Ralphs in Encinitas makes $50,000 donation to Feeding San Diego

Maron Dean, store leader at the Encinitas Ralphs, presented the $50,000 check to Feeding San Diego.

Ralphs in Encinitas recently donated $50,000 to Feeding San Diego food bank as part of the company’s Zero Hunger | Zero Waste commitment. Maron Dean, store leader at the Encinitas store, was selected to present the check for his team’s top performance in the recent Help for the Hungry fundraiser that collected more than half a million dollars to provide hunger relief throughout Southern California.

With Ralphs’ Zero Hunger | Zero Waste social impact plan, the company works with hunger relief agencies, such as Feeding San Diego, to eliminate hunger in local communities by 2025.

San Diego is home to the seventh-largest number of children facing hunger in the US. Before the COVID-19 crisis, more than 120,000 children in San Diego County were food insecure but due to school and business closures, job losses, and rising food costs, that number is now estimated to be 50 percent higher. The increased need is expected to persist for a minimum of 12-24 months.

Ralphs Encinitas’ donation will directly benefit Feeding San Diego’s School Pantry, a program that meets families at their local schools to deliver free fresh produce and dry goods to help further support the health and nutrition of the participating students and their households. The school pantries, which can be found in every area of San Diego County, help to meet the immediate and long-term needs of children and families facing food insecurity -- which is more important than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Currently, Feeding San Diego operates 27 drive-through/walk-up school pantry sites serving 7,500 households per month. At many sites, the School Pantry distributions of produce and nutritious self-stable pantry items supplement the daily school meals that are provided for students by the school district. Feeding San Diego plans to reestablish an additional 13 sites as schools reopen.