The numbers are in and San Diego Miramar College continues to have a “Best in Class” food rescue program. In 2019, the College distributed 72,679 pounds of rescued produce at its Free Farmer’s Market, which is held once a month on campus. The College also picked up and distributed another 29,200 pounds of food from the Feeding San Diego Retail Rescue Program. In total, 101,879 pounds or 51 tons of rescued food went to persons experiencing food insecurities instead of ending up in a landfill.
The College took steps in 2019 to improve on its already robust food rescue program. In August, the College moved its food pantry from J-302, near the pool, to the student affairs lounge located on the second floor of the K-1 Student Services Building. The new food pantry occupies the one-time location of the campus Starbucks. The pantry’s hours of operation were also extended to cover four hours daily from 9am-1pm Monday-Friday. This move allowed for better student access especially during inclement weather.
Throughout 2019, volunteers scheduled weekly pickups at local retailers such as Sprouts and Smart & Final to recover unsold food. That food became available on Monday’s & Tuesday’s in the College’s food pantry.
“Food insecurity is a growing problem for college students throughout the region,” said Dr. Marsha Gable, president of Miramar College. “Miramar College continues to take the necessary steps to help alleviate this problem. I couldn’t be more proud of the efforts made by our student volunteers, our staff, and faculty in tackling this issue.”
The Miramar College food pantry is staffed by work study students and volunteers.
At the Sept. 12, 2019 San Diego Community College District Board meeting, Feeding San Diego presented Miramar College with the Hunger Solutions Award for 2018-2019 in recognition of its outstanding food rescue efforts. According to Feeding San Diego, a valued partner of the College, eighty-two percent of all food rescued by local community colleges is done so by San Diego Miramar College.
In addition to the stellar numbers in 2019 alone, during the 2018-2019 academic year, Miramar College’s food pantry and Free Farmer’s Market provided 91,584 pounds of food. The College’s retail rescue program secured 34,976 pounds of food while the Farmers Market distributed 56,608 pounds.