Food banks across the country, including local organization Feeding San Diego, are experiencing a sharp increase in the demand for food as more families find themselves in need.
Alison Glader, who handles marketing and communications for the organization, said the current demand is as strong as it was during the height of the pandemic when there were food and essential supply shortages and unemployed people. Now its rising fuel and food costs. Glader told NBC 7, last month alone, Feeding San Diego received a 20% increase at their events that include drive through distributions.
“It was 1.400 families that went through it and that’s the biggest amount we’ve had since during the pandemic. So it’s affecting everyone,” said Glader.
“Think about how expensive it is to live here. And then you’re already living paycheck to paycheck. These are hardworking families that are just trying to make ends meet already."
Volunteers make of the majority of staff at the events. Feeding San Diego purchases food with donations but mainly rescues food that would otherwise go to waste at grocery stores, farms, Amazon and distributors.
“So when they’re coming through they’re not just getting something that’s gonna last them a day. It’ll last them a week or so for their family,” said Glader.
Feeding San Diego also provides food to partners that include non-profits, schools, boys and girl clubs and churches. They plan to rally the community in the hopes it brings more volunteers to reach even more people that are struggling.
“(They) Don’t want to be there but are so grateful and appreciate. And it gives them, not just the food, but it gives them hope that someone cares especially when they’re down in the worst of times,” said Glader.