National City

National City Native, ‘Chopped' Chef Gives 100 Free Meals to South San Diego Families

Chef Phillip Esteban has been finding ways to distribute food to San Diegans in need throughout the coronavirus pandemic, including through the Fish to Families program

Phillip Esteban/ARTS/Media Handout

A San Diego-based chef who once won the TV competition “Chopped” is using his skills Wednesday to feed 100 people as part of his ongoing mission to find ways to help San Diegans during the COVID-19 crisis.

Chef Phillip Esteban – who recently talked about his work on our Scene in San Diego podcast – partnered with the local organization, A Reason to Survive (ARTS), to give 100 free meals to food-insecure families in his hometown of National City.

According to local data, National City residents are at high risk of poor nutrition and food insecurity in San Diego County. Wednesday’s event was meant to help families who can no longer rely on school lunches, meal plans, or who have limited access to grocery stores.

Esteban has been working on meal distribution programs to help locals in need for a while, with a focus on fresh, locally-sourced ingredients to create sustainable dishes for children, seniors and other vulnerable populations.

To make his vision happen, he’s been partnering with humanitarian chef Jose Andres (of World Kitchen), Open Gym (Esteban’s company), Frontline Foods, and the San Diego Fisherman’s Working Group.

Together with the San Diego Fisherman’s Working Group, Esteban runs a program called Fish to Families. You can learn all about his work with that program on our Scene in San Diego podcast below or here.

Listen/subscribe to the Scene in San Diego podcast to get the latest local lifestyle stories and news from our local food and drink scene. As we continue to adjust to life (back and forth, back and forth) in these times of the coronavirus pandemic, the way we enjoy our city has changed. We’ll keep you up to speed on how those changes impact the things you love to do in our city. Tap here to find Scene in San Diego wherever you listen to podcasts.

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