The USDA has a nationwide database that is accessible here (for my readers not in the San Diego, CA area).
And if you are in need of food for your entire family, but you find yourself not qualifying for P-EBT or other social services, I recommend that you check out Facebook. There are tons of local groups of neighbors getting together setting up Tables of Hope. In San Diego, there are several. Tables of Hope are small groups of neighbors that have set up food distribution tables within neighborhoods to help those who might be experiencing food insecurity.
Churches and community organizations are offering free food distributions that require no proof of need, like Faith Chapel in Spring Valley. They are offering free produce each Friday through mid-August. You can find out more info here.
And the San Diego Food Bank is continuing their neighborhood distributions– Lots of produce and goodies are available each week. No proof of need or residency requirements.
There are all sorts of organizations looking to help families in need.
Moms struggle with so many challenges from raising non-entitled kids to battling overwhelm and balancing family at the same time… this event was designed to be a beacon of light for moms at all stages of motherhood.
Be sure to register now and set your reminder so that you don’t miss any of these amazing resources.
Here’s where you check out the line-up and topics discussed by these 32 amazing speakers.
If you know you’re going to miss something over the 3 FREE days or you just can’t wait any longer and want access right now, today…You can still get the Early bird price for the VIP Access Pass right now, even if it’s 2 a.m.
You’ll see the offer for the VIP Pass just after you register for the event.
It’s a pretty common complaint that kids eat A LOT during the summer. There are lots of causes: Increased activity, change in schedules, and let’s face it- kids just eat a lot. This can increase a families grocery budget at a time when they are already spending extra money on activities for their kiddos.
Distributions take place in our nonprofit partners’ parking lots. The majority of the food distributed consists of fresh fruits and vegetables which is part of the Food Bank’s Nutrition Initiative to provide healthy, nutrient-rich food to our clients.
Neighborhood Distribution Program sites welcome anyone in need of food assistance. I.D. and documentation ARE NOT required, and there are no income or asset restrictions for this program.”
White onions, red potatoes, watermelons, honeydew melons, oranges and Washington apples were available today. And it’s not just a few of each. Each person who came through got a bag of white onion, a bag of red potatoes, 1 large watermelon, as many honeydew melons as they wanted, a bag of oranges, and a dozen apples.
This produce is often “ugly” or considered an “allowable second” (a production term used in several industries for an item that is functional but may not be perfect looking), but it’s always tasty and nutritious.
If you’ve got hungry faces that need food this summer, I recommend stopping by your local distribution at least once this summer. If you aren’t in the San Diego County area, check with your local food bank for Neighborhood Distribution Program.
Don’t forget that there are tons of free summer lunch locations all over the state of CA (for more info on San Diego locations, check out this post). Text FOOD (Or COMIDA for a list in Spanish) to 877-877, or call 211 and you can find a list of free summer lunch locations near you.
And if you need further help, here is a post with food resources in San Diego County. If you are outside San Diego County, Feeding America has a really great Food Bank Locator.
Talk Back: What is your kids favorite summer snack?
As much as love and tolerance for others is taught these days, sometimes the first reaction when someone sees a special needs kid in public having issues (read: meltdown or stimming/self soothing) can be to stare wide eyed, make offhand or rude comments, or just bristle at “the weird kid”.
Please remember that the parents are doing the best they can, and that just like your neuro-typical kids, their kids have bad days too. Here are my five tips for how anyone can help a special needs mom.
Offer to Help: Offer to carry a bag or box they may be struggling with, especially if they are trying to remove their kiddo from public. I remember a few years ago, we were at Chick-Fil-A and Our big guy was done. He was tired, there were 15-20 kids in the little sound-proof kids area, so it was crazy loud in there and he was over stimulated. He just broke down and started crying and was wailing like a banshee. Two moms at the next table helped us pack up our leftovers, got our drinks refilled, and helped us carry everything out to the car, so I could carry both kids out. No shame, no dirty looks. Just compassion for a situation that every mom faces: THE PUBLIC MELTDOWN.
Be a Friend: It can be very isolating to have a special needs kid, trust me. Text your friend. Offer to get together at a park or some place that her kiddo(s) can play, so you can spend time together. Some special needs parents have hectic schedules with therapy appointments or doctors visits sometimes weekly. Keeping in contact with your friend can really help “normalize” her life. I so seldom see other moms, that texting and Facebook are two of the ways I am able to keep up friendships.
Starbucks Run: Ok, so it doesn’t have to be Starbucks, but if you know she’s having a rough day, bring her a coffee or a treat. I had someone (and to this day it’s a mystery), send flowers to me after a really rough week.
Expect to hear NO- and be OK with it: As much as you want to see your friend, hang out, go to the movies, get a pedicure, or just gossip over coffee, it can be hard for special needs moms to get away. Not everyone has family that can handle their kiddo, and special needs respite/care can be expensive. Sometimes, even the offer to hang out is better than being left out completely.
Give Your Friend Grace, and Pray for them: Recognize that your friend may have a harder road to hoe that you and your family, and that’s ok. If you aren’t religious, think of them or send them good thoughts, dedicate your meditation or yoga session to them.
Talk Back: I’d love to hear about a time when you helped another person!
