Soaring inflation impacting all of Feeding San Diego’s food distribution operations
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – — With the inflation rate sitting at a four-decade high, Feeding San Diego is facing increased operating costs across nearly all aspects of the organization, including purchasing food, transporting donated food, energy for cold storage, and other costs including fuel, wages, and even vehicle maintenance seeing significant increases.
The cost of purchased food alone is up 20 percent for the organization, testing its ability to provide as much food assistance as needed through San Diego County.
More people are seeking help from hunger relief organizations like Feeding San Diego, many of them for the first time, and the non-profit is calling on the local community to show support like they did during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are seeing more people at our food distributions who say they need help because their income just isn’t covering their basic expenses anymore,” said Dan Shea, CEO of Feeding San Diego. “At the same time, pandemic era government funding and programs are expiring, and donations are down from the height of the pandemic. It’s important that our community knows that the crisis is not over.”
A survey conducted by the Urban Institute found that food insecurity, after falling sharply in 2021, rose to roughly the same level this June and July as it reached in March and April 2020. Feeding San Diego has tracked the same trend at its Together Tour drive-through food distributions – there are 11 sites across San Diego County – that started in February 2021 as a response to the economic fallout started by the pandemic. While numbers dipped briefly mid-year, by the end of 2021 they were climbing again.
Feeding San Diego’s Director of Development, Ali Colbran, explained the impacts of inflation on their operations in more detail on KUSI’s Good Morning San Diego.