Caring for our Community

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Feeding San Diego's Rancho Peñasquitos Mobile Pantry Food Distribution on October 23 2023

“Don’t get me started…” warns Erika, when asked about how inflation has impacted her and her family. She lists items that have been too expensive for her to purchase, including milk and eggs. She says something that a lot of people running households have been thinking over the past few years: “Every penny counts.”

 

Persistently high inflation over the past two years has made life increasingly difficult for families like Erika’s. Erika is a single mother of three children and is their sole provider. She works full time to maintain her household, but even this does not net her enough money to cover all her and her kids’ expenses. Her paycheck goes directly to the essentials: rent and bills. There is not much left for nutritious foods she would like to feed her kids.

“You have to provide for them and if you have to make sure that you give up your plate for them, you do. You are there for them. That is your main goal. I just want to make sure they are well fed and have what they need to keep going.”

Thankfully, Erika found out about Feeding San Diego. Quickly, she felt some of the pressure lift off. She found out about Feeding San Diego’s food distribution near her and made the decision to go.

“Feeding San Diego was the program that opened up the doors. It was welcoming. They said ‘Ok, you guys need food? And it was fine, no questions asked. They got us what we needed. If it wasn’t for Feeding San Diego, we wouldn’t have anything,” she shared. Now she regularly attends a Feeding San Diego Produce Pantry in North County to be able to bring meals home for her family.

Attending the food distribution has had another positive benefit in Erika’s household. Now, her kids are eating vegetables. “Before, they would not even touch vegetables, I kid you not,” she shared. But now, they are getting more used to eating fresh produce. She says her kids are happier, too. “When my kids have access to food, they are very energetic, very animated. They have energy to do what they need to do. You can totally tell that it lifts them up.”

While receiving food from Feeding San Diego has helped Erika and her family, she is still worried about the future. Her health suffered during the pandemic. She was laid off for a month and a half and was extremely worried about her future.

“The thing that scares me is not being able to pay rent,” she shares. “I do not want to be on the streets with my kids. If not for programs like Feeding San Diego we would be in a terrible situation, looking for other places to eat. For most people, their pride gets in the way. I can assure you, put your pride aside. You have your kids to feed.”

You can be part of the community of donors and volunteers that make it possible for families like Erika’s to bring meals home. Whether you join the Feed 365 community of monthly donors or volunteer at Feeding San Diego’s Sorrento Valley distribution center, by donating funds or time your gifts can have a lasting impact for families experiencing food insecurity. Get involved at http://www.feedingsandiego.org.

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Esteban Villanueva
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