San Diego East County Resources

For downloadable PDF versions of food resources and general resources click on your community below

                                               COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information

Education and precautions are the strongest tools against infection. Get the latest facts by visiting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 website. Continue to practice good health habits, refrain from handshakes or hugs as greetings, and wash hands and clean surfaces appropriate. We will strive to bring you a list and links to the most up-to-date information for resources and food pantries.  Things are changing daily so we appreciate your patience as we try to keep this site updated.

*****3/19/2020 07:25 PM PDT*****
Governor Newsom Issues Stay-At-Home Order For All Californians.  The California State Public Health Officer and Director of the California Department of Public Health is ordering all individuals living in the State of California to stay home or at their place of residence except as needed to follow the federal critical infrastructure sectors. It is a mandatory legal Order issued pursuant to the legal authority of the Governor and the State Public Health Officer.  This goes into effect on Thursday, March 19, 2020. The order is in place until further notice. All persons, businesses, and other entities are required to comply with the Order.  For more information, visit

  • San Diego County launches a new text program for text alerts
    Text COSD COVID19 to 468-311 to get text alerts for COVID-19
  • County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, Housing and Community Development (HCDS)–
  • State of California Coronavirus (COVID-19) WebsiteCalifornia launches a new, consumer-friendly website,, that highlights critical steps people can take to stay healthy and resources available to Californians impacted by the outbreak, including paid sick leave and unemployment assistance.
  • What Everyone Can Do to Minimize the Chances of Getting COVID-19
    1. Wash your hands often to help protect you from germs.
    2. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, if soap and water are not available. It should contain at least 60% alcohol.
    3. Avoid touching  your eyes, nose and mouth
    4. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
    5. Avoid close contact with people who are sick and maintain a 6′ social distance from people who are not family members.
    6. If you are sick, stay home and keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
    7. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, then wash your hands.
    8. Practice other good health habits. Get plenty of sleep, by physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food.

Access To Food In Your Neighborhood

Pantries are taking actions to limit the spread of the virus, including use of gloves, paper tickets, pre-packaged distributions, and social distancing at sites.  For a list of food pantries also visit the community FOOD RESOURCES pages on this website.

  • San Diego Hunger Coalition
  • Feeding San Diego at (858) 452-3663  
  • Jacobs Cushman San Diego Food Bank at (858) 527-1419  
  • Call 2-1-1 for various food pantry locations  
  • San Diego County of Education- Known Countywide School Food Service Open During school closures for ages 2-18 years old at school sites  
  • Women, Infant & Children (WIC)- Beginning Wednesday, 3/18/2020, all San Diego WIC agencies will operate virturally. The majority of appointments and assistance will be provided over the telephone. Please see the updated contact information and websites for all WIC operating agencies across San Diego County.
  • American Red Cross WIC    (800) 500-6411  
  • SDSU Research Foundation WIC    (888) 999-6897
  • North County Health Services WIC  (888) 477-6333
  • San Ysidro Health Center WIC   (888) 942-7942
  • Scripps WIC    (619) 260-3400
  • Clinica de Salud WIC    (877) 686-5468
  • CalFresh Application Assistance
  • Shopping for elders or shut-ins– Call Milano Sliwa, Border Angels San Diego State University
    (619) 493-9315
  • Free Food East County–Facebook group with free food donations in La Mesa.  Click on the page and ask to be invited to join page for updates on when food will be distributed and the location. Food is drive by and loaded into your trunk. You can also call Feeding the Flock at (619) 442-1789.

County Assistance and Libraries

  • San Diego County Family Resource Centers, Housing and Community Development Service Offices– All offices are suspending in-person services until further notice.  Residents looking to apply for essential services, including food and housing assistance, medical coverage and other vital support programs, can apply for benefits online. They can also call 2-1-1 San Diego and a live representative can help with the application process by phone.  San Diegans who are already signed up for benefits, including CalWORKs, CalFresh, Medi-Cal or General Relief benefits, can manage their case online. Existing customers can send required documents electronically via LaterDocsFor those who are not able to submit forms electronically, a limited number of staff members will be available outside the County’s 13 Family Resource Centers. In addition, the Housing and Community Development Office in Kearny Mesa has a mailbox where residents drop off hard copies of documents if needed.
  • San Diego County Libraries- County library branches are going to curb-side pickup to help county residents practice social-distancing to stop the spread of coronavirus and still enjoy all the library books, digital magazines, music, movies and other fare they love
  • Health & Human Services Agency- General Relief–March 23, 2020 Due to the ongoing public health crisis, the General Relief Program will be extended until June 30, 2020 and cases are not to discontinue.  Call The San Diego Family Resource Center above for more information.                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
                                                                                      Homeless Services and Shelter

  • Crisis House– 1034 N. Magnolia Ave., El Cajon  (619) 444-1194 Open Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 11:00am-3:00pm  Hygeine packs, warm meals and emergency food

  • Home Start, Inc.– 333 E. Main St., El Cajon (619) 535-9356 Open by appointment at this time. 
  • 2-1-1–  Call for shelter openings throughout San Diego County.

