Shark Fin Soup, road kill soup, a stuffed gorilla. These are the things that have showed up to the San Diego Food Bank. NBC 7 reporter Greg Bledoe goes behind the scenes at the food bank to find out what items are actually needed.
It's the time of year where hundreds of food drives in San Diego County help give less fortunate families a holiday meal they could not otherwise afford.
And among the hundreds of thousands of items donated, there are some strange ones.
If you've ever wondered where those canned food drives end up, it’s at the San Diego Food Bank. A than 72,000 square-foot building houses hundreds of donations, which the food bank turns into meals for more than 350,000 meals each month.
But among those items most needed, you'll also find the occasional pink stuffed unicorn.
"We do get some unusual donations,” said Chris Carter from the San Diego Food Bank. "And we have a little collection of these food items."
A collection that includes road kill stew, shark fin soup, snails, fried bean kurd, or even a 4-foot tall, stuffed gorilla.
“One interesting donation that we received last year was a hot tub,” said Carter.
And then there's all the expired food that gets dropped off.
"At one point, we got a can of instant coffee that was 30 years old,” said Carter. "A lot of people don't realize this but many times cans of food that are two years outside the expiration date are still good."
Thanks to the 16,000 volunteers a year that help sort through each donation, even the occasional hot tub can find the right charity.
"We don't encourage donations like that,” said Carter. “It is always kind of amusing when we do get them. But we ensure that kind of donation goes to the right place."
The bottom line is every bit helps, and every day counts.
"Giving food and providing food to families in need is definitely a year round thing,” said Carter. “We always say that hunger has no season."