The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has created extreme hardships in communities throughout Tulare County, particularly in our disadvantaged communities. The Tulare County Health & Human Services Agency has partnered with an array of community organizations and non-profits to form the Tulare County Community Care Coalition to address the growing needs of those affected and suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The Community Care Coalition is focused on coordinated service delivery efforts to identify and help meet the diverse needs of Tulare County's communities. We are a team of people who bring together multiple levels of experience and areas of expertise, who are trying to do what we can to make a positive impact,” shared Community Chair Coalition Co-Chairs Rosemary Caso, Executive Director for United Way of Tulare County, and Francena Martinez, HHSA Division Manager for Self-Sufficiency.
The Community Care Coalition has been working behind the scenes providing assistance in food distribution, support programs, and wrap-around services to those impacted directly or even indirectly by COVID-19. Through these efforts, the coalition identified a significant need for bottled water in numerous communities throughout Tulare County. In addition, the group received many requests for bottled water from residents being directed to isolate/quarantine at home as a result of testing positive for COVID-19 or being exposed to the virus.
Seeing the growing need, the Community Care Coalition, with assistance from Assemblyman Devon Mathis’s office and the Tulare County Office of Emergency Services, reached out to the Bottled Water Association for assistance, and bottled water manufacturing companies heeded the call. Lowes in Porterville, Nestle Water, and Sparkletts donated and delivered over 50 pallets of water to the Tulare County Health & Human Services Agency, resulting in over 160,000 bottles of water ready for distribution to those in need throughout the county.
The donated water is being distributed according to requests from residents quarantining due to COVID-19 and through various community outreach events organized by the coalition. The group has been organizing community events in an effort to provide COVID-19 testing to rural areas of Tulare County and to distribute food and supplies, and now bottled water, to those in need. To date, the Community Care Coalition has distributed 48 cases of water, over 300 boxes of food, 397 backpacks with school supplies, 350 boxes of household and personal supplies, over 30 boxes of diapers, over 3,000 face masks, over 1,500 resource packets providing information on many programs and services available, and census information.
“This water donation is a tremendous benefit to the community,” stated Timothy Lutz, Tulare County Health & Human Services Agency Director. “The Health & Human Services Agency is grateful for the supportive efforts of Assemblyman Devon Mathis and the amazing work of our Community Care Coalition partners.”
About the Tulare County Community Care Coalition: Formed in partnership with the Tulare County Health & Human Services Agency, partner agencies, over 40 area community-based organizations, and local non-profits, they work together during the COVID-19 pandemic providing supportive services to all Tulare County residents. The Community Care Coalition coordinates area response for resources, programs, and services to those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes testing/outreach events, water, resource packets, food, and other items as they are made available from coalition partners.
Friends of Tulare County is accepting donations on behalf of the county at https://bit.ly/3bxO1CN.