For some of us, couponing and frugal living aren’t enough. Sometimes you need help, and there is no shame in admitting that.
In large metropolitan areas like San Diego County, there are many resources for those who have food insecurity. Some of them require proof of need, proof of residence, or extensive paperwork to qualify. For someone who is embarrassed by food insecurity, these requirements can be a deterrent. Other organizations put a cap on how many times a family can visit.
Here are a few local San Diego County Area organizations that offer food assistance that do not require any proof of need:
The Cupboard on 54th. Located at Calvary Lutheran Church 3060 54th Street, San Diego, CA 92115. They are open 3 times a week.
You can get dry goods one time per month and a produce bag is available each day they are open (for a total of three times a week).
This is located at the same location as a free clothing closet. They have clothes for men women and children, as well as shoes and accessories.
Journey Church in La Mesa has a food bank that distributes food three times per month.
- 1st Thursday of the month at 6:30 pm
- 2nd Friday of the month – produce only – at 9 am
- 3rd Saturday of the month from 8:30 am
Christ United Methodist Church 3295 Meade Ave San Diego, CA 92116 has a food bank three days a week. They ask you how many people are in your home (adults and kids) and they put together a kit for you. Lots of canned and boxed goods! Everything is in date and in good shape. Hours: Mondays 1-3pm, Wednesdays 10am-Noon and 1-3pm, Fridays 10am-Noon and 1-3pm. Park in the rear lot and look for the Good Neighbor Center Food Bank sign.
Hope City Church in El Cajon offers free food every Friday at 2pm. Hope City has a lot of other really great events too, including community service dinners and wellness days. They really step up and help care for the unserved neighbors in the area.
The Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank has neighborhood distribution sites all over San Diego. There are no requirements or proof of need (no ID either). Just bring a few reusable bags or a cart to carry your food home. Learn more about Neighborhood Distributions here.
Faith Chapel in Spring Valley has a great event once a month called Meet the Need. It is the 1st Sunday of each month.
There is a free lunch starting at 1pm with some fellowship (a great way to meet your neighbors), followed by shopping in their boutique for free clothing and household items, and free grocery distribution.
You can learn more by visiting or contacting Faith Chapel here. Pastor Josiah and his crew are wonderful people!
For residents of the City of Santee, the Santee Food Bank is available to you twice a month. Once for regular distribution (from whatever donations they have received), and once for commodities (that’s more like pantry staples). More information and updated contact information can be found here. Proof of Santee Residency (like a utility bill) is required.
Feeding American San Diego has a map on their website of various resources in the San Diego area, many of them require no proof of need or paperwork.
If you have any food resources to share, please leave a comment!