MENDOCINO Co., 12/22/20 — Throughout the pandemic and wildfires, North Coast Opportunities has offered financial assistance and other support to locals facing financial challenges, including a partnership with the Mendocino Lake Food Hub to connect thousands of people with support including fresh produce from local farms. The Food Hub program, which was also supported by the Community Foundation of Mendocino County and federal funds, is currently facing the end of its funding at the end of the year — but people can still apply for financial relief and payments towards rent, food, and utilities.
“We have been very busy trying to serve everyone and this release comes with a bittersweet ending,” wrote NCO’s Menaka Olson in an email. “Our Food Hub currently doesn’t have continued funding to keep serving farmers and the public with direct local and nutrient rich foods.”
NCO’s offices will be closed from December 24 through January 4, but people facing financial challenges due to the pandemic or wildfires can still apply for assistance online. “We are still taking applications for financial assistance and we know that the need is great. We currently have a waiting list but are getting to everyone who applies with our online link,” wrote Olson.
To apply, visit www.ncoinc.org and go too the section titled, “COVID-19 or Disaster Assistance for Mendocino County.” You can also call (707) 467-3200 to leave a confidential message in either Spanish or English.
Here’s the info from NCO:
NCO DELIVERS COVID RELIEF TO THOUSANDS AND OFFERS TO PROVIDE MORE
Ukiah, CA – In its ongoing efforts to support local residents affected by Covid-19 and recent wildfires, North Coast Opportunities (NCO) and its partners have provided financial relief to more than 1,324 individuals and their households in Mendocino County since April and delivered more than 10,000 food boxes since May.
“Special funding is still available and should remain available through the end of the year, so if you’re having trouble affording rent, food, or utilities because of COVID—or if you’ve been affected by wildfires—please contact us,” NCO Executive Director Patty Bruder said. To apply, people can visit www.ncoinc.org and click on the section titled, “COVID-19 or Disaster Assistance for Mendocino County” or call (707) 467-3200 to leave a confidential message in English or Spanish.
NCO and its programs have been working since the start of the crisis to support those in need. The MendoLake Food Hub (mendolakefoodhub.org), shifted its services in May, thanks to funding from the US Department of Agriculture. The Food Hub has continued to pack and deliver farm-fresh produce boxes weekly to hundreds of people throughout Lake & Mendocino Counties. Thanks to support from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Community Foundation of Mendocino County, and other funds distributed through the County of Mendocino this work continued through the summer and fall. NCO case managers continue to refer people in need to receive fresh produce delivered to their door, free of charge.
Financial assistance is also available to Mendocino County residents who have been affected by the pandemic or a recent wildfire. Through funding from the County of Mendocino, The United Way of the Wine Country, PG&E and the Community Foundation of Mendocino County; bilingual case managers at NCO are available to assist community members with payments for rent, utilities and food. Currently, there is a waiting list that continues to grow. All applicants will be contacted as NCO case managers attempt to contact everyone in need.
“Our community faces many challenges, but by working together, we continue to support each other,” Bruder said.
To apply, visit www.ncoinc.org and click on the section titled, “COVID-19 or Disaster Assistance for Mendocino County” or call (707) 467-3200 to leave a confidential message in either Spanish or English. Messages will be returned by bilingual operators and case managers.