By: Randy Ataide
One of the unique things about our work at the FBEI is that we have such a diversity of projects to tackle, relationships to build, and deadlines to meet. Over the past years, we have tackled a dizzying array of tasks, some small, some big but nearly all interesting. We are grateful to the many clients, supporters, advocates, partners and stakeholders who have assisted us in this work.
On Tuesday May 28th, at the Jacobs and Cushman San Diego Food Bank, we had the privilege of presenting the original research report San Diego’s Food Bank Population: Profile, Analysis, and Solutions. Original field research done by PLNU undergraduate and MBA students, ably led by FBEI Manager Emily Gallentine and FBEI Business & Economic Research Associate Dieter Mauerman and research assistant Mark Undesser, met with Food Bank clients as they waited in line at their particular distribution site. Thirteen sites were visited and well over 500 clients were talked to in several languages. This work succeeded in providing Chief Economist Lynn Reaser the necessary data to “put a face on hunger.”
The work of the San Diego Food Bank is mind boggling. At a 152 regional distribution sites, in 2012 they distributed nearly 18,000,000 pounds of food representing approximately 14,000 meals! They serve about 350,000 San Diegans per month and the study has unequivocally demonstrated that those with hunger in our midst are seniors, children, military families, and often single or two income households. This means that the issues of underemployment and/or low wages are primary drivers of hunger in San Diego.
Speaking for all of us at the FBEI, we are hard pressed to think of a more important issue than one of hunger among the citizens in our community. This has not just been an economic project but one of high personal and professional interest for all who worked on the study. And this interest furthers some of the core values of PLNU, namely:
The stewardship of resources – We are caretakers of all that has been entrusted to the University (people, facilities, money, and knowledge). We are to use these resources in a way that reflects the purposes of God and protects the goodness of God’s creation.
Service as an expression of faith – We are stewards, not owners, of our time, talent, and selves. Part of our call as Christians is to serve the world, working to better the condition of humankind both locally and globally.
This project has been an expression of our own faith at the FBEI, and I think shows how PLNU’s faculty, staff, students and alums are an absolutely unique and indispensable resource for our community. We invite you each to take the time to read the study and to also consider getting involved in supporting the Food Bank or any other group or organization that will help to feed our community. Let’s make San Diego an even greater place for all!
To read the complete study please click here.