Jump Start the ‘Season of Giving’

With the transition to fall, even in San Diego’s mild climate, a hankering for heartier meals, pumpkin décor, and gathering around fire pits starts to rank high on the list of desires. And with the holidays just around the corner, gift and food shopping take on increasing priority. As we gear up for the holiday traditions meaningful to us, it’s important to remember those less fortunate, especially our local kids, and that one in 5 children in San Diego county continue to live with food insecurity (meaning they do not know where their next meal is coming from).

The San Diego Food Banks’s ‘Food 4 Kids Backpack program’ provides food for nearly 2,000 school-aged children who rely on school meals as part of their daily nutrition, but those same kids may go hungry on the weekend. Unite NCI is helping connect local food banks and food donor programs to schools with those children in need. To do that, we rely greatly on donations from our local community. And we know a giving spirit is not only special to the giver, it’s joyful to the community as well.  So, we’ve culled some ideas below to help jump start the ‘season of giving’ and inspire everyone to get involved:

  • BIRTHDAYS – make your birthday (or your friend’s or spouse’s) matter this year by giving up the gifts and requesting your age in dollars, a food donation, or just an action to promote awareness of food insecurity in our local schools.  Here’s how one passionate volunteer chose to use her milestone birthday:

    Anyone that knows my mom is probably aware she places far greater value on people, relationships, and important causes than on material possessions.Therefore her sincere request is for no gifts. Instead, she would like to share her newest passion, food insecurity in children, and how she has chosen to become involved in this issue. Mom is on the working team for Unite NCI.  If you’d like to honor my mom on her birthday, consider visiting the website, sharing on FB, and even volunteering time or money to its endeavors.

  • HOLIDAYS – Halloween parties, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s and more. Ask for donations in dollars or non-perishable food items in place of hostess gifts and the “stuff” you would’ve received (e.g. swap out those white elephant gifts and collect food or dollar donations instead!)

  • SPORTS – Football season is here! Does your favorite team do any fund-raising during the season for handing out those t-shirts and ball caps and mugs? If so ask your organizer if he or she would be willing to include Unite NCI in their campaign. Share our vision and mission at www.unitenci.org . But even outside of football, you can use running, bicycling, swimming, hiking, or any physical challenge to raise awareness and funds.

    Special thanks to the San Diego Buffalo Bills Backers for supporting us this season!  “We can definitely send a donation their way at end of season…these are the type of local organizations that we like to help out!”

  • SPECIAL OCCASIONS – Use your wedding, anniversary, shower, christening, Bar or Bat-Mitzvah or any other special event to draw awareness to food insecurity.

  • BUY US A DRINK – Can you give up your Starbucks habit for a week? Or your sodas with lunch? Or your cocktails at happy hour? And even if not, can you match the price of your weekly drink indulgences with a donation to Unite NCI? If so, we’d love to hear about it! Send us your #Unselfie and we’ll share them here!


If you take on any of the fun ideas above (or create your own), we’d love to hear about it!

Send us your info along with a picture or two, and we’ll be sure to share your #crushfoodinsecurity efforts here at Unite NCI!