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Healthy Meal Kits Feed Local Families

Plus, more good news for Balboa Park, the La Jolla Institute for Immunology, and schools

By Sarah Sapeda

Solana Beach business owners and a local foundation have joined forces to feed North County families in need. Jaime and Marie Brawn (the owners of Root Cellar Catering and Homestead Solana Beach) and the Burt Family Foundation have created a healthy, zero-waste meal kit that can feed a family of four for free, called +Box. It’s distributed to families in reduced lunch programs in the Carlsbad, Encinitas, and Solana Beach school districts. Since early April, more than 1,800 +Boxes have been given out. The organizations plan to eventually introduce a buy-one, give-one program, where a similar box purchased by a member of the general public would provide a +Box to a local family.

Despite uncertainties caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Friends of Balboa Park has raised $128,000 this summer. Nearly 300 donors stepped up to help the nonprofit weather the recession. Donated funds will go toward ongoing maintenance and enhancement projects, including the preservation of the park’s historic carousel. A $3 million capital campaign for the carousel is also underway, which has so far raised about $2.3 million.

“For an organization our size to raise such a significant amount in a couple of months is humbling,” said Friends of Balboa Park Executive Director John Bolthouse. “It also demonstrates the generosity of San Diegans and the power of philanthropy to still come together in such uncertain times to support Balboa Park.”

The La Jolla Institute for Immunology has received $1 million from global philanthropic organization GHR Foundation to further the work of the Coronavirus Immunotherapy Consortium, or CoVIC, headquartered there. CoVIC is working to accelerate the discovery, optimization, and delivery of lifesaving antibody-based therapeutics and has more than 50 efforts underway around the world.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic has shown clearly, infectious disease anywhere becomes infectious disease everywhere. Until a vaccine becomes available, we need a way of giving people immediate immunity, and antibody therapy is the way to do it,” says Dr. Erica Ollmann Saphire, a professor in LJI’s Center for Infectious Disease and Vaccine Research who leads the consortium.

One Paseo has pledged $107,000 to eight San Diego County school districts to help cover costs related to COVID-19. The funds, split between districts in Cardiff, Del Mar, Encinitas, Poway, Rancho Santa Fe, San Diego, San Dieguito, and Solana Beach, will help teachers and other school staff deal with changes, mandates, and restrictions.

John Kilroy, CEO of One Paseo developer Kilroy Realty, said, “Now more than ever, as our communities continue to cope with rapid changes and many unknowns, our actions are deeply driven by how One Paseo and Kilroy can make a positive impact. We are proud to support our local schools as they safely gear up for this upcoming year.”

Volunteers distribute free +Box meal kits to North County families

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