Responding to COVID-19 – Spring 2020 Newsletter

by | Jun 9, 2020 | COVID-19 | 0 comments

Marin County Resources During COVID-19

Marin County Health & Human Services COVID-19 Website:

Food Resources available in Marin County:

Marin Recovers Website:

COVID Response Hotline: (415) 473-7191 (Monday – Friday, 9:30am to 12-noon and 1pm to 5pm).

Marin County Community Resource Guide:

Hotline for resources and services specifically for older adults, persons with disabilities and family caregivers: 415-457-INFO or email

This time of crisis has also been an opportunity for leadership, collaborations, and adaptive solutions that have emerged to meet the needs of our community. The Nutrition and Wellness team have all been activated as County Disaster Service Workers and have helped to fill several essential functions in Marin County’s response to COVID-19. The team has helped set up operations at the testing center and call center, have responded to thousands of calls on the COVID-19 hotline, managed hotels to allow for our unhoused neighbors to shelter-in-place, ensured communications around the roll out of Pandemic EBT via the school districts, supported the implementation of the Great Plates program to provide elders with meals from local restaurants, set up data collection systems for emergency food providers, as a liaison for the community, and staffing weekly food distributions just to name a few.

We have also been convening weekly as the full HEAL Collaborative to create a space to collaborate, troubleshoot, and align our efforts. The following is by no means a comprehensive list, but just some of the work our partners have been doing to respond to COVID-19. Their work has been instrumental for ensuring the overall well being of our community during these difficult times. Thank you for your service!

Community Action Marin

CAM is responding with a comprehensive approach to serving and centering families. Our work helps to ensure that people have what they need. We are providing close to $2M in cash and rental assistance, essential worker child care, meals from our Central Kitchen and food to over 100 families daily, warmline (emotional support) help to community in English and Spanish, and financial coaching and connection to other resources. You can learn more and stay up-to-date on our website:

Conscious Kitchen

Conscious Kitchen is committed to food equity, access and education — serving fresh, local, organic school meals to students since 2013 and now meeting rising need across the Marin City community, San Rafael and countywide by scratch-cooking and delivering hot, nutritious meals daily with the same ethics, values and deep commitment to the health and wellbeing of people and planet. In the face of the Coronavirus crisis, since schools closed on March 16, Conscious Kitchens are operating as hubs for community resiliency with the teams, equipment, supply chains and structure to scale up with urgency and immediate local implementation — preparing and dispatching breakfasts, lunches and dinners for kids, families, seniors, food-insecure, homeless and others facing unprecedented challenges, while directly and meaningfully supporting staff, organic farmers, food purveyors, small businesses and more. Beginning in a Northern California public school where 95% of students qualify for free-and-reduced lunch, Conscious Kitchen launched the first organic school district in the country — and is currently cooking, packing and delivering meals from those and other sites safely for vulnerable populations amid increasing health, societal and financial hardship. As of May 27, Conscious Kitchen has served over 37,000 fresh, local, organic, scratch-cooked, nutritious meals and delivered hundreds of Conscious Kitchen farm boxes to supplement critical nutrition in Marin City and beyond.

Marin City Community Services District

Since the State of California and Marin County issued their respective Shelter-In-Place (“SIP”) orders, MCCSD has served as the central hub and support for Marin City.  Since January 27, 1958, MCCSD has served the Marin City Community, providing services during times of prosperity and emergent need. With a primary mission to provide services to seniors and youth, MCCSD has and continues to provide services in youth recreation, employment, and healthy lifestyles.     Since COVID-19, MCCSD quickly adapted to be a central hub for food distribution to our more vulnerable households, seniors and families in need. MCCSD provides approximately 120 meals daily to Marin City residents in an effort to abate food insecurities in the community we serve.

 For questions, please contact me at (415) 332-1441 or at

Marin Community Clinics

Marin Community Clinic’s sites in San Rafael and Novato have responded to COVID-19 by providing weekly food distributions in partnership with the SF/Marin Food Bank and Extra Food. These two distributions follow COVID-19 safety protocols and are some of the largest food pantry sites in Marin County.  Since April, our two sites have cumulatively provided food to over 8,000 households consisting of nearly 33,000 community members.  Each participant receives a pre-packed bag of food that consists of fresh vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.

Marin Community Foundation

The Marin Community Foundation has been supporting COVID 19 response efforts through rapid response grantmaking focused primarily on food security, rental assistance and cash aid.  HEAL grantees have been provided with flexible grants to support COVID 19 needs building on the goal to reduce inequities in access to nutritious food.  

Safe Routes to School

Active Bodies, Active Minds: Safe Routes to Schools, a program of the Transportation Authority of Marin, fully supported school communities with distant learning activities promoting the physical and emotional well-being of students during shelter in place.  From March through June, we provided families resources to engage active minds and bodies while including pedestrian and bicycling education and social distancing tips for safe active mobility.   

In April, Safe Routes to Schools provided a Walk and Roll Art and Poetry contest letting kids’ imaginations run wild while staying at home. Hispanic students enthusiastically participated in the art contest and submitted art that SR2S will use in marketing materials in the future.  In May, families were invited to join the Walk and Roll Recess Challenge , encouraging all types of physical activities, in addition to walking, biking or scooting; we wanted to be inclusive of families with limited ability to travel away from home. Additionally, the Safe Routes to Schools pedestrian and bicycle safety education was videoed and the remote learning lessons are now available on the website with Spanish subtitles.  Marin Safe Routes to Schools’ leadership was sought for guidance with social distancing when walking, biking, or scootering in neighborhoods.  In response, the team developed a Social Distancing Tips flyer, circulated throughout school communities and to local organizations including the Canal Alliance who distributed 500 Spanish flyers with their food service. 

Next Up! Safe Routes to Schools will continue to prioritize healthy lifestyles by promoting active walking and rolling in the fall, collaborating with the Board of Education, health and city officials and partnering agencies to plan for physical distancing while students travel from home to school.  Our continued goal is to equitably provide access to safe and healthy streets for all students arriving to campus.


Sanzuma has been delivering organic boxes of produce and other food items to the 70 most at-risk families that they could identify in Marin County. Sanzuma’s executive director Lori Davis has worked with many of their partners to identify the families. Sanzuma has taken as much produce from their own farms as possible and has partnered with two other farms to acquire even more produce for the boxes. The response from the recipients has been amazing. They have received thank you cards from the families, and many verbal confirmations that “this program has been a lifesaver.” Most of the families cannot get to a pantry for a multitude of reasons such as; their husband has been deported they have multiple children and no transportation, they have tested positive for COVID 19, or have a serious immune deficiency such as cancer. Any family who has tested positive for COVID 19 is their priority. Marin County’s Health and Human Services has just funded another month of box deliveries. Volunteers have been delivering the boxed directly to the participants’ doorstep weekly.

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Want to find out more about the work of the HEAL Collaborative?

Contact our Nutrition & Wellness Program Team:

HEAL Collaborative / Steering Committee
Elaini Negussie |
Nutrition & Wellness Program Manager

Canal Community Action Team
Jesica Rodriguez |
Bi-Lingual Community Health Education

Marin City Community Action Team
Daeja Tillis |
Senior Program Coordinator

West Marin Community Action Team
Jesica Rodriguez |
Food Security Program Coordinator