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1 in 4 adult San Diegans are nutrition insecure

We’re one week away from Thanksgiving, and the American Farm Bureau says the cost of the big feast is a little lower than it was last year. But advocates like the San Diego Hunger Coalition, who are trying to end hunger in San Diego County, say they’re not seeing much of an improvement.

Why it matters

According to the San Diego Hunger Coalition, more than half of those experiencing nutrition insecurity in the county are children, adults over 60, and people with disabilities.

Anahid Brakke, president and CEO of the coalition, said one of the biggest differences between this year and last year is the end of pandemic aid for food assistance.


“In March 2023, which was the last month that people got that pandemic boost to their CalFresh Benefits, we had almost closed the meal gap,” Brakke said.

By the numbers

“One in four people are living in a household that doesn't have sufficient income to purchase three healthy meals a day,” Brakke said.

The coalition says that out of the 743,000 San Diegans who are estimated to be nutrition insecure, 199,000 were children, 151,000 were 60+ older adults and 113,000 were people with disabilities.

Closer look

The Rock Church City Heights opened up their campus Thursday to help about 300 people who are nutrition insecure.

Noell Mitchell with the Rock Church City Heights said they now have food distributions at all of their campus every month to meet the community’s needs.


“I’m actually seeing an uptick in this season more than when we were shut down for COVID,” Mitchell said. “We’re also seeing an uptick in people that are from other countries that have just moved here, (from) Ukraine, Haiti, different countries people are coming here and just in real need.” 

Looking ahead

Families will start getting a new major benefit next summer. They’ll get summer EBT cards with $40 per child a month to help buffer the loss of school meals.