Community Spotlight: SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA

updated on 17 February 2024

Gardening for Good - Hunger Relief in Greater San Diego 


Garden bounty to share, but not sure where? Greater San Diego home and community gardeners can make an impact for hunger relief by donating their homegrown produce. Local hunger relief organizations Healthy Day Partners, Heaven’s Windows, I Love to Glean, and Porchlight Community all accept homegrown produce to be redistributed for community hunger relief.

In 2023, these four organizations provided homegrown fruits and vegetables to over 9,000 individuals and families experiencing food insecurity, as nearly 100 local gardeners donated over 18,000 pounds of homegrown fruits and vegetables.

How to donate your extra homegrown fruits and vegetables? Simply download the Fresh Food Connect app to connect to your nearest hunger relief organization, get current donation locations and times, and schedule and track your donations through the year!

Joining Together for Hunger Relief

Our amazing San Diego community food access partners recently formed the San Diego Fresh Food Access Collaborative, to make an even bigger impact by working together to raise awareness of food insecurity in Greater San Diego, and to let local home and community gardeners know how to help. Forming the San Diego Fresh Food Access Collaborative is the first step in connecting the many organizations in Greater San Diego working to bring more nutritious, homegrown produce to our neighbors experiencing food insecurity.

Meet Our San Diego Hunger Relief Partners


Healthy Day Partners

With a mission to nourish and heal people and planet through healthier and more equitable food systems and increased access to healthy food, Healthy Day Partners provides an array of services and offerings to engage gardeners in hunger relief, as well as support the community in growing their own food. Their free seed “library” and seasonal Grab & Grow garden kits help get gardeners started. At harvest time, convenient drop-off coolers at the San Diego Botanical Garden, local shops, and the Healthy Day Partners Garden, make it convenient for local gardeners to donate surplus homegrown produce while out and about. 

Healthy Day Partners is the Fresh Food Connect partner for zip codes 92025, 92101, 92130, 92008, 92075, 92011, 92009, 92007, and 92024.


Heaven’s Windows

Heaven’s Windows is a community resource network aimed at improving the lives of families, senior citizens, migrants, un-housed individuals, children, and more, working to connect people with various resources to help overcome food insecurity in our local community. Their Village Garden Project connects local growers and gardeners to Heaven's Windows so produce can then be distributed through US Department of Agriculture’s Child Nutrition Meal Program sites such as low-income apartment complexes, community/teen centers, libraries, and more, as well as 12 food distribution sites.

Heaven’s Windows is the Fresh Food Connect partner for zip codes 92020, 91942, 91945, 91977, 92114, and 92105.


I Love to Glean

I Love to Glean is on a mission to facilitate food recovery systems and boost capacity to recover and distribute otherwise wasted food. To successfully achieve this goal, I Love to Glean uniquely places a high focus on collaborating with a wide range of feeding organizations and businesses to procure, transport, process, and redirect healthy, edible food to feed those in need while looking at the whole system to directly distribute food to local residents.

I Love to Glean is the Fresh Food Connect partner for zip codes 91902, 91910, 91911, 91913, 91914, 91915, 91932, 91950, 91951, 92154, and 92173.


Porchlight Community Services

The mission of Porchlight Community Services is to illuminate individuals’ self-sufficiency and empower people to achieve long-term financial security. Porchlight’s services include job growth training and opportunities, providing food that suits individuals’ unique dietary needs, and rescuing food from becoming food waste by saving less-than-perfect foods from restaurants, grocery stores, bakeries, and more. Their dual food program includes a FoodSHARE for struggling families, and a free option for low-income families. We love Porchlight’s motto: Neighbors Helping Neighbors in Action!

Porchlight Community Services is the Fresh Food Connect partner for zip codes 92111, 92117, 92110, 92123, 92109, 92037, 92121, 92126, 92131, 92108, and 92124.

Garden for Good

As a home or community gardener, you can support your community by growing and donating homegrown produce. Whether you’re able to donate a basket of citrus fruit, or a handful of herbs, when everyone joins in, it all adds up to support our neighbors. Download the Fresh Food Connect app to register with your local hunger relief organization, and start making a difference for your community today.

Community gardens welcome!

Community Gardens are an important shared resource in their communities. Community gardeners donate their produce for a variety of reasons: to prevent food waste, to intentionally support local food access work, and/or to build their garden’s sense of community and impact. Find out more about engaging your community garden in community hunger relief here.

Does your food access nonprofit want to reach gardeners in your community?

Fresh Food Connect Operator Partners build connections to their local gardening community, while increasing access to the freshest, most nutritious food available, grown with care in their own communities. We're mobilizing gardeners nationally to support hunger relief. Find out more about being an Operator Partner here. 

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