On a cold and rainy Saturday night, I went dumpster diving for the first time. Okay, okay--I didn't actually do the "diving" part, I kinda just held the flashlight... but hey, that counts right?
I learned a lot during this dumpster dive. For one, I learned Blaze Pizza's garbage dumpsters actually smell heavenly, especially at 10pm--whodathunk?
All jokes aside, I am surprised we found such a great deal of salvageable food from various markets. We went to around 5 stores and were able to recover peppers, tomatoes, asparagus, crackers, clementines, and even flowers. These were donated to Triton Pantry. Much to our dismay, we found an even greater amount of food in the dumpsters that we couldn't do anything about. For example, one dumpster must've had twenty or thirty pounds of poultry thrown out. Meat that could have easily been donated. It was quite disheartening to see frozen foods, chicken, eggs, various fruits, and vegetables all going to waste. At one point in the night we crossed paths with a man looking for food in the dumpsters and offered him what we salvaged, but he refused.
You don't have to drive long or far to witness the food insecurity present in San Diego. Although I've distributed food to the homeless, and volunteered at food banks, there is much work to be done, especially at the corporate or business level. I don't know what the answer is, but being cognizant of this matter is only the first step. I'm glad there are many organizations in San Diego taking steps to tackle food insecurity, and I'm hopeful for the impact IHC will have on this issue as well. Until next time...