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When the COVID-19 pandemic hit San Bruno, the Foundation responded in the spring of 2020 with four major relief initiatives supporting public schools and small businesses and added a fifth grant benefiting child care providers in September 2020. In 2022, the Foundation awarded a sixth COVID relief grant assisting the San Bruno Fire Department.

Teacher Laptop Initiative to Support Distance Learning


The Teacher Laptop Initiative addresses a critical need the San Bruno Park School District uncovered as school sites were closed in response to the shelter-in-place orders implemented in March. The district’s teachers were asked to make a difficult and sudden shift in their teaching methods to accommodate distance learning, and while dedicated teachers did their best to adapt to their new circumstance, the lack of uniform and in many cases outdated technology made the situation that much more difficult. A $240,000 SBCF grant to the San Bruno Education Foundation funded the purchase of new work laptops to ensure that all teachers in the district – from preschool through 8th grade – have the same, up-to-date computers to utilize the online teaching tools they need to reach their students.

Home Internet Access for Low-Income

San Bruno Students


When on-site classes were suspended and all instruction began to be conducted remotely, the first priority of San Bruno’s public schools was ensuring that all students had the technology devices and internet access to participate in distance learning. In collaboration with the City of San Bruno, the San Bruno Education Foundation, the San Bruno Rotary Club, the San Bruno Police Association, and YouTube, the Foundation joined efforts to support students’ distance learning needs with a $10,000 grant to the City to provide free internet access, through San Bruno CityNet Services, to the homes of low-income San Bruno students who previously lacked such access. 

San Bruno Fire Department COVID-19 Antigen Test Distribution


In February 2022, the Foundation awarded a $10,000 grant to the City of San Bruno to fund the purchase of COVID-19 rapid antigen test kits to support the San Bruno Fire Department in its response to calls in the community. Since the start of the pandemic, first responders have struggled with determining whether a patient who exhibited flu-like symptoms should be transported to a local hospital or convalesce at home. Equipping Fire Department personnel with rapid antigen test kits allows a patient to be tested on the scene of a 911 call and enable first responders and the patient to make better-informed decisions and not unnecessarily burden transport ambulances and local emergency rooms. First responders are also making test kits available to others that live in the same household to reduce the potential spread of COVID-19.

SBPSD School Field Trip and Assembly Grant


In October 2022, the Foundation awarded a $35,000 strategic grant to the San Bruno Park School District to support off-campus field trips and on-campus assemblies at all six district schools. Under the grant, $5,000 is earmarked to support activities at each of the five elementary schools (Belle Air, Allen, John Muir, Portola, and Rollingwood) and $10,000 to support activities at Parkside Intermediate School during the 2022-2023 school year. The goal is to increase enrichment opportunities for students and provide some financial relief for the schools' parent-teacher organizations after two difficult years of the pandemic.

San Mateo County Strong

Small Business Grant Program


To assist San Bruno small businesses as they attempt to survive the disastrous impacts of COVID-19, the Foundation has taken a two-pronged approach. The first prong is to support small businesses in San Bruno through a $150,000 grant to the San Mateo County Strong Small Business Grant Program. The County Board of Supervisors seeded the program with $1 million in Measure K funds, and those funds were distributed as grants of up to $10,000 each to small businesses throughout the County to pay for payroll, operations, ongoing expenses, or other costs associated with COVID-19 impacts. SBCF’s funds provided $10,000 grants to 15 small businesses in San Bruno.

San Bruno Small Business

Recovery and Assistance Program


The second prong of SBCF’s small business assistance efforts is the creation of the San Bruno Small Business Recovery Assistance Program. Administered by the Bay Area Entrepreneur Center (BAEC) of Skyline College with support from the San Bruno Chamber of Commerce, this program is providing a unique combination of coaching, technical assistance, and micro grants to a broad pool of San Bruno small businesses to help them apply for aid programs, adjust to the constantly changing rules and regulations governing business reopening during the pandemic, and develop business plans for recovery from the COVID-19 damage they have experienced.

SBCF provided seed funding of $100,000 for the program in the spring of 2020. From July to December 2020, the program reached out to more than 225 San Bruno businesses, offering 28 online workshops, a three-day Small Business Symposium, and five Info Session workshops about the micro grants program. The program awarded micro grants of about $4,000 to 16 San Bruno small businesses participating in the program to help with reopening and other business expenses.

In March 2021, the SBCF Board approved a second grant of $157,000, enabling the program to continue through 2021. The application process for the second set of micro grant awards will open in the spring.

San Bruno small business owners interested in applying for the Small Business Recovery and Assistance Program may contact the BAEC at or fill out the survey at

Child Care Relief Fund


The County of San Mateo set up the Child Care Relief Fund, seeded with $2 million in CARES Act funding, to assist child care providers struggling to survive in the midst of COVID-19. Grants cover the equivalent of one month of operating expenses – up to $10,000 for in-home programs and up to $55,000 for child care centers – and are being distributed broadly throughout the county to programs that provide child care services to the most vulnerable residents. A $100,000 contribution from SBCF resulted in grants to seven child care providers - two large centers and five in-home family care programs - beyond the grants that went to San Bruno child care providers from the County distribution. The SBCF funds are benefiting child care providers serving 274 children. 

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