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Paper Plates With Hand-Drawn Messages Spotlight Hunger In San Diego

Photo by Susan Murphy

Dozens of paper plates with hand-drawn pictures and messages of hunger are displayed outside of Barren's Market in Point Loma to draw attention to San Diego County's hunger problem, Sept. 2, 2016.

To show the magnitude of the county’s hunger problem, the San Diego Hunger Coalition on Friday set up a temporary display of dozens of paper plates with illustrated stories of hunger.

The event at Barron’s Market in Point Loma kicked off Hunger Action Month, a nationwide campaign to urge the community and elected officials to take action on ending hunger.

The plates with hand-drawn pictures and messages were created by some of the 423,000 children and adults across the county that struggle to get enough food to eat.

The groups most vulnerable to going hungry are children, seniors and people with disabilities, said Anahid Brakke, executive director of the Hunger Coalition.

Brakke said the county’s overall hunger rate has only decreased slightly since the 2008 recession.

“A lot of the jobs that we had pre-recession — that were higher paying, more consistent, had benefits — haven’t come back,” Brakke said. “So even though we have something like a 5 percent unemployment rate in San Diego County, it really doesn’t tell the story about how people are struggling, trying to piece together part-time jobs.”

The Hunger Coalition plans to send the paper plates to elected officials across California to urge policy changes and more resources to help end hunger.

Community members are encouraged to help by volunteering their time and donating food to food banks and pantries.

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