Cal Fresh Coordinator Elizabeth Metzler with Gabriel Perez Krieb, managing director of PIA Ingredients Corp.

Garbanzo Beans for Christmas

Last week PIA Ingredients, a specialty food supplier based in Oceanside, donated 126,000 pounds of garbanzo beans to the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank.  The donation comes just in time for the holidays with the Food Bank feeding record numbers. The donation will be distributed to the Food Bank’s 350 nonprofit distribution partners with feeding programs. These organizations include soup kitchens, homeless shelters, low-income day care centers, low-income senior centers, rehabilitation centers and food pantries.  The pre-cooked beans are packaged in restaurant-size 10-pound sealed metallic bags which are ideal for hunger-relief organizations with kitchens that serve large numbers of people in need.

The donation also falls in line with the Food Bank’s pursuit of healthy initiatives. Garbanzo beans are low in fat and cholesterol and are an excellent source of protein and dietary fiber. They are also a helpful source of zinc, folate and magnesium.

On hand that day was Gabriel Perez Krieb, managing director of PIA Ingredients Corp.  He joined the Food Bank staff in unloading the donation and hapilly tried all of the products created by our CalFresh Coordinator, Liz, during her cooking demonstration. He spoke to volunteers, our hunger-relief partners, Food Bank staff and the press, “PIA Ingredients is proud to support the Food Bank and the local community with this donation. The Food Bank is currently feeding record numbers through its hunger-relief programs and we know that the Food Bank will be able to use this donation of nutrient-rich food to supplement the diets of the individuals and families it serves.”

Marla Feldman, program director of MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, an organization that is a leading supporter of the Food Bank’s long-term nutrition strategy through its Healthy Options, Healthy Meals™ (HOHM) initiative, said, “We’re so proud of the progress the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank has made as part of their participation in HOHM.  By securing this healthy donation, they are actively demonstrating their commitment to the cultural and organizational changes they’ve made, as well as to the paradigm shift towards promoting the health and wellness of the communities they serve.“

The Food Bank is incredibly grateful to PIA Ingredients for this amazing donation. Garbanzo beans are an excellent source of protein and fiber and will complement meals that are prepared by our nonprofit partners with hunger-relief programs in soup kitchens and homeless shelters.  This will help the Food Bank provide additional food to individuals and families in need this holiday season and into the New Year when our donations drop significantly, THANK YOU!

Want to try one of Liz’s Recipes? Click here.



Oatmeal Muffins

National Oatmeal Muffin Day

Packed with soluble fiber and healthy carbohydrates, oatmeal has a number of key health benefits.  From curbing appetite to reducing cholesterol, eating more oatmeal is a simple way to boost health.  Even the FDA has approved oatmeal as a  heart-healthy food. Knowing this, the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank offers oatmeal in many of our distributions throughout the county.  Our partner agencies are also able to pickup bulk oatmeal from our Nonprofit Food Center for use at their feeding sites all over San Diego.

However, despite its health benefits, oatmeal doesn’t have the best of reputations. It’s easy to be turned off by the idea of plain old oats in a bowl. But, there are lots of different ways you can use this superfood. It’s works well in cookies, granola, even on top of your baked berry dessert.   Since today is National Oatmeal Muffin Day, we thought we’d share a recipe that allows you to add a little extra health boost to your morning meal.

These muffins are easy to make. They’re excellent served warm for breakfast and they’re also perfect for a quick and filling snack on the go!

Oatmeal Muffins

  • 1 c. flour
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1 c. oats, quick or old-fashioned, uncooked
  • 1 T. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 3 T. vegetable oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 c. nonfat milk

Sift into bowl: flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.  Stir in the oats.  Add vegetable oil, beaten egg, and nonfat milk.  Stir only until dry ingredients are just moistened.  Fill greased, medium-sized muffin cups 2/3 full.  Bake at 425 for about 15 minutes.  Serve hot.  Makes a dozen.

Variation:  Add 1/2 c. raisins, chopped dates or nuts

Recipe found here:


Volunteering Starts Early

The Kindergarten classes at Redeemer by the Sea recently held a volunteer food and fund drive at their school in Carlsbad, CA.  Under the guidance of their Director, Cindy Brown, the students collected money, backpacks and child friendly non-perishable food.  On Novemer 14th all 40 students traveled down to the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego warehouse to present a total donation of $650, 50 backpacks and aproximately 1,000 pounds of food!

During their visit Food Bank staff took all 40 children and their chaperones on a tour of the warehouse.   Despite their young age these bright kids were full of great questions about how the Food Bank feeds people, where we get food from and how our equipment works.  Some children are shocked at the number of families and children at risk of hunger and others express gratefulness for what they have and understand the need to share. At the conclusion of their tour one young boy even offered up the change from his pocket so we could “get more food.”

All the children agreed that they had fun collecting food and they would come back to volunteer in the warehouse with their mom or dad as soon as they were six years old. As demonstrated by some of our youngest supporters, volunteering starts early and makes you feel great no matter how old you are.

If you are interested in donating your time and helping feed people in need, please click here.

Happy Holidays from the Busalacchi Family


This December, the Busalacchi Family is teaming up with the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank to make the holidays special for everyone by collecting nonperishable food at all six of their San Diego restaurant locations.

They’re not just taking your donations though; they’ve got a gift for you too! Now through December 31, 2012 everyone who brings three nonperishable food items to any of the Busalacchi restaurants will receive the following discounts:


Po Pazzo – Receive the appetizer of the day (chef’s choice)

1917 India Street, San Diego, CA 92101
Zia’s Bistro – Receive 50% off any bottle of wine or entree

1845 India Street, San Diego, CA 92101

Receive 20% off your next dining experience at:

Trattoria Fantastica

1735 India Street, San Diego, CA 92101

Café Zucchero

1731 India Street, San Diego, CA 92101

Busalacchi’s A Modo Mio

3707 Fifth Avenue, San Diego, CA 92103

Via Lago Trattoria

866 Eastlake Parkway, Chula Vista, CA 91914

Thanks to the Busalacchi Family for making the holidays special for everyone, especially our neighbors in need!



Stuff the Bus Bags

Stuff the Bus

In response to the increasing number of San Diego residents who are struggling to put food on their tables, the region’s public transit operators and Albertsons joined us last weekend to host the Fifth Annual ‘Stuff the Bus’ Holiday Food Drive.


Shoppers could purchase pre‑packaged bags of nutritious and non-perishable food between November 26 and 29. Then on Saturday, December 1, 2012 MTS and NCTD buses were parked in front of 15 Albertsons stores throughout the county and over 40 volunteers from the Armed Services YMCA were on hand stuffing them with the pre-packaged bags and collecting even more donations from everyone who stopped by.


All 15 buses were loaded with donated food and then caravanned to the Food Bank where 30 more volunteers from the Armed Services YMCA unloaded the food into our warehouse.


Through the generosity of MTS, NCTD, Albertsons, San Diego Armed Services YMCA volunteers, and shoppers throughout San Diego the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank collected 15,719 pounds of food in just 5 days.


THANK YOU San Diego!