Starting September 30, 2020, boxes provided by Farmers to Families program to be distributed to families in need through school sites across the county

Feeding San Diego has partnered with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to increase the amount of nutritious food distributed directly to high-need areas, free of charge, utilizing its already existing infrastructure to ensure the food gets to those in need. Before COVID-19, one in six children faced hunger in San Diego County. Now the need has surged by an estimated 50 percent.

Starting Wednesday, September 30 and running through the next five weeks, the organization will be directing 1,100 food boxes a week to the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) through the Farmers to Families program, part of the USDA’s response to the pandemic as part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Through this program, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) partners with national, regional and local distributors whose workforces have been significantly impacted by the closure of restaurants, hotels and other food service businesses, to purchase up to $4 billion in fresh produce, dairy and meat products from American producers of all sizes. Consisting of fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy and meat, the boxes will be deployed to various school sites using unused school buses.

As the economic effects of COVID-19 pandemic continue to reverberate in communities around the world, Feeding San Diego is committed to offering services that help those facing hunger. While families continue with virtual and hybrid instruction and schools remain closed for the most part, hunger continues to affect San Diego County.

“We are extremely proud of our external partnerships that help further our reach in San Diego County,” says Nico Sidorakis, Programs Manager at Feeding San Diego. “Farmers to Families will allow us to support even more families who need us in these trying times where we’ve seen an estimated 50% increase in need for food assistance.”

Through its programs, Feeding San Diego creates a vast number of access points year-round, throughout the county, for youth and their families facing hunger. Health and nutrition are always emphasized, with fresh produce a top priority at distributions. The organization has fully adapted its operations to follow San Diego County health guidelines, and these sites are operating as drive through pick-ups, with meals served on a first come, first serve basis to be taken home for consumption.