Hunger Free Kids Report: Still Work to Do to Fill the Meal Gap in San Diego County

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Hunger Free Kids Report: Still Work to Do to Fill the Meal Gap in San Diego County

But there is $170 million available to end child hunger in San Diego

The San Diego Hunger Coalition today released 2018 Hunger Free Kids Report, the first in San Diego County to provide a road map for schools and nonprofits, like Feeding San Diego, to seize opportunities to feed more kids through existing federal programs.

All kids deserve three square meals a day, but in San Diego, the report details a shocking 1 in 5 kids lacks consistent access to adequate food. The Hunger Free Kids Report found that more than $170 million is available to end child hunger in San Diego County if nonprofits and school districts leveraged additional federal reimbursements available to the county each year. Those funds would bring 70 million youth meals to the county, and improve children’s ability to play, learn, and ultimately earn.

“Hunger is a devastating challenge for children across San Diego County,” said Vince Hall, CEO of Feeding San Diego. “This report is the most comprehensive analysis ever done, giving us not just the scope of the problem, but a range of powerful solutions. Feeding San Diego began implementing some of these solutions before the ink on this report was dry, and we are going to work closely with the San Diego Hunger Coalition in the months and years ahead to expand and strengthen our collaborative work until every child in the county has access to the nutritious food they need.”

“We hope every nonprofit and school district can take advantage of these fully-funded meals,” said Anahid Brakke, Executive Director of the San Diego Hunger Coalition. “It’s good for kids and good for the budgets of the schools and organizations that serve them. San Diego Hunger Coalition, and our Hunger Free Kids partners like Feeding San Diego, are here to help get programs up and running.”

Currently, only a fraction of available resources are used by San Diego school districts and nonprofits. The report lays out concrete opportunities for improvement and deeper impact in 25 low-income San Diego County school districts, along with strategies for any person, organization, or agency that wants to put an end to child hunger.

At a press conference at the Copley-Price Family YMCA in City Heights, Hall thanked the San Diego Hunger Coalition for doing the extensive work required for putting the report together. “Feeding San Diego is so proud to partner with the San Diego Hunger Coalition, and is so appreciative of the hard work they put into making this report possible. We’ve committed ourselves to significantly increasing after school suppers and summer lunches to help the kids who need it. It’s really impossible to ask kids to perform well in school when they show up in school not having had breakfast. It’s impossible to ask them to sustain their energy toward learning when their hunger begins to make itself known. And it is impossible to send kids home at the end of the day to food insecure households and expect them to come back tomorrow, nourished and ready to learn. We know that nutrition is the basic building block of academic performance, of health and fitness, of a positive attitude, and we know that food insecurity is the antithesis to all of those. It is our commitment to work with you to solve this problem.”

The San Diego Hunger Coalition has led systemic and sustainable change for hunger relief in San Diego County since 1974. It leads coordinated action to end hunger in the County supported by research, education, and advocacy.

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