Amid the ongoing pandemic, Feeding San Diego served more than 7.9 million meals between March 14 and June 28, to meet the rise in hunger. According to numbers released on June 19 by the state Employment Development Department, the unemployment rate in San Diego County remained steady at 15 percent in May.
With so many people out of work, hunger is a more pressing challenge than ever. Before the pandemic, one in eight people faced hunger in San Diego County. Now, that number has surged by 50 percent, affecting children, families, and seniors.
During the same period, Feeding San Diego purchased nearly 200 truckloads of food at a cost of more than $6 million to maintain its increased level of service and to offset significant declines in grocery donations and food rescue. The organization also hosted 1,312 distributions, including youth meal sites, direct programs, and emergency distributions across San Diego County. Further, Feeding San Diego increased food supplied to its 162 agency partners, including local charities, faith-based organizations, and food pantries.
According to the San Diego Association of Governments , Black and Hispanic communities are more than four times as likely to live in areas that are impacted by COVID-19 and unemployment.
“More people are facing hunger across San Diego County than ever before,” said Gavon Morris, Feeding San Diego Chief Development and Marketing Officer. “Feeding San Diego is a lifeline for the most vulnerable. Thanks to the generous support of the community, we are able to respond quickly and efficiently. However, the road ahead is long. Our work remains crucial as the economic impact of the pandemic continues to perpetuate widespread hunger throughout our community.”
Feeding San Diego began its COVID-19 response efforts in mid-March by immediately implementing drive-through and drop-and-go distributions, launching new emergency sites, and increasing the amount of food supplied to community partners. Amid the progression of the pandemic and the resulting economic fallout, the organization continues to provide hundreds of distribution sites throughout San Diego County. To find a location, or learn more about the organization’s COVID-19 response, visit here.