News Briefs 5-18-2023

Written by Theresa-Marie Wilson

Theresa-Maria Wilson has been a journalist covering the North Coast and South County area for over 20 years. She is also the founder of Cat Noir CC and is currently working on a novel.

May 19, 2023

SLO Food Bank Hunger Awareness Day

The SLO Food Bank will hold its largest annual community event and fundraiser, Hunger Awareness Day, on June 2. Established in 2007, this countywide event educates and activates SLO County residents about the life-changing impact of community engagement to alleviate hunger.  

The event raises critical funds to support the SLO Food Bank’s hunger relief efforts. “By coming together as a community to support hunger relief, we can truly make a significant impact. The SLO Food Bank can quadruple the purchasing power of every dollar donated to provide nutritious meals to individuals and families who are struggling to put food on the table,” said SLO Food Bank CEO, Garret Olson. 

Folks looking to help can:

• Donate – People can donate to support the SLO Food Bank’s one-day goal of raising $112,000 for hunger relief. Supporters can donate online or find a full list of in-person donation sites that will be hosted across SLO County on Friday, June 2, on the HAD website.  

• Fundraise – Individuals, businesses, families, and friends can create a fundraising page to create a movement to support hunger relief. Each fundraising page can be customized and easily shared with others across various platforms.  

• Good Fruit Benefit Concert- Megan’s Organic Market presents Good Fruit Benefit Concert, a night of music on June 2 from 7 – 11 p.m. at SLO Brew Rock. Join Shawn Truax from the Beach radio and rock out to live performances by The Mother Hips, Wolf Jett, and The Silent Comedy. All ticket sales support the SLO Food Bank’ mission and Hunger Awareness Day goal. 

• CALFresh Assistance – On Friday, June 2, the SLO Food Bank offers CalFresh application assistance at locations throughout the county including 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Atascadero, SLO, Morro Bay and Nipomo public libraries, and 1 – 5 p.m. at the Arroyo Grande Public Library. 

Poly is the Big Cheese

The Cal Poly Creamery’s Triple Peak brie, a student-produced cheese that was added to the lineup in 2020, took the first-place title in the North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge’s (NAIDC) “Best of Dairy Challenge” competition. 

Two Cal Poly agricultural science students, third-year Teddy Lopez of Wilton, California, and fourth-year Ryan Nunes, of Grover Beach, California, presented the soft cow’s milk triple cream cheese at the national competition, which was held March 30 to April 1 in Saratoga Springs, New York. 

The Best of Dairy Challenge, which took place during the NAIDC’s annual national contest, was a new addition to the competition. More than 100 competitors were present to exhibit a variety of dairy products, including milk, ice cream, cheeses and butter.

Each competitor was allowed one submission into the Best of Dairy Challenge. Cal Poly’s Triple Peak Brie cheese was submitted under the “soft cheese” category, with 30 other competing products, and garnered 200 voters — more than any of the other submissions. 

Cal Poly Creamery dairy products, including the Triple Peak Brie, are sold throughout San Luis Obispo County, including at California Fresh Market, Avila Valley Barn, and Spencer’s Fresh Market, among other locations. Products are also available at the weekly Ice Cream Drive-Thru at the Dairy Unit on Mt. Bishop Road (No. 18A) on Fridays from noon to 4 p.m.

For more information about the Cal Poly Creamery and to view student-made products, visit 

 Free COVID-19 Tessts

County residents who need COVID-19 tests may pick some up at no cost outside Public Health clinics in Grover Beach, Paso Robles, and San Luis Obispo. 

Tests are also available at pop-up events countywide in collaboration with food bank distributions. Residents may take two tests per person in their household at these sites. There are no requirements related to residency, income, insurance, or immigration status. The tests are available during business hours. Tests may occasionally run low but will be restocked while supplies last. 

People who have symptoms of COVID-19 should not go into clinics but may pick up tests outside. 

“One of the most important reasons to test for COVID-19 is to ensure you can get treatment promptly if you need it,” said Dr. Rick Rosen, deputy county health officer. “Effective treatment is widely available, and data continues to show it helps prevent both severe disease and long COVID, but it needs to be started within five days of your first symptoms. Having tests on hand means you are ready to find out if you have COVID-19 and get treatment if you do.” 

For those who test positive with a home test and do not have health insurance or can’t reach their regular healthcare provider within 24 hours, free COVID-19 telehealth appointments are available online or by phone, with treatment prescribed at no cost if indicated. Health officials strongly encourage residents to take advantage of this convenient free resource. Check out

SLO City Awards Grant Funding to Prevent Homelessness

The City of San Luis Obispo awarded $150,000 in grant funding to 19 area programs to promote economic and social wellbeing of community members, including programs that focus on homelessness prevention and transitional housing. 

The City’s Human Services Grants, formerly titled Grants-in-Aid, provides financial support to non-profit organizations in San Luis Obispo or based in neighboring communities whose services primarily serve City community members. The Human Relations Commission (HRC) advises the City Council on funding priorities and grant recommendations.

The primary funding priority for the 2022-2023 Human Services Grant program was homelessness prevention, including affordable housing, alternative housing, transitional housing and support services such as hunger and malnutrition prevention, mental health services, and more.

The City received grant funding requests from 29 organizations requesting a total of $379,245. The HRC recommended funding 19 of those programs for a total of $150,000, which includes:

• $8,400 for affordable housing production at the Waterman Village provided by Smart Share Housing Solutions.

• $10,000 for Rapid Re-Housing and Homeless Prevention Assistance SLO provided by 5-Cities Homeless Coalition.

• $10,000 for Homeless Prevention work provided by Community Action Partnership of SLO County (CAPSLO).

• $10,000 for Meals that Connect provided by the Senior Nutrition Program.

• $15,000 for 2024 Youth Empowerment Program provided by City Farm.

• $20,000 for hot showers to those experiencing homelessness provided by Shower the People.

For more details on the City’s grant programs, visit

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