Letter from the CEO: Supporting Our Community During the Coronavirus Crisis

Dear Friends of the Food Bank, I think it is safe to say that our community is facing the challenge of a lifetime. Who could have even imagined this? Yet here we are.I wanted to reach out to you with the message - the San Diego Food Bank and our North County Food Bank chapter are on the job.Before the crisis started, we were already feeding 350,000 people every month - now our lines are growing longer by the day - and we are already feeding tens of thousands of more people.School children living in poverty are no longer receiving free school meals, and thousands of our neighbors are no longer receiving a paycheck - there are so many more people that are facing a hardship that they could have never imagined.

The good news is that feeding people is what we do for a living. Our distribution model of 200 monthly distribution sites and our network of 500 nonprofit partners with feeding programs is up and running and feeding those in need. All we really need to do is build our capacity (more drivers, trucks, add some distributions, etc.) and increase the amount of food to meet the ever-growing need.

We've got this. In just the first two weeks alone after the State of Emergency was announced, we conducted 175 food distributions and distributed nearly 600,000 more pounds of nutritious food to seniors, children, families and many people who have never faced food insecurity in their life.Here are a few ways the Food Bank has ramped up our mission during this heightened time of need:• We implemented a range of safety and social distancing measures to continue our volunteer program • Provided an additional 1 million pounds of food to those in need during the first month of the pandemic • Hosted mass drive-thru food distributions at SDCCU Stadium, the Del Mar Fairgrounds and Southwestern College for thousands of families in need

You should feel proud that your San Diego Food Bank - the agency that you have supported through generous gifts and volunteer hours in the past - is rising to the occasion and is prepared to help lead our community through the pandemic. All I am asking for is your continued support.

We need financial contributions so that we can purchase millions of more pounds of food, and we need volunteers to keep our supply chain working. Please do what you can - every bit will make a difference. And together - we will weather the storm. Thank you San Diego! Stay healthy!

James A. FlorosPresident & CEO