Feeding San Diego recently started an wonderful partnership with San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) to rescue nutritious meals that were otherwise being wasted from school sites all across the city. SDUSD has 19 school sites that operate as central kitchens for surrounding schools. Each central kitchen provides daily school meals to approximately 6 – 10 additional school sites. The school district saw an opportunity to rescue meals leftovers from daily lunch service and other school food programs such as ‘Breakfast in the Classroom’ using their current distribution network. SDUSD delivery trucks collect donations each day as they drop off food at their 6 – 10 feeder school. The donations are then brought back to the central kitchen and stored for FSD to pick-up five days a week. The efficiency created by SDUSD’s willingness to backhaul donations to the central kitchen has allowed FSD to access way more food then we may have been able to if we had to travel to hundreds of individual school sites.
Starting in September 2016, Feeding San Diego empowered one of our partner agency, Volunteers of America – Troy Center, to start pick-ups at Hoover High School in the City Heights area. VOA – Troy Center provides long term housing for adults struggling with chronic mental illness and disabling conditions. The food they received has made a huge impact in the lives of the clients they serve.
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Feeding San Diego is now actively rescuing food from eight SDUSD central kitchens with plans to start pickups in all 19 sites before the end of the school year in June 2017. FSD is very excited about this partnership and the nutritious food we are receiving. We are hopeful that other school districts and donors will look to SDUSD backhaul model and think how they can use existing infrastructure to create efficiencies and rescue good food for the nearly half a million San Diegans struggling with hunger in our community.