. It’s hard to be without friends and family for so long. Message them on FB, text them, or pick up the phone. If you don’t have enough spoons for that, scroll through your social media of choice and like some of their statuses. 

Disconnect as needed.  Yeah, I know it’s the opposite of the above, but doomscrolling or constantly refreshing your social media feeds obsessively isn’t good for you. Leave your phone in the other room, or put it in do not disturb mode. 

NuCalm

One thing I have been using to help relax at night so I can get some peaceful sleep is I downloaded the NuCalm appNuCalm is the world’s only patented neuroscience technology clinically proven to resolve stress and improve sleep quality – without drugs. I’ve been using the Reboot for the past few nights, and it’s really helped me fall sleep and stay asleep. You can select whatever amount of time works for you, and you can even loop it if you want to enjoy the peace all night. The kids love NuCalm too. 

Giveaway Time: I’d love to hear about what you do to lessen your stress and battle Covid Fatigue. Leave a comment and I’ll choose one on 12/31/2020. The winner will receive a $50 Amazon Gift Card- But there is one condition- You have to spend it on yourself! Something that sparks joy!

A Practical Guide to Setting A Budget (Part Three)

The first two parts (Part One, Part Two) of this series talked about the essentials of how to budget. This third part is for those of you who are having a difficult time making the ends meet to get your needs met.

I’m talking about when cutting cable and going cash only for groceries isn’t enough. When you need help. When there isn’t much (or anything) to eat. When the power might be shut off. When there isn’t money to put gas in your car to get to work or job interviews.

This is the most important thing to remember: It is ok to ask for help. It is ok to seek out services and take advantage of programs. Do not worry about what others will think- This pandemic and all of the fallout that has happened has affected so many of us. So many hardworking families and individuals need a hand up right now. 

A lot of the services and programs listed below are specifically for San Diego County. If you live outside San Diego County, I recommend that you call 211 anywhere in the US. They can help you find resources- all judgment free!

So when I talk about needs being met, I mean:

  • Shelter (Rent/mortgage assistance/utilities)
  • Food (Healthy food for you/your family and pets)
  • Comfort (Clothing, healthcare, medication)

Shelter:

  • If you have a mortgage, contact your lender for a forbearance. You may have to provide them with proof that you are unable to pay.
  • If you are a renter in San Diego, here is the County Rental Assistance site.
  • If you require assistance with your utilities, SDG&E has many programs and assistance available.
  • For your water/sewer bills, you will need to contact them directly. There are so many water municipalities in San Diego County.

Food: Food insecurity is a cause near and dear to my heart, so I have all kinds of resources to share!

Many food banks give out pet food as well- don’t forget to mention your furry friends when you complete your intake paperwork (which is oftentimes to find out demographic information to obtain additional funding from the government or private grants). Some do not require any paperwork at all.

Comfort: Being housed and fed is important, in addition to this I’ve added the comfort category. This includes clean, well fitting clothes, access to health care, and prescription medicines.

  • There are many resources for no and low cost clothing (besides thrift stores, which have become increasingly higher in cost in the past year). Naomi’s Closet, Closet on 54th, Charity’s Closet at Sonrise Church, Sharia’s Closet are all San Diego resources. I’ve been told that some Salvation Army churches offer free clothing vouchers to be redeemed at their thrift shops. Don’t forget your local Buy Nothing Group too! So many of your local neighbors are cleaning out their clothes and purging while they are stuck at home, you’d be surprised what your neighbors are will to share with you.
  • If you are in need of healthcare, there are several options. Medicaid/Medi-cal may be available for some. If you have had a “life event” (job separation, birth of a child, death of a spouse, marriage, etc.) you can look for health insurance in your state’s Health Insurance Exchange. Here is a link to California’s Exchange. There are frequently lower rates or discounts for those with certain income limits.
  • If you or family members take prescription medicines, look into discount programs like Singlecare (which you can access via the Fetch Rewards App and earn cashback/points), or GoodRX. Some pharmacies have their own discount programs too. Make sure to ask the pharmacy staff. Another option is to ask your doctor for medication samples when you are visiting them. Many doctors have medication samples in their offices, and most doctors are willing to help you when you tell them you need assistance with medication costs.