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CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

Ocean Discovery Institute receives grant from the San Diego Foundation COVID-19 Fund

The foundation's COVID-19 fund has been distributing money to worthy organizations around the county during these times of trouble.

SAN DIEGO — Marco Banks and his mother Blanca have been coming to the Ocean Discovery Institute for the last two years. 

"He does activities. He does homework, tutoring. It's a safe place for him," said Blanca. 

Since mid-March, the science based, after school program has pivoted its main goal for the community of City Heights. 

Everyday at 3:15 p.m., the Ocean Discovery Institute hands out bags of healthy food outside its building to anyone who wants it. 

"When we first started this, we were providing 50 meals and we ran out of food in 20 minutes," said Shara Fistler, the executive director and founder of the Ocean Discovery Institute. 

Fistler said they are not only sending people home with a few meals, but a chance for their students to continue the learning where they left off.

"Because students are learning from their homes we're providing materials that they can use, like pencils," said Fistler. "And also fun items like magnifying lenses to look at bugs in their neighborhood." 

Just as some families in City Heights need a helping hand, organizations like the Ocean Discovery Institute need a boost as well. 

The dollars that were used for the food came from the San Diego Foundation's COVID-19 fund. 

The fund has granted millions of dollars to San Diego non-profits in the county.

"Since mid-March we've raised almost fourteen-million for the fund and we've had almost ten million granted out to over 120 non-profits," said Mark Stuart, the President of the San Diego Foundation. 

"Our giving has touched every single corner of San Diego," he said.

The San Diego Foundation on Thursday announced the San Diego COVID-19 Community Response Fund has granted $9.9 million to more than 90 organizations working on the frontline of the COVID-19 health and economic crisis.

The latest round of rapid response grants, totaling $2.9 million, will assist San Diegans impacted by the pandemic by increasing access to childcare, preventing homelessness for low-income families and supporting San Diegans impacted by domestic violence.

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