The Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank and our North County Food Bank chapter launched our new “Super Pantry Program” in July 2020 in response to soaring demand for food assistance due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The “Super Pantry Program” is comprised of 35 high-volume, drive-thru food distribution centers strategically located in communities throughout San Diego County from Camp Pendleton in the north to San Ysidro in the south and rural East County communities.
The Food Bank established countywide “Super Pantries” to reduce food lines and the amount of time families need to wait for food assistance. Each “Super Pantry” is open a minimum of three days a week to prevent long lines experienced at one-time mass food distributions.
Collectively, the Food Bank’s 35 Super Pantries are serving thousands of people daily. Since July, the Super Pantry Program alone has distributed over 14 million pounds of food to families in need. Super pantries feature contactless food distributions with ‘drive-thru’ lanes and ‘walk-up’ kiosks. With longer service hours on multiple days every week, the Food Bank is serving thousands of households more safely, efficiently and quickly.
The Food Bank has been at the forefront of the Coronavirus pandemic, leading the county’s charitable food network to ensure that tens of thousands of families affected by the crisis receive food assistance. In addition to the Super Pantry Program, the Food Bank supplies food for 200 hundred scheduled food distributions every month, distributes family food packages in partnership with school districts across the county, and our mobile food pantries provide food assistance to residents of rural and remote areas of the county.
The Food Bank anticipates heightened food insecurity to remain for the foreseeable future due to the pandemic’s lasting impact on our local economy. Several of the hardest hit industries, retail, tourism and hospitality, will take significant time to recover. In addition, many families now find themselves saddled with crushing debt and rent repayments due on the horizon.
While we see a light at the end of the tunnel with mass vaccinations underway, the San Diego Food Bank and our North County Food Bank chapter will continue to provide enhanced services to families impacted by the pandemic-induced recession in communities throughout the county.