Supervisors OK $48M in pandemic money for childcare, food programs

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) – The San Diego County Board of Supervisors Tuesday unanimously approved spending $48 million in federal pandemic-related funding to help child care providers, testing in schools and meals for senior citizens.

The board directed $25 million to child care providers, who have been struggling to stay afloat since March, in the form of grants.

The county will also spend $18.8 million on senior food programs — including an expanded Great Plates program that involves prepared meals delivered to the elderly — while also supporting participating restaurants.

The board voted to spend $5 million to support the county Department of Public Health’s testing, tracing and treatment strategy dedicated for kindergarten through 12th-grade schools.

Last month, the board directed the county’s chief administrative officer to make recommendations on how to spend the money.

To implement the child care grants, CAO Helen Robbins-Meyer will negotiate agreements with The San Diego Foundation, the YMCA of San Diego County and Child Development Associates, Inc.

Supervisor Jim Desmond said while he has been critical of Great Plates program, based on the costs per meal, he understands it helps restaurants while also helping shut-in seniors who may not have any social interaction otherwise.

Desmond added that if there’s money left over from the program or school testing, it should go towards area food banks.

In related actions following an update on county COVID-19 prevention efforts, the board approved Desmond’s motion for a waiver to the school- closures mandate.

The board also approved a separate motion allowing county enforcement of businesses — in terms of complying with reopening requirements — based on Phase 2 mandates.

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