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JFS Increases Food Delivery 2,000%; Reports 11,400 Calls for Assistance Since Pandemic

MoMo Byers, Oceanside and Christina Preiss, Valley Center

Nonprofit Announces Giving Tuesday Triple Impact Challenge for JFS COVID-19 Relief Fund

San Diego CA— Eight months into the COVID-19 pandemic, Jewish Family Service of San Diego (JFS) remains committed to helping San Diegans of all faiths, backgrounds and ages maintain stability through this crisis and beyond. JFS has released statistics to demonstrate the region’s increased need for assistance during the pandemic. The 102-year-old nonprofit has also announced a new, “Triple Your Impact Giving Tuesday” donation match challenge for the JFS COVID-19 Relief Fund on Dec. 1.
JFS’s COVID-19 Relief Fund responds to the urgent needs facing San Diego’s most vulnerable community members as a result of the pandemic. Funds help provide home-delivered meals and free groceries; direct funds for rent/mortgage, utilities, medical and other expenses; transportation support, such as gas cards, car repairs and insurance; and much more.
As of November 8, increased need for financial assistance in the wake of COVID-19 can be seen in the significant rise in San Diegans requesting aid for specific purposes, compared to pre-COVID levels, such as:

  • Rent/mortgage assistance: 76% of recipients (12% pre-COVID)
  • Unemployment: 56% of recipients (26% pre-COVID)
  • Lack of health insurance: 41% of recipients (13% pre-COVID)

This year, all Giving Tuesday gifts up to $55,000 will be matched 2:1 for triple the impact. These matching funds have been made possible thanks to the generosity of B.J. Adelson, Endeavor Bank, Kay & Bill Gurtin, Leonard Hirsch, Sharon & Raulf Polichar, Nessim Tiano and an anonymous donor. To learn more or donate, visit
“In response to the pandemic, Jewish Family Service is helping more people than ever,” said CEO Michael Hopkins. “The pandemic is unique, affecting many people who are seeking help for the very first time in their lives. The comprehensive support we provide is only possible because of the generous support of the community, our dedicated volunteers and all our partners – we are thankful for everyone who supports us and has stepped up to advance our mission. For those who are able, we hope you can join us for Giving Tuesday to triple your impact.”
Modified or increased services and current results include:

  • Home-delivered Meals for Older Adults: In late March, the County of San Diego asked JFS to increase its number of home-delivered meals for isolated seniors from 400 to more than 1,600 per day. JFS created two shifts in its Loonin Family Kitchen and transitioned staff in other departments to the kitchen to accommodate the need.
    • Over 896,000 meals have been delivered to older adults at home since the start of the pandemic. This is a more than 2,000% increase in meals delivered.
  • No-touch, Drive-thru Food Distribution: Anyone in critical need can pick up bags of fresh and non-perishable food at the JFS Joan & Irwin Jacobs Campus in Kearny Mesa every Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Bags come stocked with a variety of fresh produce, dried/canned goods and other pantry staples.
    • An average of 600 families are served each week by this new service, with JFS providing about 330,000 meals to date.
  • Senior Services: JFS continues to offer a variety of programming for older adults – with virtual meet ups including tea-time, chair exercise routines, musical performances and more. The organization also provides remote technology assistance for older adults who need help with their computers, Zoom, the internet, etc. As the largest transportation provider for seniors in the county, JFS maintains its “On the Go” rides for older adults for vital needs, including doctor’s appointments and grocery store trips.
    • “On the Go” has provided more than 9,700 critical rides to seniors from May through September 2020.
  • JFS Safe Parking Program: The JFS Safe Parking Program is a program funded by the City of San Diego operated by Jewish Family Service of San Diego to provide people experiencing homelessness a safe space to sleep in their car for the night, along with case managers and housing specialists to help individuals and families move out of their vehicles and into more stable housing.
    • During the pandemic, the program has served a total of 916 clients.
  • Access Calls: To help direct people to available resources, JFS runs a confidential access line at 858-637-3210. Regular business hours are Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    • Since March, JFS has received 11,400-plus calls for assistance. This is over five times the number of typical calls.

To get help, volunteer or support JFS, visit or call 858-637-3000.

About Jewish Family Service of San Diego – Moving Forward Together

Founded in 1918, Jewish Family Service (JFS) is one of San Diego’s most impactful nonprofit agencies – providing resources and support to over 34,000 San Diegans this past year. Through integrated services, the organization empowers people of all ages, faiths, and backgrounds to overcome challenges, set goals, and build more stable, secure, and connected lives. JFS is committed to helping individuals and families in crisis move forward, while developing innovative strategies to break cycles of poverty and strengthen our San Diego community.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency adapted, revised and expanded its services to focus on what was needed most, including critical food assistance through a no-touch drive-thru distribution, meal delivery and self-care support for seniors, safe spaces for people living out of their vehicles, and employment services and counseling. From response to recovery, JFS will be there for the community and offer much needed relief and vital necessities. Together, we will make it through this.
To get help, volunteer or support JFS, visit or call 858-637-3000.

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JFS Increases Food Delivery 2,000%; Reports 11,400 Calls for Assistance Since Pandemic