SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – Around 400,000 people in San Diego County face hunger, including one in six children. To fight and end hunger in our county, programs like Feeding San Diego bridge the gap for those facing food insecurity and getting access to donations.
"We were faced with so many decisions of its either food or paying the bills," said Gabriela Sanchez.
Sanchez, a mom of four with a baby on the way, struggled to put food on the table after her husband got sick.
"It was hard to even explain to the kids," Sanchez said.
Now, she is getting the help she needs through Feeding San Diego's program in Oceanside. The program sets up at San Luis Rey Elementary school, one of their distribution sites, so the community can get access to free healthy food.
"It's been a big difference between eating fruit from the cans to eating the fresh fruit and vegetables," Sanchez said.
According to Matthew Jennings, Director of Communications at Oceanside Unified School District, access to fresh, healthy food, will help students succeed in the classroom.
"When a child shows up for school in the morning, and their belly isn't hungry and they're not worried about what they are going to each for lunch, students and families are able to focus on their education and on their time together," Jennings said.
Gabriela Sanchez says the food has made a positive impact in her kids' lives.
"With Ivan and Jacob, we've seen so much improvement. They have actually been able to exceed their reading levels, their math levels. They have been able to concentrate more," Sanchez said.
The impact Feeding San Diego's program has had on this family is life-changing.
"They go, mom, you're always crying, and I'm like it's just a blessing," Sanchez said.
Gabriela Sanchez says she is forever grateful.