Combating Homelessness and Hunger in San Diego – One Partnership at a Time
If we’ve learned one important lesson over the past several years, it’s that fighting homelessness is everyone’s business. To that end we launched an innovative collaboration with Feeding San Diego (FSD) and The Salvation Army combating homelessness and hunger in the San Diego region. The charitable partnership has rescued more than 200,000 lbs of usable food that otherwise would end up in the landfill. The recovered food is then redistributed to those in need, including individuals experiencing homelessness.
One More Step in Combating Homelessness
One major obstacle to individuals breaking the cycle of homelessness is long-term employment. This collaboration not only addresses food insecurity, it addresses employment instability. With funding from the Employment and Job Training Program, The Salvation Army employs residents of their shelter as drivers to operate eight different routes to rescue approximately 30,000 lbs. of food per month. The food is rescued from numerous grocery stores includingCostco as well as Starbucks and Amazon warehouses.
It’s these kinds of private and public partnerships that make a positive impact in our communities.
“There is a much greater need for food support within our community than there was just a year ago,” said Dan Shea, LDF Executive Committee Member and FSD CEO. “This is an important collaboration that rescues thousands of pounds of viable food and gets it to people who are facing food insecurity or experiencing homelessness while also employing people experiencing homelessness.”
“The Salvation Army is happy to partner with the Lucky Duck Foundation and Feeding San Diego. Providing this employment opportunity for our residents has been transformational,” says Megan Dowell, Homeless Services Director. “It is a chance for them to gain valuable job experience, while building their confidence and giving back to the community. Rescuing food and distributing it to the people who are most in need – it is truly a win-win-win!”
Let’s Get to Work
The FSD, Salvation Army and LDF food rescue collaboration is one of more than a dozen employment or job training programs the we have been able to fund thanks to our donors. Other programs include culinary training, community beautification, trash abatement, peer to peer outreach, paid internships for transition age youth, and more. Over 425 individuals have gained employment or job training, with more than 150 securing long-term employment and 115 improving their housing – moving forward to end the cycle of homelessness.