AN INNOVATIVE APPROACH TO AN OLD PROBLEM
San Diego seems like an affluent city; however, many residents struggle to make ends meet with the rising cost of living. As a result, 1 in 8 people living in San Diego are considered food insecure, including 1 in 6 children. Vince Hall, CEO of Feeding San Diego, and his team are working to solve hunger in the local community by rescuing and redistributing food that would have otherwise gone to waste.
“Turning to the food rescue model solves two problems at once and they are two problems we cannot afford to ignore any longer,” says Hall.
In the United States, 40% of all food goes to waste every day. Resources including water, farmland and labor are spent producing food that ends up in landfills. Of all the food distributed by Feeding San Diego, 97% has been rescued and would otherwise go to landfills.
“You look in those food donation boxes and you know what you see? You see a lot of canned and boxed food, a lot of sodium, salt, sugar and carbs,” Hall shared with GB Magazine. “When you look out the back door of the grocery stores, you see, going to the landfill, thousands of pounds of dairy, proteins like chicken, meat, fish, and fresh produce.” Feeding San Diego rescues high-quality food before it goes to waste and gets it into the hands of those who need it.
Feeding San Diego keeps fresh food local by connecting food directly from their partners to community members. By establishing over 500 rescue locations across the county, the organization has decentralized the distribution model. This decentralization means reducing the need to travel great distances, receiving perishable foods sooner and increasing the model’s cost scalability.
Hall credits the hardworking people at Feeding San Diego, the board and partners across San Diego County for continually improving and innovating the food rescue model as they strive to increase the amount of meals provided by Feeding San Diego from 26 million to the 65 million needed to end hunger in San Diego.
“Taking a food rescue approach to hunger-relief is not only great for people struggling with hunger, it’s great for the environment, it’s great for the taxpayer and it’s great for the future of our country,” says Hall.