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Feeding San Diego Distributes Food For Hospitality Workers

A Feeding San Diego volunteer places packaged, frozen chicken into the trunk ...

Photo by Jacob Aere

Above: A Feeding San Diego volunteer places packaged, frozen chicken into the trunk of a car at Pechanga Arena, Feb. 15, 2021.

Cars lined up at Pechanga Arena Monday for Feeding San Diego's emergency food distribution, specifically targeted to hospitality workers who either lost their jobs or got their hours cut because of the pandemic.

The drive-through site had volunteers putting food directly into car trunks or truck beds of roughly 700 vehicles. It was the third time this month that Feeding San Diego held a large scale food distribution event for hospitality workers at Pechanga Arena.

Listen to this story by Jacob Aere.

Bob Kamensky is Chief Strategy Officer for Feeding San Diego, and said many of the households picking up food from these events are experiencing food insecurity for the first time.

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“Last count that we saw there were about 77,000 workers in this particular industry segment that had been displaced from work. So as a result, many of them had never experienced the need to reach out to others for help,” Kamensky said.

For hospitality workers like Sheneise Scott, the ripple effects from the pandemic have caused economic hardship.

“It’s been really rough for me personally to maintain employment. I recently started working and honestly if I didn't come pick up this food I wouldn't know where my food would come from until I got paid,” Scott said.

The distribution events provide each household with 50 pounds of food, including frozen meat, produce, and dry goods.

Along with the food, people are getting information on how to access other Feeding San Diego distributions close to their homes and about CalFresh, the state run program providing monthly food benefits for low-income families.

“I don't qualify for food stamps, I don't qualify for other food programs. So just to be able to have the opportunity to get some help with getting food, it makes a difference for me, really,” Scott said.

One more distribution session for this month is planned for next Monday, February 22nd. It will also be for people working in the hospitality industry and attendees must register online.

Kamensky says Feeding San Diego plans to continue large scale food distribution efforts in the coming months, including one in the Legoland area for the general public.

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Photo of Jacob Aere

Jacob Aere
Freelance Reporter and Web Producer

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI am a freelance reporter. In addition to covering the latest news and issues relevant to San Diego, I seek the overlooked voices of our community to tell their stories.

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