It has been an absolute honor to be the chair of the San Diego Food Bank and to have the support of the food bank staff and the distribution partners who work hard 52 weeks a year to feed San Diego’s individuals and families that require food support.

This experience has been both educational and heartwarming. I have to admit I was ignorant about the hunger situation in San Diego County. Approximately 324,000 people are considered living below the poverty level in the county. The people that we help are not necessarily homeless, they are the working poor. It’s the mother or father that is working two jobs that has just enough money to pay the rent or mortgage, their utility bill, but not enough to provide nutritional meals for their family/children. A recent University of California, Los Angeles study stated that there are approximately another 500,000 people in San Diego County who suffer from food insecurity at times throughout the year.

We are in the midst of an interesting economic time period. Foreclosures and evictions — mortgages/rents — are up, gasoline prices are up, food prices are up and the need for food bank support is increasing.

The beauty of the food bank is that we are one of the few charities where it is easy for almost everyone to participate. A can of this, a box of that, a few loaves here and there are all acceptable and important items needed by the food bank to fulfill our mission of providing food support to all those who need it.

We currently distribute 11 million pounds of food annually. We need to distribute 25 million pounds, but we need San Diego’s support. Whether it’s the San Diego Food Bank, the North County Food Bank or the food bank in South Bay, we all welcome and appreciate your help today.

Visit the Food Bank website to find about our programs, how you can help and who to contact.

—MITCH MITCHELL

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