Over the coming months, everyone in the San Joaquin Valley will continue to experience the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet the health, economic, educational and social impacts will continue to be felt most acutely by the most vulnerable populations and the organizations that serve them. This includes farmworkers and other low-wage essential workers and their families, the under- and uninsured, the unemployed and the underemployed, immigrants, communities of color, low-income families with small children, non-English proficient, homeless, LGBTQ+, and small and emerging community-based organizations.
“We did our first food distribution at Forty Acres in Delano – the place where Cesar Chavez started the farm worker movement, providing meals for over 1,000 individuals. It has been an extremely difficult time for our communities, but we are so fortunate to deploy our staff to provide much needed assistance. We are so very grateful”-Ester Cadavid, MPH, PhD, Development Director, UFW Foundation
The Center at Sierra Health Foundation, through the San Joaquin Valley Health Fund – a community-led funder collaborative working across the nine counties of the region – continues to raise private and philanthropic contributions to support those most impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Sierra Health Foundation and The California Endowment teamed up to seed the San Joaquin Valley Health Fund COVID-19 Response Cluster with contributions of nearly $500,000.
The mission of the Response Cluster is to ensure vulnerable families, individuals and the nonprofits serving them have the essential supplies, food, rent, utilities and other provisions needed, including access to the services, programs and protections available under local, state and federal law. As we move forward, we want to also support recovery, resilience and policy and systems change to address the root inequities that cause vulnerable populations to experience severe consequences as a result of all types of crises, including pandemics, economic downturns, natural disasters and others.
Unfortunately, this is not a temporary crisis. The health, social, educational and economic life of San Joaquin Valley vulnerable communities is likely to experience severe disruption for months. State and federal government responses are helpful, but are insufficient to ensure that the diverse families and communities of the San Joaquin Valley get the direct help they need in a timely manner. Through the power of the SJVHF network, which currently includes more than 30 funder partners and nearly 150 community partners, we will work together and demonstrate the incredible commitment and impact of a collaborative dedicated to advancing health and equity for all.
Your contribution will help deepen the impact and reach of the existing network of cultural and ethnically diverse partner organizations and grassroots groups to effectively and expeditiously provide response and support to particularly vulnerable communities.