Chicano Federation Helps San Diego Community During COVID-19


Stronger Than Ever

Chicano Federation has a legacy of tackling important social issues and ensuring underserved communities have a voice in the policies that impact their lives. During the COVID-19 health crisis, the organization has worked on San Diego’s frontlines to meet the emerging needs of children, families, tenants and childcare providers throughout the County.

While the pandemic has caused an inevitable shift in Chicano Federation’s work, the organization’s dedication to the San Diego community is stronger than ever across both advocacy and programmatic work.

Recently, the organization surveyed families in their programs and found a need for food and supply distribution – particularly for senior tenants in their affordable housing properties. The organization quickly partnered with Feeding San Diego as a new agency through their food distribution program to address the need.

“Our senior tenants were our first priority during the coronavirus outbreak,” Chicano Federation CEO, Nancy Maldonado shared with GB Magazine. “Our team wanted to do everything possible to keep them safe and healthy. Aside from the basic essentials, we made sure tenants had face masks to stay protected at all times. We continue to check in on them regularly during this time.”

To further support their housing tenants, Chicano Federation partnered with the San Diego Housing Federation and SD-50 Coalition to advocate for eviction moratorium policies at the City and County levels; they are fighting for expanded access to healthcare, county programs, rent relief and other critical services at the County level with Invest in San Diego Families.

“The needs are widespread,” said Chicano Federation Chief Strategy Officer, Roberto Alcantar. “We are doing our best to meet the needs of anyone who turns to us for assistance – even if they are not currently enrolled in any of our programs.”

Beyond housing advocacy, Chicano Federation has connected with all childcare providers and families within their programs to identify their needs during this time. Based on personal conversations, the team provides customized advice and information on resources, curriculum for distance learning and much more.

For instance, after learning many local childcare providers were struggling to find cleaning supplies and other essential goods, Chicano Federation developed a partnership with YMCA and San Diego for Every Child to launch a brand-new service, whereby providers could pick up a kit with everything they needed to provide a clean and healthy environment for the children in their care. In addition, Chicano Federation is collaborating with partners on the San Diego County Child Care Taskforce to develop recommendations to the state government on how to better support and expand access to childcare providers during this time.

For more information on Chicano Federation or to find ways to help support the organization’s work during COVID-19, visit

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Esteban Villanueva