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Blog Post

Susan Adler

Summer Family Dinners: Providing Meals in the Canal to Address the Rise in Food Insecurity

Summer Family Dinners (SFD) is a nonprofit endeavor that provides pre-cooked, nutritious meals for families of four in the Canal District and San Rafael from June through August. The project serves to address the increasing food insecurity in Marin County due to the economic impact of Covid-19.

SFD has currently completed four deliveries, each of 100 dinners for four people, at the Canal Alliance Food Pantry and more dinners to parents of school age children at the Bahia Vista School in San Rafael. In total, the meals that SFD has distributed have fed over 1,750 individuals.

In the coming weeks, Summer Family Dinners will be delivering food at the Canal Alliance, the Bahia Vista Elementary School, and the Venetia Valley Food and Supply Distribution Pop Up co-sponsored by Congregation Rodef Sholom in San Rafael.

Covid-19 cases have increased dramatically in Marin County in the past few weeks. From July 1st to July 20th, the number of cases increased from 1,259 to 2,288, excluding the cases from San Quintin, according to the Marin Health and Human Services (2020). As Covid-19 cases continue to increase in Marin County, the outbreak poses an unprecedented threat to our entire community, including our neighbors in the Canal District and San Rafael.

Out of the 2,288 cases recorded in Marin, 1,358 of the cases have been in the San Rafael area (Marin Health and Human Services, 2020). And, while Hispanic and Latino residents make up 16.1% of the Marin County population and 31.4% of the San Rafael population, this demographic accounts for 77.1% of the Covid-19 cases in Marin County where the race/ethnicity of the patient was recorded (Marin Health and Human Services, 2020; U.S. Census Bureau, 2019).

Many of the multi-generational families in the Canal District and San Rafael, with limited or no access to government sponsored relief programs, are disproportionately affected by economic and health issues. The founders of SFD, Marin County residents themselves, recognized that the summer months pose a special challenge for nutrition, as existing school-based food programs are disrupted, and they wanted to take action to support their community.

Summer Family Dinners has partnered with Whistlestop and Stacy Scott Catering to provide a variety of meals throughout the entire summer that range from chicken curry to pasta with meat sauce. To continue to provide meals, SFD is relying on donations from the Marin community.

To learn more or to donate, please go to:


Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19): Surveillance Update. Marin Health & Human Services. (2020, July 20).

QuickFacts: San Rafael city, California. U.S. Census Bureau. (2019).