The numbers are staggering.
More than 1.4 million pounds of food. More than 1.2 million meals.
It was all donated to San Diego County families through Feeding San Diego.
The non-profit was back at it Friday morning in Chula Vista outside the North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre. More than 850 families lined up in idling cars and trucks waiting to get boxes and bags of free food.
“The pandemic has been a wild ride,” said Feeding San Diego’s Carissa Casares. “I think [the food distribution] makes me feel like we’re all more connected than we think we are.”
Lourdes Gonzalez certainly felt the connection. The Feeding San Diego employee helps clients apply for CalFresh and food stamps. She was also in Chula Vista Friday to hand out boxes of canned goods.
“I love my job. I like helping the community,” Gonzalez smiled.
“I always try to share my story because I went through this,” the soon-to-be grandmother smiled. “In the past, I had the need to apply or go to pantries. I would wake up at one in the morning just to get a number to get some food.”
Gonzalez, a mother of three, has now worked for Feeding San Diego for seven years.
“Yes, I know what it is being in line,” she said as she tears welled in her eyes.
Casares said Feeding San Diego has helped more than 90,000 families during 50 large food distributions since February.
“Everyone here matters and is making a difference,” she concluded.
September is Hunger Action Month. During the month, NBC 7 has also partnered with the San Diego Food Bank and Barons Market for the Fall Food Drive to raise money to buy even more food for San Diego County families. The Food Bank said one donated dollar can be turned into five meals for hungry families.