North County Cares is a collaborative effort designed by the Oceanside Chamber of Commerce, the Vista Chamber of Commerce and the San Diego North Economic Development Council for the purpose of supporting both families in need and North County restaurants facing economic hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Contributors are encouraged to support local families and restaurants by donating to the Oceanside Chamber of Commerce Foundation. In turn, the money collected is used to purchase gift cards from participating chamber member restaurants in both Oceanside and Vista. The gift cards are then distributed to the Vista Unified School District, the Oceanside Unified School District and any other philanthropic organizations and used to provide meals for struggling families.
Rachel Beld, CEO of the Vista Chamber, emphasizes her appreciation for Genentech’s contribution and expresses enthusiasm when discussing the positive impact the program will have on the community. “Our school districts are doing an amazing job serving the nutritional needs of students - VUSD is serving 35,000 meals per week! Unfortunately, we've heard from our school officials that there is more support needed for families facing food insecurity,” explains Beld. “As Chambers of Commerce we looked for a solution that would assist these families while also supporting the economic stability of our restaurants. We are grateful to our members for providing discounted gift cards and incredibly encouraged by the generosity of Genentech. We hope that others are inspired to give so that we may support additional organizations and families.”
With the generous donation from Genentech, the program has started purchasing gift cards and will begin the distribution process to local school districts this weekend. Participating restaurants have graciously provided ten or more gift cards at a discounted rate, allowing for the maximization of donation dollars. As the goal of the program is to benefit as many families and restaurants as possible, North County Cares has launched a coinciding GoFundMe Campaign which hopes to raise an additional $20,000 in grassroots funding. These community contributions have the ability to benefit an additional 650 families and 16 – 20 local restaurants.
Please visit the North County Cares website to learn more about the program. If you would like to either participate in the program as a restaurant or distributor or be considered to receive support, please email Rachel Beld, Vista Chamber CEO.
Founded more than 40 years ago, Genentech is a leading biotechnology company that discovers, develops, manufactures and commercializes medicines to treat patients with serious and life-threatening medical conditions. The company, a member of the Roche Group, has headquarters in South San Francisco, California. For additional information about the company, please visit http://www.gene.com.
Recently, Genentech and the Genentech Foundation announced their charitable commitment of $42 million to help provide relief and recovery for those suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic. With the economic and healthcare inconsistencies recognized, Genentech is working closely with community leaders and groups to identify the greatest areas of need. They hope to build resiliency and address critical emerging equity gaps especially within low-income households and communities of color. Their forward-looking giving framework directs funds on a national, regional and local level in three specific areas:
- Critical Health Needs
- Strengthening Schools
- The Genentech Foundation has invested in California Schools creating more equitable access to distance learning for low-income students and providing delivery of critical services including food assistance and mental healthcare.
- Grassroots Community Supports
- Resources have been delivered to community foundations, food banks and regional relief efforts.