Feeding San Diego

Restaurants look to help after inflation takes a hefty toll on Feeding San Diego

July fundraiser could buy thousands of meals for families facing hunger

NBC Universal, Inc.

A $1 bill has lost a little magic when it comes to feeding the hungry in San Diego County. Feeding San Diego said they used to be able to buy four meals for $1 when it buys in bulk. However, inflation now limits the nonprofit to two meals for every dollar.

“Which is still amazing. It’s still so much more than somebody can go into a grocery store and buy themselves,” said Dana Williams, Director of Marketing and Communications for Feeding San Diego.

Two million pounds of food go through Feeding San Diego’s warehouse in Sorrento Valley to feed roughly 300,000 hungry San Diegans every month.

“We’re able to provide less because our costs have increased,” Williams added. “It does break my heart.”

Inflation hurts everyone, especially restaurants.

“We just had to figure out how to be as strategic as possible,” said Whitney McMillen at barleymash in the Gaslamp.

“Feel it big time,” said Todd Camburn, owner of Barrio Star on 5th Avenue near Balboa Park.

However, despite the skyrocketing cost of doing business, the two restaurants and eight others teamed up to donate to Feeding San Diego in July.

“We’re just trying to bridge the gap,” explained Rita Yarsinsky of Alternative Strategies.

The public relations and marketing agency organized the fundraiser alongside Barrio Star, barleymash, Arely’s French Bakery, City Tacos, Cloak & Petal, Jose’s Courtroom, Mavericks Beach Club, Quiero Restaurants, Sandbar and the Smoking Gun. Each restaurant will donate portions of sales of select items directly to Feeding San Diego.

“They’re willing to donate a portion of those sales to people in need. That says a lot about them. It says that they’re selfless,” smiled Yarsinsky.

She said they hope to raise $10,000 in July, which Feeding San Diego could turn into 20,000 meals. Those meals are extra important during the summer when thousands of kids miss out on free meals usually provided at schools.

“It’s just something we love doing. We give back as much as we possibly can,” said Camburn. “It goes back to the community and that’s huge for us.”

“This was a way for us to give love, spread love, and I think it will always come back,” added McMillen. “We take for granted what $1 means all the time.”

“It is the opportunity to make a difference in a child’s life simply by dining out,” concluded Williams.

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