San Diego Food Bank Launches 35 Countywide “Super Pantries” to Help Families Impacted by COVID-19

The San Diego Food Bank launched our new “Super Pantry Program” at a news conference with San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, Chula Vista Mayor Mary Salas, Escondido Mayor Paul McNamara and Assemblymember Todd Gloria.

The “Super Pantry Program” will comprise 35 high-volume food distribution centers strategically located in communities across San Diego County from Fallbrook in the north to San Ysidro in the south and Santee in the east. The 35 countywide hubs will collectively serve an estimated 130,000 people per month. 

Following the news conference, the Food Bank’s nonprofit distribution partners that were selected to become Super Pantries each received a one-time $20,000 capacity-building grant at a “drive-thru” check presentation ceremony.    

The “Super Pantry Program” will comprise 35 high-volume food distribution centers strategically located in communities across San Diego County from Fallbrook in the north to San Ysidro in the south and Santee in the east.

The Food Bank is launching its “Super Pantry Program” in response to the exponential increase in demand for food assistance from tens of thousands of families impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic.

The new $1 million Super Pantry Program, made possible by donors to the Food Bank’s COVID-19 Response Fund, will strengthen the Food Bank’s safety net programs, ahead of further potential spikes in demand in the fall.

The establishment of “Super Pantries” will reduce food lines and the amount of time families need to wait for food assistance. Each “Super Pantry” will distribute food a minimum of three days a week to prevent long lines experienced at one-time mass food distributions and cars being turned away due to limited supplies.

Super pantries will feature contactless food distributions with “drive-thru” lanes and “walk-up” kiosks. With longer service hours on multiple days every week, the Food Bank can serve more households, more safely, more efficiently, and more quickly.

Since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic in mid-March, the San Diego Food Bank and our North County Food Bank chapter have distributed more than 14 million pounds of food to an estimated 600,000 people every month in communities across San Diego County.

The Food Bank supplies food to San Diego County’s charitable food network through a hub and spoke model. Through this model, 500 nonprofits receive food from the San Diego Food Bank’s 90,000-square-foot warehouse in Miramar and the North County Food Bank’s 40,000-square-foot warehouse in Vista. The Food Banks’ member nonprofits include food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, low-income day care centers and senior centers. Currently, the Food Bank supplies food for 200 scheduled food distributions every month throughout the county.

James A. Floros, President & CEO of the San Diego Food Bank and our North County Food Bank chapter said, “Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have increased the amount of food we distribute by 67%, and we are currently feeding nearly 600,000 people every month, up from 350,000 per month prior to the start of the crisis.”

 

“The launch of our new Super Food Pantry Program will greatly increase the capacity of our existing food distribution network partners. With a regional unemployment rate of 30% and COVID-19’s devastating impact on our economy, the need for enhanced food distribution centers will remain for the forseeable future. Our new Super Food Pantries will enable the Food Bank to distribute more food more safely, quickly and efficiently to families in need while the pandemic maintains its grip our region.”  

The Super Pantry Program will start serving families on July 1, 2020. In June, the Food Bank issued an RFP to its 500 nonprofit distribution partners to apply to become a member of the Super Pantry Program. Those selected to join the program received capacity-building grants from a funding pool made possible by generous donors to the Food Bank. Funding will support capacity building through the purchase of refrigeration units, freezers, pallet jacks, shelving/racking, technology infrastructure, storage, safety equipment and PPE, transportation, and general food distribution supplies.  

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. The Food Bank supplies food for 200 hundred scheduled food distributions every month, distributes family food packages in partnership with school districts at more than 47 elementary school sites, and its mobile food pantries provide food assistance to residents of rural and remote areas of the county. The Food Bank is committed to serving San Diego County throughout the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The following nonprofit partners were selected to become Super Pantries:

NORTH COUNTY

Buckheart Ranch Escondido
Interfaith Community Services Escondido
Ministerio Tiempo Nuevo Escondido
San Diego Christian Center Escondido
Fallbrook Food Pantry Fallbrook
Brother Benno Foundation Oceanside
Mission San Luis Ray Parish Oceanside
San Marcos Adventist Church San Marcos
Summit Church San Marcos
North County Food Bank Vista

 

CENTRAL SAN DIEGO

Ascension Lutheran Church San Diego
Father Joe’s Villages  San Diego
Jewish Family Service of San Diego San Diego
Old Town Community Church San Diego
La Maestra San Diego
Paving Great Futures San Diego
St. Paul United Methodist Church San Diego
Somali Bantu Association San Diego
Special Delivery San Diego San Diego
Uptown Community Service
& St. Luke’s Episcopal Church
San Diego
USO San Diego San Diego

 

SOUTH BAY

Community Through Hope Chula Vista
Operation Promise Chula Vista
South Bay Pentecostal Chula Vista
Project 1:1 & Murphy’s Produce with a Purpose National City
San Diego Rescue Mission National City
Hearts & Hands Working Together San Ysidro
St. Vincent de Paul Our Lady Mount Carmel San Ysidro

 

EAST COUNTY

Salvation Army El Cajon El Cajon
North Park Apostolic Church Lemon Grove
Samoa Independent Lemon Grove
Community Food Connection Poway
Santee Food Bank Santee
Heaven’s Windows Spring Valley
Stepping Higher Spring Valley

 

For a list of the service hours for our 35 Super Pantries, CLICK HERE to visit our Get Help page.