SAN DIEGO – A new study shows more than one in four San Diegans are struggling to put nutritious food on the table.

The San Diego Hunger Coalition reveal how communities of color are greatly impacted compared to white people.

“One of the most surprising things is just that we haven’t returned to pre-pandemic levels of nutrition insecurity,” said Anahid Brakke, CEO of San Diego Hunger Coalition.

The nonprofit organization’s goal is to ensure San Diegans have access to nutritious meals compared to junk food, which Brakke says is due to the struggling economy.

The report lists low wages, higher food prices and rising costs of living being one of the reasons why more San Diegans are relying on food banks.

“People are living paycheck to paycheck, and then all of a sudden cost of food goes up, cost of your gas goes up, even utilities all of a sudden at the end of the month you run out – something has to give so people are making these tough choices,” said Allison Glader with Feeding San Diego.

Feeding San Diego is now serving more San Diegans compared to during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The need for food assistance is actually higher than it was even during COVID – which we never thought was something that was going to happen,” Glader said.

Father Joe’s Villages says compared to last year, they are now giving out 800 more boxes month to month. The rise in food prices and inflation is also affecting them, according to Deacon Jim Vargas.

“We are not getting as many food distributions and food donations as we had in the past because everyone is impacted by it,” Vargas said.

If you need food assistance in San Diego County, you can dial 211.