Feeding San Diego awarded Brother Benno Foundation, an Oceanside-based community partner, a new food rescue van to enable the organization to rescue more high-quality food to address hunger in North County. The cost of the specially equipped food rescue van was $70,000.

Feeding San Diego is on a mission to connect every person facing hunger with nutritious meals by maximizing food rescue. Through a network of charitable and faith-based food rescue partners, Feeding San Diego coordinates the rescue of 13.1 million pounds of food per year from 530 locations across San Diego County per year. An additional 13.2 million pounds is rescued from outside of the county. Rescued food accounted for 97 percent of over 26 million meals delivered to San Diegans in need last year.

“Feeding San Diego is investing in our county-wide network of food rescue partners, increasing their capacity to deliver even more healthy and nutritious food to San Diegans in need,” said Vince Hall, CEO of Feeding San Diego. “During this COVID-19 crisis, the demand for hunger-relief services has increased by over 50 percent. Now more than ever, with so many San Diego County residents struggling to feed their families, we cannot afford to let nutritious food end up in a landfill.”

Brother Benno Foundation is one of Feeding San Diego’s largest food rescue partners. Last year Brother Benno, in partnership with Feeding San Diego, rescued close to 1.1 million pounds of high-quality food from local grocery stores and retailers that would have otherwise gone to waste.

“Brother Benno is one of Feeding San Diego’s valued community partners, providing food and other services to those facing homelessness and low-income individuals,” said Hall. “We are proud to award them this specially-equipped food rescue van, which will help Brother Benno increase the amount of nutritious food they capture so they can get it into the hands of those facing hunger in North County.”

“Feeding San Diego makes it easy to carry out our mission, especially during these trying times of COVID-19. Our partnership with Feeding San Diego has brought food to a lot of those in need,” said Darryl Harrison, Operations Manager at Brother Benno. “It has been a positive experience since the beginning. The van we just received is beyond our highest expectations.” 

Through a previously announced $500,000 grant from CalRecycle, Feeding San Diego purchased four specially-equipped food rescue vans in addition to onsite cold storage equipment, for several local partners including the Brother Benno Foundation. San Diego Assemblymember Brian Maienschein authored legislation to enable this grant process through CalRecycle because food waste in landfills is one of the top sources of methane in the state. California is working to reduce statewide greenhouse gas emissions at least 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. “Efforts such as these illustrate the multi-faceted benefits of environmental programs. On the one hand, bringing excess edible food to Californians who don’t get enough to eat keeps that food out of landfills, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions,” CalRecycle Acting Director Ken DaRosa said. “But these grants also offer the additional benefit of providing for those who are food insecure in our communities.”

Brother Benno hosts a weekly drive-through emergency food distribution in partnership with Feeding San Diego every Thursday at 10:00 AM. The distribution serves more than 300 families in the North Coastal area each week and is located at 3260 Production Avenue in Oceanside. The distribution is available to anyone in need without restriction or registration.