I hope this finds you well.
I know that for many in our community food insecurity or even hunger is becoming a real issue.
A Brookings Institution report released this week found that overall rates of food insecurity have doubled since the COVID-19 crisis began in March. As of late April, almost 23% of U.S. households report not having enough resources to buy more food when the food that they purchased didn’t last.
For families with children, the numbers are even larger. More than 34% of households with at least one child under 18 report being food insecure.
For single mothers with at least one child under age 12, almost 41% report being food insecure, and more than 17% of them say their children sometimes go hungry: “the children in my household were not eating enough because we just couldn’t afford enough food.”
You can read the Brookings report here
I want to say to any of you who are feeling food insecure that help is available in Santa Clara County.
San Jose Unified School District continues to distribute free breakfasts and lunches at 33 school sites throughout the city to both children and adults. A list of sites is here
. Look for the yellow school bus.
The grab-and-go meals are distributed Monday-Friday from 10:30-11:30 a.m. and you do not have to be a San Jose Unified student, or parent of a student, to receive free meals.
The San Jose-based nonprofit Loaves & Fishes is distributing free evening meals Monday-Friday at two sites in San Jose: Goodwill Industries, 1080 North 7th Street, and the San Jose Vietnamese Seventh Day Adventist Church, 1066 South 2nd Street. You can find more information and a schedule here
Second Harvest Food Bank is distributing food countywide through multiple sites and agencies. You can find the closest place to get food by calling their hotline at 1-800-984-3663. You can also find your nearest food distribution site online by going here
More than 4 million California residents have applied for unemployment insurance in the eight weeks since widespread shelter-in-place orders took effect. Governor Gavin Newsom says these levels of unemployment have not been seen since the Great Depression, 90 years ago.
For those of you who have been laid-off or furloughed because of the pandemic, applying online is the best way to get unemployment benefits. During the COVID-19 crisis, gig workers, independent contractors, and the self-employed are also eligible to receive unemployment benefits.
You can begin the process and get more information here
You can also call the California Employment Development Department and apply by phone in multiple languages.
- English 1-800-300-5616
- Spanish 1-800-326-8937
- Cantonese 1-800-547-3506
- Mandarin 1-866-303-0706
- Vietnamese 1-800-547-2058
- TTY 1-800-815-9387
Be aware that the high volume of calls has resulted in lengthy wait times. The EDD recommends applying online.
One thing to be aware of is that the Mercury News has reported
that some people are having their benefits denied or delayed because after they indicated on the online form that they are not currently looking for work, even if the reason for not looking for work is the shelter-in-place order.
If you need help navigating the unemployment benefits system, the County, in partnership with the Fair Workplace Collaborative, has an advice and helpline at 1-408-809-2124. Help is available in multiple languages.
I was so happy earlier this week to officiate the wedding ceremony of Love Singhal and Sarita Jayantee Biswal. They were the first couple in the County to be married online.
They were able to get married while sheltering in place because last week Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order temporarily suspending the state law requiring marriage ceremonies be performed “in the physical presence of the person solemnizing the marriage and necessary witnesses.”
Their family and friends, many of whom were up early in the morning in India, were able to view the ceremony via a Zoom conference call.
You can read Mercury News columnist Sal Pizarro’s story about the ceremony here.
Officiating their ceremony was one of the highlights of my week. It was so uplifting to see the hope and joy on the faces of Sarita and Love. You can view their ceremony here.
More information about both obtaining a marriage license and arranging for a virtual wedding ceremony in Santa Clara County can be found here.
The historic 1776 expedition by Spaniard Juan Bautista de Anza from Sonora, Mexico to San Francisco Bay is the subject of a new corrida by the Bay Area-based group Los Cenzontles.
During the expedition, de Anza traveled the length of Santa Clara Valley and picked out the sites of both Mission Santa Clara and the city of San Jose. His 1,200-mile route is now commemorated as the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail.
You can view the Los Cenzontles performance of the corrida here.
More information about it is here. I hope you enjoy it.