South County Cold Food Hub
Currently, there are two food banks in San Diego County which are located over 50 miles round trip from parts of the South County area. There is a constant need for more cold storage and a larger space to work in than most local agencies can provide in South County thus limiting the ability to bring in more food. Love to Glean's South County Food Hub system works locally in the southern region of San Diego County, currently providing a service to local food distribution organizations by providing additional capacity for safe food transportation and donation coordinaton to get food where it can be best utilized. With additional funding, we will be adding cold, frozen, and dry storage, and repackaging services to continue to safely provide food to local agencies and direct clients.
I Love to Glean's model is unique to San Diego County. We put a high focus on collaborating with a wide range of feeding organizations and businesses to procure, transport, process, and redirect healthy, edible food to feed those in need while looking at the whole system with our Collaborators who directly distribute food to local residents.
When funded our South County Food Hub will provide a system and location to manage an increasing capacity of nutritious food donated by stores and restaurants with the implementation of SB 1383. With our Hub System, we will be able to manage large donations and coordinate food delivery to local food distribution organizations in a safe and efficient manner. This benefits local food-insecure residents, and our environment wins by diverting organics from the landfill.
When fully operational with the resources such as location and equipment, we will continue to move multiple pallets of food in a safe manner, have space to store large quantities of food at the correct temperature, and will have the space for multiple agencies to sort, pack, and store food they can't store at their own location. We will have the space to load/unload trucks and redistribute pallets of food to other local food bank agencies, so they do not have to drive 50 miles to get food at the current food banks.
One of our primary focus areas for 2023 and 2024 will be continuing to Co-Chair the Live Well San Diego South Region Food Insecurity Workgroup which is sponsored by the Office of Equitable Communities, Department of Homeless Solutions & Equitable Communities. I Love to Glean has been a Co-Chair of this workgroup for a year and currently -40 individuals and organizations attend meetings monthly.
Food Insecurity Workgroup Vision: Everyone in the South Region community has sustainable access to culturally appropriate, affordable, and healthy food from local sources through partner collaboration and support.
Goal 1: By 2023, ensure South Region partners who provide food and supportive services and resources to people experiencing food insecurity are engaged in the workgroup
Goal 2: By December 2024, establish a collective coordination effort across multiple organizations to develop a centralized food hub to share food among partners to distribute to residents in the South Region.
Goal 3: By December 2024, establish a collective coordination effort across all partners to ensure resources are provided comprehensively throughout the South Region.
Fresh Food Connect - Connecting Residential Gardeners to Feeding Agencies
Starting in the Fall of 2023 I Love to Glean will offer the services of Fresh Food Connect to match residential, and community gardeners with excess produce to local feeding agencies in South San Diego County. This is a great way for the general public to help others by donating your excess produce and planting a row for those in need.
Please contact us if you would like to attend these public meetings and help us find ways to decrease food insecurity in South San Diego County.