SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The city of South Lake Tahoe made a donation Tuesday as part of the “Pay it Forward” initiative that is designed to help families and businesses in need.

Mayor Tamara Wallace presented the Family Resource Center with $10,000 to help address family needs.

“There is so much need in our community right now, and the Family Resource Center is doing their part to help,” said Mayor Wallace in a press release. “The city is proud to help them, help others, and give back to those who are struggling right now.”

City Council approved the donation last week during a discussion about COVID-19 and its community impact. The “Pay it Forward” initiative involves community members and organizations contributing money to open tabs at local restaurants.

“This is a great way to help ensure our local business can stay open and help get food to people in our community who find themselves in a place of food insecurity right now,” said Bill Martinez from the Family Resource Center.

The South Lake Tahoe Family Resource Center was established in 1992 and continues to address the needs of school-age children and their families by providing a full range of life support, advocacy, learning activities and resources, and referrals designed to enhance resilience regardless of age or economic status. The trained, bilingual, bicultural staff helps stabilize families in crisis by providing basic necessities such as food, clothing, advocacy, and translation, for families to become physically and emotionally strong and self-sufficient community members.

“Our LatinX community is being affected by COVID-19 disproportionately compared to other groups not just here but across the country,” said Martinez. “A lot of our clients work in the service industry, which has been hit very hard. They don’t have the ability to work enough hours to support themselves or their families. This money will go a long way.”

The city has also launched a program to help restaurants pay for the take out and delivery supplies they need to continue operating during the current shut down.

“During this pandemic city council and staff have come up with creative ways to help those in need,” Wallace said. “Whether it’s monetary donations, reimbursements, or our ambassadors handing out PPE in high traffic areas, we are working hard to keep people safe and keep our businesses open.”