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Nourishing the Hidden Hungry: Meals on Wheels San Diego County's Commitment to Seniors in Need

Post Date:04/02/2024 2:50 PM

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Submitted by Vivian Grifantini, Associate Director of Volunteer Programs, Meals on Wheels San Diego County


In the heart of San Diego County, where the sun meets the surf and vibrant communities thrive, there lies a silent struggle faced by many seniors – the challenge of food insecurity.

Meals on Wheels San Diego County, in an exciting partnership with the County of San Diego, is stepping up to the plate to address this critical issue and bring warmth, nourishment, and care to those who need it the most.

Volunteers can join us to help make a difference in the lives of those most in need.

Meeting the Growing Need

As the senior population burgeons nationwide, 2024 is marked as the "Year of Peak 65," witnessing over 11,000 individuals turning 65 every day. In 2021, approximately 33% of San Diego County households, aged 65 and over, had an annual income less than $40,000 per year, putting them at grave risk of nutrition insecurity.

This risk intensifies when these seniors find themselves homebound, facing challenges in accessing adequate and nutritious meals.

Collaborating with the San Diego Hunger Coalition over the last three years, Meals on Wheels has undertaken a comprehensive effort to map out the "Hidden Hungry" in San Diego. These detailed maps highlight areas where the need for assistance is critical, shedding light on the alarming fact that in certain zip codes, not even 10% of the demand is being met. In some areas, this figure drops to a mere 2%. 

Armed with this invaluable data, Meals on Wheels San Diego County, with the help of volunteers, is ready to take its mission to the next level.

  1. With a contract in hand targeting specific areas, the organization is seeking to double its routes, ensuring that no senior in need is left hungry or forgotten.
  2. The aim is to increase the number of home-delivered meals from 625,000 to one million in the next few years.

A Remarkable Opportunity to Serve

Meals on Wheels San Diego County delivers over 625,000 meals a year thanks to our dedicated volunteers. When looking at the future of helping county clients, Meals on Wheels San Diego County is looking for more volunteers who want to help those seniors who are most in need and who want to make a significant impact on the community.

Volunteers interested in helping county clients require 4 hours of training a year, along with a background check. Those eager to contribute to the cause can contact the organization at for more information.

By volunteering time, expertise, and resources, each person has the power to make a significant impact on the lives of seniors facing food insecurity. Together, we can nourish the hidden hungry and ensure that no one is left behind in the vibrant tapestry of San Diego County.

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