Mar 27, 2020 · 3 min read

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Commits $5 Million to Bay Area COVID-19 Relief Efforts

Food donations at a Bay Area food distribution center. | Photograph by CZI.

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) announced it will commit an initial $5 million to support Bay Area COVID-19 emergency relief efforts, funding local organizations and agencies responding to the pandemic in San Mateo County, where CZI is based, and the broader San Francisco Bay Area. 

“We are deeply concerned about the health and safety of our Bay Area neighbors and fellow community members,” said Cristina Huezo, Director, CZI Community. “We’re grateful for the local health agencies, hospitals, and community organizations on the front lines of the fight to stop the spread of COVID-19. We will do our part to support their critical work.” 

From expanding COVID-19 testing, to enabling at-home learning, and investing in programs that assist individuals and families who are financially impacted, CZI’s regional response focuses on supporting communities most affected by the pandemic, including individuals experiencing homelessness and low-income households.  

Initial commitments include:

  • $1 million to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s COVID-19 Regional Response Fund to support organizations offering critical services — including emergency rental and food assistance — in San Mateo County and across the larger 10-county Bay Area.
  • Support of COVID-19 response efforts led by public health agencies across the region, including a partnership with Contra Costa Regional Health Foundation and Contra Costa Health Services, which is now running a mobile testing site for first responders and health care workers, and has plans for mobile testing and screening sites for high-risk community members, pending allocation of necessary testing and safety supplies.
  • A donation of 800 WiFi hotspots to Redwood City School District and Ravenswood City School District to connect local students to their classrooms and support at-home learning.
  • A regional COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund for existing local CZI grantee partners. The fund will provide local community organizations with timely, flexible funding to address emerging needs in response to the pandemic.

CZI is collaborating with health agencies, schools, and community organizations in its regional response, and will continue to make grants to support the evolving needs of the community. The initial $5 million local commitment comes following an announcement that CZI is partnering with CZ Biohub, the University of California at San Francisco, and the State of California to increase the volume of local clinical testing. The newly-formed partnership will support testing capacity at UCSF, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, and regional Department of Public Health partners.

Learn more about how CZI is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic at


About the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

Founded by Dr. Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg in 2015, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) is a new kind of philanthropy that’s leveraging technology to help solve some of the world’s toughest challenges — from eradicating disease, to improving education, to reforming the criminal justice system. Across three core Initiative focus areas of Science, Education, and Justice & Opportunity, we’re pairing engineering with grant-making, impact investing, and policy and advocacy work to help build an inclusive, just and healthy future for everyone. For more information, please visit

CZI Joins Community Partners Showcasing Innovative Solutions to Housing Affordability Crisis
CZI, Redwood City Parks and Arts Foundation Launch ‘Re-discover, Reimagine, and Revive’ Art Exhibit