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Feeding San Diego brings some early holiday cheer to the community

A local hunger-relief organization is bringing some holiday cheer to families having a tough time putting together a festive meal this year. KPBS Reporter Melissa Mae tells us about the giveaway.

Feeding San Diego held a special holiday food distribution Tuesday thanks to a large turkey donation from Cargill.

Rebecca Brown and her family live in Tierrasanta and was one of the 500 families who benefited from the giveaway.

“It’s so nice to have the extra help and support for the holidays,” Brown said. “Times are a little tough right now, so it always helps anything we’re able to get.”

Feeding San Diego volunteers help out during holiday turkey distribution.png
Carlos Castillo / KPBS
Feeding San Diego volunteers help load turkey, stuffing and gravy into a car during a special holiday food distribution at the Feeding San Diego headquarters on Dec. 21, 2021.

Her husband is in the Navy and will be able to enjoy a holiday meal with their four children because of this food donation.

“Super, super grateful. My husband’s home for Christmas this year," Brown said. "We didn’t have him last year, so we’re super excited to have some fancy meal to make.”

Besides a 16- to 22-pound turkey, families are getting stuffing and gravy to enjoy with it.

“There’s a huge need right now. We’re seeing like a 20% increase across all of our distributions,” Feeding San Diego spokesperson Allison Glader said.


This holiday season, families need more help feeding their loved ones.

“The moratorium gone, the gas prices going up, food prices, all of it and also the holidays, people need to spend a little bit extra to try to hopefully give their kids gifts or wherever they need to travel," Glader said. "So hopefully at least we can alleviate one worry and have food on the table.”

Events like this could not run without the help of volunteers. Alchera Ayyad has been volunteering with Feeding San Diego for almost a year and a half.

“I started during the pandemic because I felt so helpless during the pandemic like I didn’t know how to help and the one big thing that kept coming up is food insecurity," she said. "So, I joined the Feeding San Diego volunteer staff."

As Ayyad and her daughter helped put turkeys into people’s cars, she said the connection and seeing people's faces light up are priceless.

“You don’t know the feeling until you actually do it, but it’s heartwarming,” Ayyad said.

Anyone experiencing food insecurity or interested in donating or volunteering with Feeding San Diego, visit