Mental Health Resources

Resources for Kids- Diapers, How to talk to kids about Coronavirus and Learning Resources

Senior Services and Information

  • SD County Aging & Independence Services— Hotline (800) 339-4661 for assistance.  For frequently asked questions,         Click here for pdf. version.
  • Meals on Wheels–Senior Meal Delivery– (619) 447-8782
  • Senior Meals for Pick Up & Delivery–
    Salvation Army-
    1011 Main St., El Cajon  (619) 440-4683 10:00am-12:30pm  Meal delivery for clients only.
    Mountain Health Community Center–976 Sheridan Way, Campo  (619) 478-2384  Same schedule of congregate meals sites with frozen meals and sides to go.  Meal deliveries continue.  Serving Alpine, Descanso, Campo, Pine Valley, Dulzura, Potrero, Boulevard. Emergency pantry available.
  • Jewish Family Services–(858) 637-3000 Call for meal delivery in El Cajon
  • Serving Seniors–(619) 337-1425  Serving El Cajon, La Mesa, Spring Valley (site closed) and Lemon Grove
  • Additional senior meal programs can be found by Clicking here for pdf. version
  • Special Senior (over age 60) Shopping Hours- Also disabled and pregnant women
    1. Costco- Every Tuesday & Thursday   8:00-9:00 a.m.
    2. Smart & Final- Everyday from 7:30-8:00 a.m.
    3. Stater Brothers- 7:45 a.m. each morning
    4. Target- Wednesdays during the first hour
    5. Trader Joe’s- Daily from 9:00-10:00 a.m.
    6. Von’s and Albertsons- Mondays and Thursdays before 9:00 a.m.
    7. Walgreen- Tuesdays from 8:00-9:00 a.m.
    8. Walmart- Mondays & Thursdays before 9:00 a.m.
  • Protecting Seniors–Scams using the virus have been highlighted this week by the Federal Trade Commission:  If you learn of any suspected Price Gouging within San Diego County, please report this activity to the San Diego District Attorney’s Consumer Protection Unit Hotline at 619-531-3507.

California Labor & Workforce Assistance

  • California Labor & Workforce Development
    Information about paid sick leave, family leave, disability and unemployment insurance.
  • Small Business Administration–
    Guidance and loan resources for small businesses.
  • IRS and Tax Extensions–
    Individuals: Income tax payment deadlines for individual returns, with a due date of April 15, 2020, are being automatically extended until July 15, 2020, for up to $1 million of their 2019 tax due. This payment relief applies to all individual returns, including self-employed individuals, and all entities other than C-Corporations, such as trusts or estates. IRS will automatically provide this relief to taxpayers. Taxpayers do not need to file any additional forms or call the IRS to qualify for this relief.  All tax assistance centers are closed until further notice.
  • Coronavirus Law and Policy Information-

2020 Census Information

In light of COVID-19 concerns, it is important to highlight that every Californian can respond to the Census online at or by phone calling the numbers available below or by mail if they received a paper form.  English–844-330-2020, Spanish–844-468-2020, Mandarin Chinese–844-391-2020, Cantonese Chinese–844-398-2020, Vietnamese–844-461-2020, Korean–844-392-2020, Russian–844-417-2020, Arabic–844-416-2020, Tagalog–844-478-2020, Polish–844-479-2020, French–844-494-2020, Haitian Creole–844-477-2020, Portuguese–844-474-2020, Japanese–844-460-2020, Telephone Display Device (TDD)–844-467-2020.  All lines provide live customer support and assistance. Support on all language lines ends July 31, 2020.

More General Information

Photo : Rebecca’s children back with their mom; photo courtesy of “Rebecca”

If you are a non-profit and have a story of hope please submit to the email below.

Finding Hope

    Believing she was “too difficult” to live with her father, Rebecca at age 16 ran away to live with her mother, whom she discovered was drug addicted. After fleeing one bad situation, Rebecca found herself living in more unstable environments, often sleeping on couches. Like her mother, Rebecca began to abuse drugs. Now herself a mother of two children, on drugs and evicted from her apartment, child welfare took Rebecca’s children.
    Rebecca unsuccessfully attempted multiple rehab and sober living programs, but her addiction kept her from being reunited with her children.
    She learned of Home Start, a San Diego agency with services that protect children and strengthen families. At age 19, Rebecca began her recovery process when she entered Home Start’s Maternity Housing Program that gave her stable housing and intensive case management services. She established and achieved goals, and received parental coaching and personal therapy. Her therapy helped her deal with feelings of guilt and shame. After six months of successful recovery, Rebecca’s children were living back with their mom.
    Today Rebecca is clean and sober, gainfully employed, and successfully raising her children. Eighteen months of transitional housing with wrap-around services through Home Start provided her with stability she’d never known. Because of people who supported her and assisted her, Rebecca is self-sufficient and thriving. Best of all, her children also are thriving with their mom.

Who Are We?

The East Co. Homeless Task Force brought together over 300 volunteers to look at challenges within their East County communities and to find solutions to address those challenges.

Mission: “To develop solutions to reduce homelessness by working collaboratively with all sectors of our communities”

Vision: “We will improve our communities by effectively dealing with homeless issues”

How Does This Site Work?

This website was created to assist you with accessing resources that are available in your community.

On the far left navigation bar, you can find specific pages detailing resources and how to get into contact with assistance services. You may also download PDF versions of all resources available by clicking on the buttons above.

For updates and changes, please email

Contact Us:

Disclaimer: El Cajon Collaborative maintains the East County Assist website as a service to families as a reference tool. While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information, we make no guarantee. The inclusion of an organization or service does not imply an endorsement of the organization or service, nor does exclusion imply disapproval. El Cajon Collaborative has provided external links to other websites, however some of these links may refer to information that no longer exists or has been moved to another site. El Cajon Collaborative is not responsible for the content, privacy practices, or security practices of these sites.
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