Need for Feeding San Diego reaches new heights amid pandemic

Posted at 4:24 PM, May 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-15 14:18:34-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- December feels like a lifetime ago.

"We feel like we're in a completely different world," says Vince Hall.

Hall is CEO of Feeding San Diego, a charity that provides nutritious meals to San Diegans down on their luck. Five months ago, San Diegans rallied to feed those in need through the Month of a Million Meals. A campaign that raised about $30,000 a day to purchase more than 5 million meals.

"We feel like we're doing a Month of a Million Meals about every 6 or 7 days during this COVID-19 crisis," adds Hall.

The need for food is extraordinary.

"I had a chance to talk to some of the cars that were at the front of the line. Some of them got here as early as midnight," says Hall at a recent food distribution.

By comparison, Feeding San Diego needs to raise about $160,000 per day to keep up with demand during this crisis.

"It is also a statement about just how much extraordinary need there is across the community right now," says Hall.

And right now, Feeding San Diego is distributing more food than it takes in. Feeding San Diego and other food distribution sites are witnessing an unprecedented demand with a 40 percent to 50 percent increased need on average. Many of those families are relying on Feeding San Diego for the first time.

"We're seeing folks who were living a stable middle-class life two months ago and who have now been wiped out," says Hall. "When they come to one of our food distributions, for many of these families, that is the only optimistic, hopeful, and compassionate thing that is going to happen to them that day."

In an ordinary year, Feeding San Diego would purchase about two truckloads of food per month. But in less than two months since this crisis started, Feeding San Diego has purchased a staggering 135 trucks of food. $4.7 million worth.

"It's like a swimmer who's treading water, and you feel yourself slowly sinking," says Hall. "But every time I feel that this community responds and does something beautiful to help us be able to afford the next day, the next week, the next month worth of food."