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1 in 5 children in San Diego County doesn’t have enough food. Photo Credit: San Diego Hunger Coalition

The San Diego Hunger Coalition has been awarded a $100,000 grant to bolster its Hunger Free Kids Mountain Empire program in rural San Diego County, it was announced Monday.

The hunger coalition is one of five organizations around the country granted funds from Save the Children’s Rural Child Hunger Research and Innovation Lab, intended to support community groups working to address child food insecurity in rural and hardest-to-reach regions.

“We are thrilled and honored to be selected as one of five organizations on a national scale working to address rural food insecurity in the United States,” San Diego Hunger Coalition President and CEO Anahid Brakke said. “We know that ending hunger in San Diego is an achievable goal if we listen to community needs, rely on data and invest in changes at the program and policy level.”

The coalition’s Hunger Free Kids program aims to end nutrition insecurity among children through school breakfast and lunch programs, after- school suppers, summer meals, CalFresh support and more.

As of June 2022, the San Diego Hunger Coalition estimated that nearly one in three children experiences nutrition insecurity in San Diego County. Children in rural areas are especially vulnerable to facing nutrition insecurity because of the lack of public transit options, the limited number of grocery stores and the difficulty in accessing social services such as food pantries and meal programs, a statement from the organization reads.

–City News Service

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Ellen Bullock