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Feeding San Diego helps 1700 families during their holiday food drive – KPBS

Feeding San Diego hosted another special holiday food distribution today at Southwestern College.
For almost two years, Feeding San Diego has been hosting large-scale drive-through food distributions, started to help families during the pandemic. They did not expect to see so much need continuing for so long.
“These were never really intended to be permanent. This was an emergency response for all the families that were struggling,” said Carissa Casares the senior communications manager for Feeding San Diego. “But because of inflation because of the rise of costs of nearly everything, we just aren’t seeing the lines go down.”
And the lines were long at Wednesday’s giveaway; eight lines of cars filing in to a parking lot at Southwestern College.
“It’s very emotional to see all of these cars here today. It’s not lost on our organization. It’s just been a really hard year. It’s been hard to see things not necessarily getting better for people,” Casares said.
One person in line was Bonita resident Esperanza Vida, who said, “Sometimes we don’t have food, but with Feeding San Diego it’s been a blessing to come and get some.”
Zenaida Pamintuan, a San Diego resident was another person getting food.
“We’re very grateful because it helps a lot … especially regarding Christmas,” Pamintuan said.
Sixty-five volunteers helped make this food distribution run, including Marylu Ramirez, who has been a Feeding San Diego warehouse volunteer for the past nine years. She said she loves volunteering at the distributions because she gets to see firsthand who receives the food she helped package.
“It’s part of the tradition of the holidays, and I think that as a mom, providing a holiday meal for my family is very important, and I feel very pleased that I can do it. And I’m sure all the moms and dads in line and the grandmas that are preparing the meals are so grateful,” Ramirez said.     
Families received about 40 pounds of food. “We have sweet potatoes, so hopefully people can make those famous sweet potato holiday dishes. We also have in some of our dry goods boxes: stuffing mix, cranberry sauce, canned green beans,” Casares said. “We have frozen chicken here, so it’s things that people want and need.”
Feeding San Diego was prepared to serve 2,000 families and a total of 1,700 families were given nutritious food.
“To have a full fridge, to have food in your pantry, that’s a feeling of comfort that can only really be provided by food, just to have that sense of security,” Casares said.

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