American currency, hundred dollars, fifty dollars, twenty dollars, ten dollars, one dollar and some change photographed on Monday, March 8, 2021 in Pittsburg,Calif. (Ray Saint Germain/Bay City News)

San Mateo County has surpassed $250 million in approved COVID-19 pandemic relief, roughly half of which has been used to support missed rent and housing payments.

The county said this week that it has approved some $259 million in funding since the pandemic began in March 2020 and has spent or allocated roughly $230 million of that amount.

Nearly all of that funding, $197.3 million, came from “leveraged sources,” according to the county, including private grants, donations and matched funds.

The county has received an additional $55 million from federal relief funding packages like the American Rescue Plan Act and $6.7 million from the half-cent sales tax extension from 2016’s Measure K, which was approved by voters.

County officials have approved nearly 15,000 applications for assistance rent and housing payment assistance, totaling $126 million, and invested $73 million to distribute nearly $3 million meals to residents struggling with food insecurity.

“It’s … a once-in-a-generation investment that has benefitted our residents and lessened the very real pain the COVID pandemic has caused,” county Board of Supervisors President Don Horsley said of the overall relief total.

The San Mateo County Recovery Initiative has largely overseen the effort to allocate relief funding and support residents who have struggled financially or otherwise as a result of the pandemic.

The county has provided some $16.5 million to support people in unincorporated areas of the county as well as immigrant families and others who are not eligible for state or federal aid.

Small businesses have received nearly $22 million in grants and waived fees, according to the county, while child care and early learning centers and summer education programs have received $11.4 million in relief grants.

“We recognized early on that we as a community needed to focus on those areas of the county that would be hardest hit by the pandemic,” Horsley said. “Our efforts have focused on these areas while also providing relief for as many others as we possibly can.”

Information about the Recovery Initiative can be found at