“Eliminating food insecurity in our communities is not an easy problem to solve, but there is still much that can be done!”

Jonathan Dale, a regular blog author for the Alliance Healthcare Foundation, discusses the current food insecurity problem occurring in San Diego and neighboring counties, emphasizing the seriousness of this issue, “According to the latest research from the San Diego Hunger Coalition, over half a million San Diegans – 1 in 6 residents – are considered to be “food insecure”, while rates in the neighboring San Diego county, Imperial County are even higher with 17% of the population being food insecure…The most alarming is that the rate of food insecurity among children in both Imperial County and San Diego County are the two highest in California.

  • San Diego County Total Food Insecure Population: 486,000 (15.3% of total population, or 1 in 7 people)

  • San Diego County Food Insecure Adults: 323,000 (13.2% of total adult population, or 1 in 8 adults)

  • San Diego Food insecure Children: 163,000 (22.3% of total child population, or 1 in 5 children)

  • 42.4% of low-income adults and nearly half (46.9%) of low-income children are living in a food insecure household

Dale also explains how decisions in the food market can affect how nutritionally nourished individuals can be, “Rich, calorie-dense carbohydrates are some of the least expensive foods people can buy…but such foods are a woefully inadequate source of nutrition.We can load up on this kind of food to feel full, but we’re not getting the nutrients we need when we do. This is one of the reasons why many obese people are actually malnourished.”

What can be done?

Dale brings to light his ideals for combating this increasing percentage of food insecure individuals, “Eliminating food insecurity in our communities is not an easy problem to solve, but there is still much that can be done. At the macro level, organizations such as ReFED are working hard to put systems in place that help to reduce food waste in our country.”

At a local level, we can support grantees such as Olivewood Gardens, Learning Center, and Project New Village who are growing and distributing fresh fruits and vegetables in San Diego Communities where fresh produce has traditionally been hard to come by.

Locally Dale touches upon a few organizations beginning to make an impact on this topic through  financial avenues, “The UC San Diego School of Medicine Center for Community Health is using one of our responsive grants to help put healthy food options into corner markets throughout the community. Grantees such as Imperial Valley Food Bank and the San Diego Hunger Coalition are doing the critical work of distributing healthy, nutritious food directly to families and individuals struggling with food insecurity.”

Further more, Dale encourages readers to reach out locally, “If you’re interested in helping eliminate food insecurity in our region, supporting organizations like the ones listed is a great place to start.”

Clearly food insecurity is no longer an issue that can be put on the back burner, and building off Dale’s insightful article, those wanting to help end this need to reach out and support local organizations, like Unite North County Inland, so there impact can be felt on the largest level possible.

To read Jonathan Dale’s entire article on the seriousness of San Diego Food Insecurity, click here.

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