Ending Hunger Through Food Rescue
Feeding San Diego is on a mission to connect every person facing hunger with nutritious meals by maximizing food rescue. Established in 2007, Feeding San Diego is the leading hunger-relief and food rescue organization in San Diego County and the only Feeding America member in the region.
Feeding San Diego provides more than 26 million meals every year to children, families, seniors, college students, military families, veterans, people facing homelessness, and other underserved populations. We distribute meals in partnership with 300 local charities, schools, faith communities, meal sites, and food pantries throughout the region.
40 percent of food produced in the United States is wasted, which is more than enough to end hunger. Feeding San Diego rescues high-quality food before it goes to waste from over 530 locations in San Diego County and over 225 farms and packing sheds throughout California. More than 97 percent of the food we provide to the community is rescued. By diverting this food from the landfill, Feeding San Diego significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions leading to climate change, which is comparable to taking 5,000 cars off the road for one year.
In addition to rescuing and distributing high-quality food, Feeding San Diego ensures people can access additional food assistance. We help individuals enroll in CalFresh (food stamps) to purchase groceries for their families.
Health and Nutrition
With nearly half of San Diego residents — 1.6 million people — considered overweight or obese, people facing hunger not only need more food to eat, but they also need healthier food. Other chronic diseases and health issues linked to hunger are prevalent among those served by Feeding San Diego, including 32 percent of households containing a member with diabetes and 40 percent lacking health insurance. To reduce the risk and impact of these health factors for those we serve, Feeding San Diego focuses on distributing healthy and fresh foods along with appropriate nutrition education.
As the largest domestic hunger-relief organization in the United States, Feeding America represents more than 200 member food banks across the country. Feeding San Diego is an independent nonprofit organization operating and funding local programs in San Diego County — every dollar donated stays in our local community. Our membership in the national network provides access to donated product, professional resources, and information technology.
As one of the newest hunger-relief organizations in the Feeding America network, Feeding San Diego’s first distribution was held on October 9, 2007 in the parking lot at San Diego Rescue Mission, now one of our neighborhood partners. Several weeks later, San Diego County suffered from disastrous firestorms that displaced hundreds of thousands of individuals. In the first week of the fire with only two employees, Feeding San Diego secured and delivered 515,000 pounds of emergency supplies, including food, water, and other grocery items, to evacuees, firefighters, and volunteers.
Special thanks to Red Cross, Salvation Army, Father Joe’s Villages, Catholic Charities, Rock Church, San Diego Rescue Mission, Homeland Security, FEMA, City of San Diego, County of San Diego and other nonprofit agencies who supported our efforts during the firestorms and early stages of our development.
In February of 2008, Feeding San Diego moved into a 30,000-square-foot warehouse to better serve families in need. Later in 2010, the organization relocated to a new 50,000-square-foot distribution center in Sorrento Valley and quickly emerged as the leading hunger-relief organization in the county the following year. Feeding San Diego still operates out of the same distribution center today.
Give funds. Feeding San Diego is 95% funded by private philanthropy. We rely on the generosity of individuals, corporations, foundations, and community groups to realize our mission. Through our highly efficient distribution model, every dollar donated helps provide four meals.
Give time. More than 14,000 volunteers every year support our critical work. Individuals and groups help with a variety of projects, including sorting, cleaning, bagging and boxing food, as well as community engagement activities and administrative support.
Give voice. Our supporters help raise awareness of hunger and support public policies that improve the lives of people facing food insecurity.