kaiser permanente

Holiday Bowl, Kaiser Permanente Partner for Food and Blood Drive at Grossmont Center

The event takes place from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Nov. 19 in the area next to Chuze Fitness at Grossmont Center in La Mesa

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San Diego’s SDCCU Holiday Bowl game and parade may be canceled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, but something else is at play: a food and blood drive to help locals in need during these tough times.

The SDCCU Holiday Bowl is partnering with Kaiser Permanent Thursday for a food and blood drive that will help support the San Diego Blood Bank and Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank.

The event takes place from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Grossmont Center in La Mesa, in the West Court area near Chuze Fitness.

Here’s how it’ll work:

The Blood Drive

For the blood drive, if you want to donate blood, you will have to make an appointment in advance, and that can be done here. As of 6:30 a.m. Thursday, only a few slots were still available.

Donors must be healthy, with no symptoms of COVID-19, to give blood. The San Diego Blood Bank said it plans to test all blood donations for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies.

“SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). If a donation tests positive, the plasma in the donated blood may be used to help hospital patients fighting COVID-19,” the blood bank said.

The San Diego Blood Bank is struggling to keep up with the demand for blood as donations have been down since the pandemic reached the region in mid-March. With schools and companies unable to hold their usual blood drives, the organization said the need for blood has increased.

The Holiday Bowl Food and Blood Drive takes place Thursday at Grossmont Center in La Mesa. NBC 7's Nicole Gomez shares how you can help while still following pandemic safety guidelines.

The Food Drive

As for the food drive, you won’t need an appointment to donate to that part of the event.

The Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank is accepting nonperishable donations for the holiday season at the event, including these “most needed” items:

  • Canned meats and fish
  • Canned vegetables
  • Canned fruits
  • Jars of peanut butter
  • Dried, shelf-stable goods like oatmeal, cereals and pastas

Organizers are also hosting a virtual food drive here, where donations will be accepted until Nov. 29.  The site lets you “scan” what you’d like to donate, or enter a monetary amount for a donation.

After Thursday’s food drive, the Food Bank said all donations will be delivered to its warehouse, sorted and distributed to locals facing food insecurity throughout San Diego County, including those who have been hit hard by COVID-19 pandemic. The Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank continues to run its 200 food distribution sites throughout San Diego County during the coronavirus crisis.

Before the pandemic, the Food Bank helped 350,000 people in San Diego each month. Since mid-March – due to unemployment and COVID’s impact on the local economy – the Food Bank said it has been feeding 600,000 people in San Diego monthly.

The organization said it distributed 37 million pounds of food to San Diegans affected by the pandemic from mid-March through the end of October.

How to Help

For more information on Thursday’s food and blood drive, click here.

To learn more on how to donate to the Jacobs & Cushman Food Bank, click here.

And for information on the San Diego Blood Bank and how to help that organization, click here.

Pitching in During the Pandemic: Stories of San Diegans Doing Good: Read more stories about San Diegans finding creative ways to lend support. Have you heard about a story we should share? Let us know

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