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San Diego Nonprofits Seeking Donations For Coronavirus Worker Relief Fund

San Diego county leaders announcing the launch of the San Diego COVID-19 Community Response Fund on March 16, 2020, to help low-wage earners during the coronavirus crisis.
Matthew Bowler
San Diego county leaders announcing the launch of the San Diego COVID-19 Community Response Fund on March 16, 2020, to help low-wage earners during the coronavirus crisis.

A group of nonprofits Monday announced the establishment of an emergency relief fund to aid local workers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

San Diego Gas & Electric and the San Diego Foundation launched the fund with donations of $1 million and $300,000, respectively. The money will be distributed to local nonprofits with a focus on food security, rental and utility assistance and income replacement.

"Some will expand their food distribution, others like 211 will be a resource to direct people to appropriate services, and still others are exploring ways to address the myriad of other issues nonprofits and individuals are facing," said Nancy Sasaki, CEO of United Way of San Diego County, which will help distribute the funds.

San Diego's economy is already suffering from the outbreak of the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, with would-be visitors canceling hotel stays, events are being called off and locals told to stay away from gathering places like bars and restaurants.

Video: San Diego Foundation And SDG&E Start COVID-19 Relief Fund

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Officials at the press conference made a point of standing six feet away from each other — part of the "social distancing" that health officials say will slow the virus's spread.

County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher urged residents to donate to the fund if they are able.

"So many folks are wondering 'What is it I can do other than wash my hands?'" Fletcher said. "We want you to keep washing your hands. But we also want you to go to the website provided and make a donation if you are able to help your neighbor and your friend and those around you."

He added that he would be asking his colleagues on the board of supervisors to donate available funding from county coffers, as well.

Donations to the fund can be made at SDFoundation.org/COVID19.