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College Students Help ‘Rock Hunger’ With Large Donation To San Diego Food Bank

Evening Edition

Aired 11/18/13 on KPBS News.

CSU San Marcos, UC San Diego and SDSU students teamed up with the Hard Rock Hotel to gather money and nearly 245,000 pounds of food for the San Diego Food Bank as part of the "Colleges Rock Hunger" food drive.

The Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank received its first large holiday donation Monday. For the sixth year in a row, Cal State San Marcos, UC San Diego and San Diego State University students teamed up with the Hard Rock Hotel to gather money and food donations for needy families as part of the "Colleges Rock Hunger" food drive. This year, students gathered nearly 245,000 pounds of food to donate to the bank.

Jim Flores, president and CEO of the food bank, said a wide variety of people depend on the food bank.

"A very small percentage are homeless," Flores said. "Really it's the working poor, middle-income seniors, military dependent and active-duty military, and children living in poverty."

The food bank feeds more than 350,000 people a month in San Diego. The first big holiday donation comes at a crucial time for families dependent on the CalFresh program. The food stamp program's funding was cut by 5 percent this month after a temporary government stimulus boost expired. The cut means families with children will receive $36 less a month.

First 5 San Diego executive director Kim Medeiros said that in San Diego, there are more than 40,000 children under age 5 who live in poverty and don't have enough food.

The food bank is still accepting donations of money and food. Vons stores in San Diego County are selling pre-packaged bags of food to donate to the bank, and are also accepting drop-off donations. Each dollar donated to the food bank is enough to provide five meals.

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