“We are excited, we are so so excited,” beamed Ariana, a social worker at Valley High School in Escondido. “Families are out here getting food and all we see are smiles.”

Students and families streamed into one of Feeding San Diego’s five new school distribution sites, gathering tomatoes, peaches, corn, and various snacks to bring home to eat. Valley High School is one of five new School Pantry sites beginning to serve students and their families this new school year. Our new schools are:

San Luis Rey Elementary
Nicoloff Elementary
Valley High School
Freese Elementary
The Preuss School

These schools cover the length of San Diego County, from the South Bay in Chula Vista to Southeast San Diego up to La Jolla and Oceanside and over to Escondido. Adding these school across the entire county provides easier access to fresh and healthy food for those facing hunger.

“By offering a farmers market style distribution, families can pick food that is culturally appropriate for them,” said Vince Hall, CEO of Feeding San Diego. “It also gives them the power to select enough fresh and healthy food to provide for their size of family.”

Giving the decision power to families to pick what food they want and know they will eat minimizes food waste, since they only select what they know they will use.

Feeding San Diego has prioritized adding the school distribution sites because this model offers the most convenience and access to high-quality food to parents. When Feeding San Diego offers these farmers market style food distributions at the school, it solves a problem for families who may lack transportation and are already at the school picking up their children.

These added distribution sites expand Feeding San Diego’s School Pantry program from 35 to 40 schools across the county.

“Hunger is not an issue that is confined to one region or neighborhood, it is present in every neighborhood of our county,” said Hall. “Our challenge is not only to maximize the amount of nutritious food we can provide, but to make sure it is easy for anyone in San Diego who is facing hunger to get to it.”

Feeding San Diego is proud to work with each of these schools as we all work together toward achieving a healthy and hunger-free San Diego.