Lakeside Union School District students and a teacher check out new equipment made possible by a $100,000 grant from San Diego Grantmakers’ San Diego Food Funders Collaborative. Photo courtesy of San Diego Grantmakers

Lakeside Union School District students and a teacher check out new equipment made possible by a $100,000 grant from San Diego Grantmakers’ San Diego Food Funders Collaborative. Photo courtesy of San Diego Grantmakers

— The San Diego Food Funders, a funding collaborative of San Diego Grantmakers, provided grants of $356,000 to in-school and out-of-school youth meals programs in San Diego County to improve access to nutritious food for youth of all ages in low- to middle-income communities. Regional philanthropic organizations have stepped up with significant funds to help provide healthier meals to local youth before, during, and after school.

In the city of San Diego alone, more than 100,000 children live in economic hardship (below 200 percent of the federal poverty line); throughout the county 16-38 percent of children are in this situation according to Data: Center on Policy Initiatives San Diego.

Vice President of Collaboration and Special Initiatives Megan Thomas said: “Many of these children are eligible to receive free and reduced-price meals, but they don’t all participate in nutrition programs — particularly evening and summer programs. Improving access to, and nutrition of,, meals consumed by youth not only combats hunger and improves nourishment, but can improve young people’s social-emotional and educational development.”

Father Joe’s Villages, Feeding San Diego, Kitchens for Good, the Lakeside Unified School District, San Diego Hunger Coalition and Somali Bantu Association of America will each receive a one year grant to fund infrastructure, staff capacity and youth advocacy projects such as upgrading a school kitchen built in the 1960s, adding new sites so more kids can eat, and supporting student advocacy for culturally appropriate meals in their schools. Visit sdgrantmakers.org.

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The SDMAC Foundation, a nonprofit organization that is part of the San Diego Military Advisory Council, which supports the active-duty and retired military communities through program initiatives funded by tax-deductible donations, announced that a continued collaboration with San Diego State University to provide discount ticket vouchers for active-duty and retired military personnel to attend 2018 Aztec football home games. Vouchers can be purchased at San Diego area military ticket offices for $8 each and redeemed at the San Diego County Credit Union stadium ticket window for seating in select sections.

Pete Hedley, president of SDMAC Foundation said: “To date, 39,239 active-duty and retired military personnel have enjoyed the vouchers. This program is another way in which SDMAC Foundation is working to positively impact the military and veterans in our community.” Visit sdmac.org/foundation.

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The Living Coast Discovery Center, a nonprofit zoo and aquarium on San Diego Bay in Chula Vista, raised $110,000 in net proceeds at its ninth annual “Farm to Bay” event making it the Living Coast’s most successful fundraiser. The funds, which were generated through a combination of sponsorships, ticket sales, live and silent auctions, and donations, will support coastal wildlife conservation, education and sustainability programs at the Living Coast throughout the year. Approximately 400 guests attended the event

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