March 13, 2020
Over the last 34 years, Chronicle Season of Sharing Fund has stepped in to provide help and hope to households facing unexpected crises throughout the nine counties of the Bay Area — Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma. Our assistance keeps thousands of individuals and families in their homes and puts food on their tables as they get back on their feet.
How is Chronicle Season of Sharing Fund responding to the COVID-19 pandemic?
We have expedited over $1.9 million in emergency assistance funds to our county partners to be used for housing and critical family needs between now and June 30, 2020. In this calendar year, we will provide a total of $7.8 million for housing and critical family needs and $1.3 million for food assistance. We expect that the need for emergency assistance will be overwhelming and are requesting additional donations from those who would like to support their neighbors in this pandemic.
Our neighbors need our help now: Due to the need to limit social engagement to slow down and reduce the spread of COVID-19, our county partners have informed us of an increase in applications for assistance. Musicians face canceled gigs. Office support staff are facing a reduction in hours as more knowledge workers move to teleworking. Restaurant workers are not making the tips they need to make ends meet. Theater performances are being canceled and actors, stagehands and crew are impacted. It is still the middle of March, but many hourly workers and gig workers throughout the Bay Area already know that they will not be able to pay their April rent. That’s where we come in, to help prevent our neighbors from being evicted and risking becoming homeless.
We respond quickly: Thanks to the generosity of neighbors like you, Chronicle Season of Sharing Fund is able to jump in and provide assistance when it is most needed, while federal, state, and city governments deliberate on longer-term solutions.
We are tapped into local community needs: Chronicle Season of Sharing Fund is grateful to be able to draw on our longstanding partnerships and robust infrastructure in preventing hunger and homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the expertise of county coordinators in nine Bay Area counties, who in turn work with over 150 different agencies, we are tapped into local community needs.
Keeping food on the table: During this COVID-19 pandemic, our food bank partners throughout the Bay Area are working with school districts to provide grab-and-go meals at designated pickup sites, while bundling more food into these grab-and-go packages so a family can have enough food for multiple days.
We help the whole person: Chronicle Season of Sharing Fund partner agencies also link applicants up with other forms of assistance — for example, a family that comes in seeking rental assistance also receives information on how to access food, education programs, workforce development programs, and vice versa.
Every dollar counts: Thanks to the support of the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund and the San Francisco Chronicle, every dollar donated goes towards our neighbors in need.
$2,500 pays for a month of rent for a family of four that must self-quarantine and where the parents are wage earners who cannot work from home.
$1,500 covers a month of rent on a 1-bedroom apartment for a single parent who has to stay home to take care of a child due to school closures.
$1,000 pays for a studio apartment for a veteran whose place of employment is temporarily or permanently closed.
$500 covers a month of meals for three children who can no longer access free lunch at school.
$250 covers a utility bill so a family can keep the lights on for a month, even when the parents’ hours have been drastically cut back.
Approximately 85% of every donation goes towards housing and critical family needs, and 15% goes towards food assistance — these donations are allocated throughout all the nine Bay Area counties based on population and need.
For those in need: Bay Area residents who need emergency assistance should apply through the county in which they live. Chronicle Season of Sharing Fund was designed to support vulnerable and underserved populations, i.e. low-to-moderate income families with dependent children, seniors who are age 55 and older, disabled individuals, veterans, pregnant people in their 2nd or 3rd trimester, survivors of domestic violence, and transitioning emancipated foster youth between 18 and 24. We encourage anyone in need of assistance to get in touch with our county partners, as the case managers who handle Season of Sharing applications are also well-versed with other sources of funding.