Linda Heath Interviews James Floros, CEO & President of the San Diego Food Bank
Feb 12, 2017 07:30PM ● Published by Linda Heath
Linda Heath Interviews James Floros, CEO & President of the San Diego Food Bank about services and practices of the Food Bank.It was my honor to speak with James Floros about the San Diego Food Bank. I was very impressed with the sheer numbers of persons served, as 460,000 people in San Diego County are "food insecure". What does that term mean? This is the number of people who can't count on when or where their next meal will come from! The Food Bank serves 370,000 people per month in San Diego County, and approximately 10% of those are homeless.
(See Video Interview Below)
The Food Bank serves 400 non-profit food organizations from a 90,000 sq ft warehouse where fresh and non-perishables are stored and distributed daily, which totals 22,000,000 pounds of food per year. Of that total, 7,000,000 pounds are fresh produce. The fresh produce may contain "fresh Rescue" and "ugly produce" which is the produce which is odd shaped, ugly or excess produce that would normally be wasted and sent to the landfill. It is still good tasting and nutritious but is viewed as unappealing for sale. There is only about 30% of fresh produce which makes it to the grocery store and the rest is wasted. The Food Bank interrupts this waste by it's "Farm to Family" program where they spend $.12 cents per pound for this "ugly" food and distributes it to those in need.
The Food Bank also monitors canned or pre-prepared food end-dates. The manufacturer uses these to have the consumer purchase new items, rather than the cans being used for a longer period which is also a major cause of food wastage.
There is also a program provided by the Food Bank, which in this case is called the 'Nutrition Bank'. This program is designed for School Children who are food insecure and eat only while at school most times. It provides food for the student on Fridays so the student has food to consume over the weekend and is distributed to the identified needy student in a bag to fit in their backpack! The motto of "don't eat, can't think leads to can't learn, can't earn" fits this problem totally and breaks the cycle of poverty from the child through the adult.
They also support community gardens at the schools and provide for new healthy produce foods which the student has never tried and encourages them to bring these new sources back to the family. They provide help with signing up for Food Stamps.
There is also Food Handler and Food Safety training available for free at the Food Bank for anyone who handles food and can provide certification for job requirements. This training is available along with information and other services at the website, sandiegofoodbank.org
Thank you to James Floros for providing some very valuable information about The San Diego Food Bank and their services to the Communities in San Diego County.
Linda Heath, Senior Reporter, digimperial.com
Interview with James Floros of the San Diego Food Bank