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Feeding San Diego, the hunger-relief and food rescue non-profit, has partnered with San Diego County Library branches to host food distributions this summer.

Starting this month, 10 new sites will be in operation at various locations throughout the county, from Valley Center to Spring Valley to Oceanside.

With record-high gas prices and inflation, the non-profit is anticipating the additional need for food assistance this summer.  

These library sites are intended to support families in need of food assistance who might struggle without having school meals provided to children during the summer months.

According to data from the California Department of Education, there are nearly 500,000 K through 12 students in San Diego County, and over 240,000 of those students rely on free or reduced-price meals while in school. That means in the summer months, nearly 50 percent of San Diego County students could lose access to nutritious meals. 

“Feeding San Diego has long worked to raise awareness of the issue of childhood hunger in the summer months, when school meals may no longer be provided to children,” said Dan Shea, CEO of Feeding San Diego. “This year, in addition to the usual stress of not having school meals provided, parents are dealing with record-high gas prices and inflation across the board. Our programming, including these new San Diego County library sites, is vital to providing resources for parents who need support this summer.”  

The food distributions will be held at least once a month at the following libraries: Borrego Springs, El Cajon, Fallbrook, Oceanside (Civic Center and Mission branches), Ramona, Spring Valley (Casa de Oro and Spring Valley branches), Valley Center, and Vista. Depending on the location, attendees will receive either fresh produce or pantry staples like rice, beans, and grains (or both).  

“San Diego County Library is excited to partner with Feeding San Diego to relaunch food distribution at 10 county libraries,” said Jodi dela Pena, Youth Services manager with the San Diego County Library. “We have prioritized rural and high-need communities and are pleased to offer this much-needed resource.”  

Feeding San Diego provides programs during the summer months specifically for kids in need of no-cost meals.

To find a San Diego County library site nearest to them, the public can use Feeding San Diego’s Find Food Map and input the zip code. The non-profit also partners with sites to serve prepared meals as part of the Summer Food Service Program. 

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Ellen Bullock