Supporting Our Local Heroes and their Families with the Nutritious Food They Need
For many military families, the cost of living in San Diego makes buying groceries a struggle. San Diego is home to one of the largest concentrations of veterans and military personnel in the world. In fact, over 37% of the local population has direct ties to the military. Many military families receive orders to move to San Diego and find themselves confronted with the reality of a high cost of living. Persistent inflation, record-high gas prices, and high housing costs mean San Diego families, both military and civilian, are struggling with impossible choices. Feeding San Diego’s Feeding Heroes program supports military families and veterans when they face hard times.
One military wife named Sabrina, who relies on food distributions at Feeding San Diego partner agency Support the Enlisted Project (STEP), shared that she has had trouble getting on solid footing since arriving in San Diego. “We just moved to this base and are trying to get ourselves established. It is difficult in a high-priced area, having a kid, and it is so hard to find affordable daycare and a job. It helps that we do not have to be food insecure, and I know that if I need help there is a place I can go,” she shared.
In addition to the high cost of housing, San Diego is a car-centric city and with record high gas prices, families are feeling the pinch. “My husband works on North Island and we live in San Diego so it is 20 minutes each way, four days a week, so gas really adds up,” she shared with GB Magazine. “There is such a misconception about military members making a good salary, but the harsh reality is that we do not and sometimes we are just living paycheck to paycheck.”
The Feeding Heroes program relies on collaboration with a network of local partners that serve the military community to ensure both active-duty and veteran families have the food they need. By providing nutritious food, including fresh produce and pantry staples, to partner agencies such as STEP, Courage to Call, USO San Diego, and Wounded Warrior Homes, Feeding San Diego can meet military families where they are and provide food at no cost in spaces they are comfortable visiting. The mobile and school pantry programs also serve military families, with several school pantries, which provide food to families at the schools their kids attend, on military bases.
“It is appreciated that there are people out there that do care enough about our military members and their families to reach out and help,” Sabrina added.
Feeding San Diego, a member of the Feeding America network, relies on the generosity of our community to make the Feeding Heroes program possible. On Veterans Day (November 11), all donations to Feeding San Diego will be matched up to $20,000 thanks to a generous gift from United Veterans Home Loans.
To find out more on how you can help support our military families and veterans go to www.feedingsandiego.org/feedingheroes.