Interim Mayor Todd Gloria kicked off the San Diego Food Bank’s holiday food drive Monday at the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego.
He also handed out awards from the 2013 Colleges Rock Hunger Food Drive to students at San Diego State, UCSD and Cal State San Marcos, who collected more than 244,000 pounds of food donations.
San Diego State won the competition, collecting 3,964 pounds of food and more than $37,000 in donations.
“We know that we have nearly half a million food insecure families in our community,” said Gloria, who awarded a life-size "guitar trophy" to students from SDSU. “San Diego has some very generous folks, particularly at the holiday season. This is an opportunity to do something about that and to make sure that those families that may go hungry tonight may have something in their cupboard.”
San Diego State University president Elliot Hirshman praised the leadership of the students who participated in the food drive.
“Students are really passionately embracing the need to support members of our community who face challenges,” he said. “And that really is an example of leadership for all of us.”
Steve Bernstein, business banking president at Wells Fargo and one of the food bank’s co-chairs, urged San Diego residents to donate through a program with Von’s grocery stores. Shoppers can buy a $10 bag of groceries which will then be donated to the food bank through the end of the year. They can also donate on the San Diego Food Bank's website.
“Every dollar, every can of food donated will ensure a San Diegan will not go to bed hungry,” Bernstein said.