The San Diego Food Bank’s Nonprofit Food Center, located inside our 90,000-square-foot warehouse in Miramar, was filled with excitement as 50 local schools, businesses and organizations were honored during the Food Bank’s annual Food Drive Recognition Ceremony on Thursday, February 27.
The ceremony is a cumulative celebration of all 2,005 registered food drives that took place in 2019 and a sentiment to just how vital community support is when it comes to carrying out the Food Bank’s mission.
“Every February, we celebrate members of the community who host food drives to support the San Diego Food Bank or our North County Food Bank chapter,” said Food Procurement Supervisor, Kimberly Castillo.
“We appreciate every individual, school, organization and business who collected food donations on our behalf, as we couldn’t serve the 350,000 San Diegans we do every month without that support.”
One of the businesses honored was Courtesy Chevrolet of San Diego, who received an award recognizing their originality. They hosted a food drive at their dealership in Mission Valley and instead of asking customers and staff to fill one of the Food Bank’s famous red barrels, they decided to fill the bed of a pickup truck resulting in a whopping 3,313 pounds of food!
Before the awards were presented, guests had the unique opportunity to hear from two of the Food Bank’s nonprofit partners – Project 1:1 and Teen Challenge.
Both speakers, Regina Gamboa (Project 1:1) and Gary Lassanske (Teen Challenge), shared heartfelt stories on how the food that was collected through community food drives touched the lives of individuals and families who were on the receiving end. Hearing these stories helped food drive hosts develop a better understanding of how their efforts had a ripple effect out in the community proving that every can does, in fact, make a difference!
Project 1:1 and Teen Challenge are members of the Food Bank’s network of nonprofit partners, which consists of more than 500 organizations with feeding programs. They visit the Food Bank, on average, about once a month to pick up nutritious food items from our Nonprofit Food Center, which they then take back to their pantries and distributions. Among those items they pick up during their “shopping trip” are canned and boxed goods, which are often collected during food drives, such as canned tuna, peanut butter, pasta, canned fruits, canned vegetables and other shelf-stable foods.
“It’s so important for our donors to know the impact they are making in the community, because they chose to host a food drive,” says Vanessa Moore, Vice President of Operations.
“We want them to feel more connected with the mission, which is why we needed them to hear the stories from the perspectives of the people they are helping as a result of their altruistic actions.”
Last year, the Food Bank received nearly 2 million pounds of food collected solely through community food drives. Of that 2 million pounds – 1.1 million was collected during the holiday season alone!
Congratulations to all of our honorees and thank you for choosing to support the San Diego Food Bank and our North County Food Bank chapter! Because of your efforts, we are able to continue the fight against hunger while feeding hope.
Are you interested in having your business or community group host a food drive in the coming months?
CLICK HERE for more information and to register!