Holiday hunger hits hard in San Diego

Food banks need extra donations during holidays

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Food banks around San Diego call the holiday season their "Super Bowl," as they look for enough donations to make sure everyone gets a good holiday meal.

"People want and deserve a holiday meal," said Feeding San Diego CEO Vince Hall.

To help with that, organizations all around San Diego will be giving away turkeys all week, and food banks are looking for any extra donations that people can spare.

In National City on Monday, Mayor Ron Morrison will help hand out 500 turkeys. His office, thanks to donations from several local businesses, has been working with the military and local schools to find families in need.

Sen. Ben Hueso will hold 7 giveaways across Senate District 40 to hand out turkeys.

In Escondido, the Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians and Supervisor Bill Horn will donate hundreds of full Thanksgiving meals to families in need.

And the Padres will give away turkeys Monday at Petco Park. Former Cy Young award winner Randy Jones will be there to help the volunteers.

Most of the turkey giveaways will go to preselected families.

But they underscore a need in the community for extra help during the holidays. Hall says a lot of San Diegans don't realize how widespread hunger is.

The San Diego Hunger Coalition says 1 in 6 San Diegans (approximately 505,000 people) are food insecure, living below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. That includes more than 160,000 children.

"A lot of people think it's just the homeless population," Hall said. "In reality, that's only 10% of the people we serve."

Hall said 1 in 6 people have hunger problems. That includes children, low ranking military and seniors on fixed incomes.

Feeding San Diego relies on more thant 16,000 volunteers and donations throughout the year to help. But during the holidays, they always need more.

ABC 10News will be holding a phone bank for Feeding San Diego on Tuesday, November 28th. A $1 donation will provide four meals for families in need. The goal is to buy a million meals during the holiday season. For more information, click here. To volunteer or donate with Feeding San Diego, go to their website.

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