How Feeding San Diego Helps Families like Leo and Leonid

Leo and Leonid at Feeding San Diego's Distribution Partner, STEP

Feeding San Diego’s vision is a hunger-free and healthy San Diego, and over our 15 years of operation we have made incredible progress toward this goal. Last year Feeding San Diego provided 35 million meals to people facing hunger through a decentralized food rescue and distribution network, including nearly 300 local charities, schools, faith communities, meal sites, health centers, and food pantries located all across the county – from Oceanside to San Ysidro, from the ocean to the desert. Our unique, resourceful model of operation focuses on preventing the food that already exists from going to waste, and instead, connecting it to people in need. This reduces the environmental impact of expanding landfills, while offering fresh produce and pantry staples to those who need it most.

Feeding San Diego also acts as an advocate at the local and state level to protect government hunger-relief services like CalFresh and provides clients with assistance in accessing public benefits.

There is no doubt that the last several years have been difficult. But as much as we would like to move forward and put this crisis behind us, it’s important to acknowledge that the pandemic made existing socio-economic problems worse for many of the communities that Feeding San Diego serves. As the cost of living continues to rise, and food prices soar, many families are forced to choose between food and other basic needs. It currently costs families 10.4 percent more to buy food than last year, with overall inflation at a 40-year high.

Food insecurity, after falling sharply in 2021, rose to roughly the same level this June and July as it reached in March and April 2020.
-The New York Times

Although food insecurity is just as high as early in the pandemic, support for food banks has decreased significantly. It is as important as ever to have strong supporters that believe in ending food insecurity – and bringing those facing hunger a much-needed sense of security and hope.

To address this increase in food insecurity, Feeding San Diego provides a comprehensive approach to hunger-relief and nutrition through our Feeding Kids, Feeding Families, Feeding Seniors, Feeding Excellence, and Feeding Heroes Initiatives. Individual programs within these initiatives, like School Pantry and Mobile Pantry, support the immediate and long-term needs of the community through dependable, consistent distributions of fresh produce and nutritious pantry staples at convenient, familiar locations.

Among those we serve are hardworking parents who are faced with the choice of paying rent or buying food; seniors on fixed incomes; veterans who served their country; active duty military families; kids who shouldn’t have to worry about bringing food home from school for their siblings; underserved populations living in food deserts; and countless San Diegans who are in the unexpected position of needing help – often for the first time in their lives.

"I'm a retired marine. We felt it was worth it to come today because you look at the grocery prices now. We went to buy a few items last week and just two bags were like $250. This really helps getting the fruits, especially the oranges, because that's good for the kids with the virus and kids getting sick. It was hard for me to accept help. I'm a 100% disabled vet and it's hard for me to get a job because I'm either in pain or have three to five appointments at the VA every week. For me, I'm living off my little bit of pension and disability, and even with that we're crunching everything. Energy prices are high, water, everything, and you have a family to feed. We're not asking much. My word to donors is to please keep helping out.”
- Leo & Flora and their three kids, Athena, Leah and Leonidas

From the unprecedented adversity of the past few years, a new landscape of food insecurity has emerged, and Feeding San Diego is taking decisive, strategic action to create a sustainable, surge-ready, countywide hunger-relief system that serves our community in a dignified, equitable, and accessible way.

With your help, we can get there.

Charity Name
Feeding San Diego
Photo Caption
Feeding San Diego fights to end hunger by serving millions of meals to families like Leo’s. Today, the need for food assistance is skyrocketing, along with food prices. But with your help, we can offer consistent, nutritious meals and a bit of hope.
Photo Credit
V. Pearce