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Survey Suggests More Children Are Going Hungry

A barrel of donated food sits at the San Diego Food Bank waiting to be sorted.
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Above: A barrel of donated food sits at the San Diego Food Bank waiting to be sorted.

Evidence continues to mount that more and more children are going hungry in San Diego. San Diego’s two largest food banks have both seen dramatic increases in demand from families in the last year.

A survey by Feeding America shows they served thousands more people and especially more young people last year.

Gary MacDonald is CEO of the San Diego chapter.

“What we’re finding is that more so than ever, it’s working families, working families with children." MacDonald said. "And beyond that, the numbers are much higher -- 50,000 more per year than we had anticipated serving.”

MacDonald said almost half of the 430,000 people served by Feeding America in San Diego last year are under 18 years old. That’s a higher percentage of children than the survey showed nationally, where just just over a third are under 18.

The San Diego Food Bank, a separate agency, serves 300,000 people a month. That is up from 200,000 a month in 2008. They don’t have statistics of how many of those are children.

But numbers from the San Diego Association of Governments show nearly 300,000 children are living in families that earn less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level. That is $44,000 for a family of four. Analysts say families that earn 200% of the federal poverty level find it challenging to make ends meet in San Diego.

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