We are proud to partner with local San Diego resident and world-renowned surfer Rob Machado to take a big step toward sustainability at its volunteer training center. A new partnership with the pro athlete’s nonprofit, the Rob Machado Foundation, will help to eliminate the need for single-use plastic bottles at the organization’s volunteer training center in Sorrento Valley through a new water refill station. The center is the hub for its more than 10,000 annual volunteers that help sort and glean produce before sending it out into the community. The water refill station will keep volunteers hydrated and promote zero waste practices, allowing reusable bottles to replace single-use plastics.

“The synergy was natural as we both believe in the importance of sustainability and that we all have a part to play in protecting the environment,” says Rob Machado, founder of the Rob Machado Foundation. “There’s more to come in 2021!”

Feeding San Diego is a hunger-relief organization, but it’s also a food rescue organization, putting sustainability at the forefront. Its mission is to connect every person facing hunger with nutritious meals by maximizing food rescue. In fact, last year, more than 92 percent of the food provided to the community was rescued, diverting more than 27 million pounds of food from the landfill. Similarly, the Rob Machado Foundation aims to keep plastic and other trash out of waterways with trash and recycling solutions at beaches, schools, surf events and beach clean ups. The organization has also focused on its water filling station program across a growing network of schools and public places that helps deliver clean, filtered water while encouraging reusables over single-use plastic water bottles.

“Feeding San Diego is so grateful to the Rob Machado Foundation for the donation of a water refill station in our volunteer training center,” says Dan Shea, CEO of Feeding San Diego. “Every year, we rely on a huge number of volunteers to make the work we do possible. Now we can encourage them to bring reusable water bottles to their volunteer shift instead of single-use plastic water bottles.”

We have seen a more than 50 percent increase in need for its services since the pandemic began, and its volunteers and staff have worked tirelessly to keep up with demand.

A video announcing the partnership featuring Rob Machado can be viewed here.