Feeding San Diego is committed to protecting people and the planet by turning food donations into food assistance.
Ending hunger is not a sourcing problem, it is a distribution problem. It is also an environmental problem. Curbing food waste, both on a residential and business level, is a sustainability issue that, if solved correctly, can positively impact hunger-relief organizations and the work they do. Feeding San Diego, the county’s leading hunger-relief and food rescue organization, has a unique sourcing and distribution model that allows it to do more than just provide healthy food to San Diegans facing hunger. The organization rescues high-quality excess food before it ends up in the landfill by partnering with local organizations like grocery stores, farms, and hotels, protecting people and the planet.
During its nearly 15 years in operation, Feeding San Diego has already been working with local and national food donors to rescue surplus food and get it to people in need. In fact, just last year alone, the organization rescued more than 27 million pounds of food and redirected it to San Diegans who need food assistance.
This work is now in the spotlight as the State of California implements Senate Bill 1383, a law passed in 2016 that went into effect this past January. The law aims to cut down on short-lived climate pollutants by keeping organic waste out of landfills. Organic waste in landfills creates methane gas, a leading contributor to climate change. With the new law in the backdrop, the non-profit will continue its life changing work of rescuing food from food donors including Sprouts, Albertsons, Food 4 Less, Ralphs, Costco, Trader Joe’s and many more. The law also includes restaurants and event venues, which Feeding San Diego also already works with – including the San Diego Zoo and Petco Park – to save food from going to waste.
Feeding San Diego currently rescues food from over 484 food donors on a weekly basis. This effort includes 776 pickups every week coordinated by Feeding San Diego, connecting a food donor with a local community partner who can easily pick up the food, bring it back to their site, and quickly deliver it to those in need, keeping fresh foods in the community. Feeding San Diego rescues about a million pounds of food every month from grocery stores alone, not including the fresh produce rescued from farms up and down the State of California.
Hunger can be hard to recognize, but it is all around us. Hundreds of thousands of people in San Diego County face food insecurity. Essentially, someone who is food insecure does not consistently have enough food to lead a healthy life. The effects of food insecurity ripple throughout people’s lives, causing high levels of stress and chronic health issues.
It is up to our community to continue innovating and working together to ensure that no one worries where their next meal is coming from. By rescuing food, Feeding San Diego is solving two problems: hunger and climate change San Diegans can get involved by making a donation, volunteering with the organization, or helping to spread the word.