Health

Food Drive Lets You Help Others This Holiday Season

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It’s that familiar time of the year when families and friends start making plans to gather for holiday dinners and parties teeming with cookies, pies and other treats.

But it’s not the same for all families, and First 5 San Diego, the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank, Wells Fargo Bank and San Diego County Vons supermarkets are coming together to change that with their annual Holiday Food Drive. Several new options this year make it even easier to make a donation.

According to the Food Bank, of San Diego County’s 3.1 million residents, more than 494,000 people face food insecurity and 164,000 of them are children. During the holidays, there is a higher demand for services from the Food Bank.

Through community partners, the Food Bank feeds 370,000 people per month and distributed 26 million pounds of food last year, the equivalent of 21.6 million meals.

“This partnership and food drive helps provide food for hundreds of thousands of the most vulnerable in San Diego County, including chronically hungry children ages zero through 5 living in poverty,” said Alethea Arguilez, executive director of First 5 San Diego. “You can participate by donating food, volunteering, or even hosting your own food drive. Your support will go a long way toward making a difference for our county’s neediest children during this time of year.”

There are several ways you can donate to the drive, including:

  • Donate nonperishable food items in the Food Bank’s red food drive barrels at Vons
  • Purchase a $5 pre-filled bag of groceries at the register in Vons
  • Donate through the Food Bank’s new Virtual Food Drive website (select and pay for food items you’d like to donate (most items are by the case) using your credit card)
  • Make a general donation to the Food Bank. For every $1 donated, the Food Bank can distribute five meals to San Diegans in need
  • Host a food drive with your organization or business. Visit the Food Bank website, click on the food drive tab and register your event

The food drive ends on Dec. 31. Last year, 850 organizations hosted drives and collected more than 660,000 pounds of food. The goal this year is to raise 750,000 pounds of food for individuals and families in need.

For more information about the drive, visit the Food Bank’s Holiday Food Drive site.

Tom Christensen is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact