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Lathrop deciding fate of $80K in federal funds
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You have $80,924 and can do with it practically anything you wish.

Well, not anything.

But you can give it away to worthy community organizations that benefit the citizens within your community.

And it’ll be up to the Lathrop City Council tonight to determine just who exactly fits that profile when they look to district the annual Community Development Block Grant funds received from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Go with the groups that have always gotten the largest chunk?

Find a more suitable local start-up?

Give the entire block – the 15-percent of the $80,924 that is allowed to be dispersed – to a single worthy cause?

The options are vast.

Traditionally the council has opted to give the proportionate majority of the money available to the Second Harvest Food Bank – evident by a scenario in the staff report that actually calls for the popular non-profit that serves food pantries throughout San Joaquin and Stanislaus Counties receiving the lion’s share – but left it up to the individual council members to make the decision.

Those who have applied for the funding and the amounts they are seeking are:

San Joaquin Fair Housing – $1,000. The organization processes housing discrimination complaints and provides housing assistance information.

Second Harvest Food Bank – $10,000. The organization solicits, picks up and warehouses food products from farmers, grocery stores, food distributors and food processors and they disperses them through non-profits that they have a relationship with.

Give Every Child A Chance – $2,000. As a completely free after-school tutoring program founded by the late Antone Raymus, GECAC strives to help struggling students regardless of their socioeconomic background.

uStockton Emergency Food Bank – $1,250. Operates a food pantry as well as 12 satellite pantries and 60 mobile farmer’s market sites throughout San Joaquin County.

Boys and Girls Club of Manteca/Lathrop – $5,000. An after-school mentorship program designed to give students a safe place to interact with other youth and positive adult role models.

San Joaquin County Human Services Agency – $2,000. A donation to help fund the “meals on wheels” program that delivers nutritious meals to seniors age 60 and over and encourages nutritious eating through counseling.

Lathrop Parks and Recreation Department – $4,500. A donation that would be used for the youth scholarship program – a fund created to offset the costs of participating in city programs for low-income youth.

Love In The Name of Christ (Love, Inc.) – $1,000.  An organization that helps the less fortunate that is seeking a donation to assist Lathrop residents that are facing losing their city water hookup.

This fiscal year there are more than $26,000 worth of requests when only just over $12,000 can be distributed. A portion of that money, $1,000, comes off of the top of that total to help fund the San Joaquin County Fair Housing Project to dilute the pool even further.

Translation: decisions are going to need to be made.

Staff is recommending either dispersing the money equally amongst those who applied or using an organization like Second Harvest as the primary since other non-profits, including some that are applying, receive their benefits.

The council will also have to decide what to do with the remainder of the money – the remaining 85 percent of the CDBG funds that are eligible for capital improvement projects and administration costs.

One idea suggested in the staff report includes replacing the playground equipment at Woodfield Park.

The Lathrop City Council meets the first and third Monday of every month at Lathrop City Hall – located at 390 Towne Center Drive – at 7 p.m. For more information visit or call 209.941.7200.