Back to school approaches! For us, school starts on August 23rd. For some families, back to school is a hard time because the cost of backpacks, school supplies, new clothes and shoes can really add up.
For those in need, the SMOAC (That’s Santee Mobilehome Owner’s Action Committee) is helping out families in need. On August 19th at the Santee Library, starting at 10am, SMOAC will be handing out backpacks with supplies to families in need.
SMOAC is looking for donations too- if you aren’t in need and want to help, there are lots of ways to help out!
On August 11th from 5-9pm Chipotle in Santee is hosting a fundraiser.
Donations of items such as: backpacks, #2 pencils, paper, pens, glue sticks, rulers, pencil sharpeners, white glue, notebooks, scientific calculators, crayons, safety scissors are requested. Most of these items can be picked up at Target, Walmart, Office Depot, or 99 Cents Only fairly cheap.
Donations can be dropped off at Santee Library, Cameron YMCA, Mission Realty Group in Santee, Santee Lakes General Store, El Cajon Toyota, Oggi’s Pizza in Santee, and the Santee Chamber of Commerce. If you are busy and can’t make it to the store and drop off locations, You can buy a gift card for a teacher or send a check to SMOAC. The mailing address can be found in the photo above.
The goal this year to to help 1500 East County families in need!
No Proof of need is required, just show up at the Santee Library on August 19th. The event starts at 10am, but you may want to get there a little early to beat the rush.
As most of you are aware, there are a few current wild fires going on in Southern California. And that means that some of our friends, family, and neighbors are having to evacuate their homes.
During times like this is hard to distill your entire life into whatever you can load into your vehicle or carry on your back. I lived through the 2003 and the 2007 wild fires in San Diego. In 2003, we had no power for 3 days, but we didn’t have to evacuate. We had everything packed up and ready to go just in case, as the fire was just up over the hill.
At that time, we received a lot of great advice in regards to what we should be taking with us. That includes:
1.Meds for everyone- If you have a chronic health condition, pack your meds into your purse/bag FIRST (but make sure they are easily accessible). If you have meds that need to be kept cold, have blue ice packs stashed in your freezer. Having a good First Aid kit you can grab is important too. We have this one at our house- It’s been very helpful.
2. The next few items can be kept all together in a box some place safe. If not originals, then copies of each.
Health Insurance Cards for everyone in the house (this includes pets).
Car insurance ID cards, Registration for all cars (especially if you have to leave one or more behind).
Information on your homeowners/condo unit owners/renters insurance. If you don’t have a copy of the policy, have your agent/Insurance carrier email you a copy and print it out. Write down and take contact information for your land lord or mortgage company (including your loan number).
Birth certificates, Marriage licenses, Passports (We keep all of our important papers in a family binder, along with copies of one of each of our bills, so I can have account numbers and contact numbers for each utility/creditor).
Food for pets, any special snacks or food that everyone in your home needs in case of dietary concerns.
3. If you are in a hurry, instead of trying to pack bags of clothes, grab your laundry hamper. Sure the clothes are dirty, but more than likely, everything you need for a few days will be in there.
4. Family heirlooms: Wrap paintings/art in blankets and layer them flat in a vehicle. Most people keep their photos on a terabyte drive or the cloud instead of family photo albums these days. Grab your albums and/or your external hard drives.
5. A Dop Kit/Toiletry Kit, diapers and wipes if you’ve got kiddos.
That’s pretty much the important stuff. Other stuff if you have time…
Something to keep your hands/mind busy (books, magazines, knitting, small crafts, coloring
Extra chargers/cables for any and all devices you are taking with you. Portable emergency charger (like this one).
Most local fire agencies have a twitter feed you can follow too to keep up to date.
**This post contains links to products on Amazon. These are affiliate links, and I might earn a commission if you purchase them.
It’s getting to be the season of giving, and for some families there isn’t the means to give this year. For some families there isn’t the means for a sit down family meal either.
Thanksgiving and Christmas are more than food and gifts, but no one should go hungry any time of year!
Here are some resources for those in San Diego County who might need some help.
Here is my post with a list of food banks/pantries in San Diego. Meet the Need at Faith Chapel has a lot of great events coming up to help you get through the holidays:
11/19/: Faith Chapel is giving out Food Boxes and Turkeys starting at 10:30am.
12/3: Meet the Need’s first Sunday event will be featuring a limited number of free Christmas trees in addition to the usual free lunch and bag of groceries.
12/17: Faith Chapel will be distributing toys to children in need after the 10:30am service.
Feeding the Flock and several other ministries are sponsoring a Thanksgiving food box (turkey included). More information and sign ups can be found here.
You can also find local food banks/pantries from AmpleHarvest or by calling 211 in your area.
Toys 4 Tots is a well know toy charity, however their deadline to request toys is early November. If you missed the cut off, there are a few San Diego based toy charities that can help out.
Toys 4 Joy has 4 San Diego area events on December 9th. Toys for Joy is open to all children and families and no registration is required. One free toy will be given to all children attending the event ages 0 – 11. Free lunch will be provided in addition to free entertainment, kids activities and giveaways. All four locations have free groceries and one location has free gently used clothing available.