Though the unemployment rate in Imperial Beach , more families in IB are turning to San Diego Food Bank distribution centers for a meal.
According to data compiled by the San Diego Food Bank, there has been a significant increase in food distribution by nonprofits in the area.
More than 167,000 meals have been distributed in the current fiscal year, an increase from 117,470 meals in the 2009-2010 fiscal year and more than double the 74,000 meals handed out in IB in the 2008-2009 fiscal year.
Chris Carter, director of communications for the San Diego Food Bank, said there has been an increase in food distribution not only in Imperial Beach, but throughout San Diego County.
“We have definitely seen increases across the board,” Carter said. “I certainly don’t expect the situation to change simply because unemployment in the county is still very high and it doesn’t look like it is going to change in the foreseeable future.”
For the first and second quarter of the 2010-2011 fiscal year, 83,889 meals were distributed, a jump from 56,715 over the same time period in the prior year.
The Imperial Beach United Methodist Church, who distribute food a few times a month, said it has seen a spike in food distribution through its Broken Loaf program.
Hope Smith, chairwoman for the Imperial Beach United Methodist Church mission’s program, said over the summer the church also saw a much larger crowd for its Saturday morning breakfast and shower Loaves and Fishes program.
“We served anywhere from 30 to 60 people a week. That is more than last year,” she said.
The program is available every Saturday from 6 am to 10 pm and is open to any one in Imperial Beach.
Food that the Broken Loaf program distributes includes canned goods and pasta. Broken Loaf program provides food and clothing for those in need on Tuesday and Thursday mornings between 9 and 11 a.m.
Although food distribution has increased, so have the amount of volunteers at the church.
“We’ve actual had a lot of volunteers come here who were laid off and they want to give back to the community. We’ve actually seen an increase in the amount of people wanting to help out.”
Aside from the IBUMC, the six nonprofit distribution centers in Imperial Beach are:
- Pentecostal Church of God
- Land of Learning
- Renewing Life
Donations can be made at any of these locations, Vons stores or at the .