On May 28, the Fermanian Business & Economic Institute at Point Loma Nazarene University presented its original research report, “San Diego’s Food Bank Population: Proﬁle, Analysis, and Solutions.” The report was commissioned by The Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank. The FBEI report involved the ﬁrst comprehensive survey and analysis of the 350,000 San Diego County’s residents who depend on the region’s Food Bank. Field research was conducted at many distribution sites served by the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank and included interviews with more than 550 households receiving food assistance during October 2012.
“It is our intention to provide regional leaders a highly readable economic analysis of a critical topic to all within our community,” said FBEI executive director Randy M. Ataide. “The report draws a portrait of the people needing food assistance and seeks to understand the demographic, economic, and social factors driving that need.”
The vital demographic data in the report helps “puts a face” on the population that the food bank serves. According to PLNU chief economist Lynn Reaser, the face of hunger in San Diego County includes working families living in poverty, seniors, and tens of thousands of children. Unemployment is a factor for many seeking assistance, but most families using the food bank have at least one working adult in the household.
In October 2012, teams of staff and students from Point Loma Nazarene University visited food bank locations throughout San Diego County and surveyed clients while they waited in line for food assistance. The communities included: Central San Diego, San Ysidro, Borrego Springs, Warner Springs, Encinitas, Escondido, Ramona, Fallbrook, Oceanside, Lemon Grove, Ocean Beach, Poway, Campo, Descanso and Pine Valley.
On May 28, the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank and PLNU’s Fermanian Business & Economic Institute held a joint press conference to launch the groundbreaking, 30-page report. Speakers at the press conference included: PLNU’s Chief Economist Dr. Lynn Reaser; Malin Burnham, philanthropist, and joint-funder of the survey; U.S. Congressman Scott Peters; County Supervisor Dave Roberts; and James A. Floros, president & CEO of the San Diego Food Bank.
The full study is available here.