As Off the Grid’s emergency relief efforts have shifted and expanded to support various Bay Area communities impacted by COVID-19 and wildfires throughout 2020, we’re proud to announce the launch of our newest initiative: the San José COVID Food Relief Program

San José’s diverse community—with Hispanic, Latinx, Asian and African American communities making up 70% of the city’s population—has been hard hit by the pandemic, with a 7.1% unemployment rate as of September 1st (up from 2.3% a year ago). Due to our previous success in coordinating food relief through the San Francisco Great Plates Delivered Program, the City of San José recognized Off the Grid as a capable partner to design and implement a food delivery program that would help meet the critical needs of many families living in San José. 


The San José COVID Food Relief Program will run from October 21st through December 30th, and will provide free, high quality, locally sourced groceries and prepared meals to the doorstep of San José residents affected by COVID-19. The program will offer two options for participants: groceries and prepared meals. Groceries will be delivered at least once per week and will include fresh produce, whole grains and protein. Delivery will be made possible by our partnership with Veggielution, an organization that connects people from diverse backgrounds through food and farming to build community in East San José. Additional sourcing and warehouse facilities are being provided by our partners at Forager.

For those who don’t have access to a kitchen or are unable to prepare their own meals, the program will offer prepared meals, delivered three times a week. Frozen meals or shelf-stable meals will also be available on a case-by-case basis. Participants can request specific cuisine types, including American, Latin American, Chinese and Vietnamese, and the Off the Grid team will do their best to accommodate, as well as any dietary restrictions or allergies. Meal requests must be made 48 hours in advance, and cancellations can be made up until 4pm the previous delivery day.


Eligible participants must live in the City of San José, and have suffered unemployment or reduced work hours OR are considered to be at high-risk for severe illness (as defined by the CDC) for COVID-19. To be eligible, participants may not already be receiving another form of food assistance (such as CalFresh). 

Examples of eligible participants include:

   – A restaurant server who lost their job, or is facing reduced hours

   – A small business owner who had to reduce hours or close their business

   – A fitness instructor who has been furloughed

   – A retail salesperson who lost their job

   – A transit worker who has experienced lower demand and reduced hours

   – An individual who currently has cancer or chronic kidney disease

   – An individual who has contracted COVID-19 or is considered to be high risk (65+ years old)


Any interested, eligible participants can sign up today by filling out a form on our website, or by calling 408-351-8238 (Monday through Friday from 9am to 3pm). Participants will begin receiving their grocery and meal deliveries as early as October 21st.


Not eligible for the program, but know someone who may be? Please share this information with your networks—or use this flyer to help us spread the word.