SAN MARCOS — Phil Harris has been trying to stomp out hunger around the world for more than a decade and to date he’s been successful.
The founder of Friends and Family Community Connection (FFCC) along with thousands of volunteers has served 18 million packaged meals to 17 different countries at Fight Against Hunger packaging events since the group was founded.
“Our first ‘Fight Against Hunger’ community event was held in January 2007,” he said. “We packaged 30,000 nonperishable meals.
Since then, we have packaged and distributed more than 18 million meals for our local community and communities around the world.
It is the vision of FFCC to eliminate starvation by 2050.”.
On March 31, Harris and friends will be at it once again in San Marcos for the city’s first-time community packaging event which will be held at his Dream Dinners location at 1641 Grand Ave. #102, San Marcos from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
“We’re just happy to be spreading the love and help,” Harris said. “We’re expecting city officials and many volunteers to help us packaging the meals. We had a very successful community packing event in Rancho Bernardo recently with volunteers from all over San Diego and beyond. Volunteers range from young to old, Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts, seniors, women, men, business people, city officials … ”
The meals — with a goal of 62,000 — will be going to those in need in Haiti and consist of nonperishable ingredients and Harris said the recipients will just need to “ boil water.”
“FFCC’s Fight Against Hunger meals are a highly nutritious, protein fortified nonperishable meal that will reverse the effects of malnutrition and starvation,” he said. “Each package contains six meals and is made up of rice, lentils, dried vegetables, and 22 essential plant-based vitamins and minerals.”
Harris along with volunteers, medical teams and others are planning their next trip to Haiti (it will be their 37th trip) in July.
“Over the last 12 years we have distributed 6 million meals to families in Haiti,” Harris said. “The San Marcos event is our 164th event but the first at our San Marcos store. We are expecting between 400 and 500 volunteers to help us pack the meals up that will be shipped and distributed to many malnutrition children and impoverished families.”
In addition to the San Marcos Dream Dinners, Harris also owns others including a Poway location which is the “one of the top stores in the nation” and another in Santa Monica.
“We actually host events like this upcoming packaging event in San Marcos all around the nation on a regular basis. About two-thirds of the meals packaged are shipped and distributed internationally to those countries in greatest need,” Harris said. “While the remaining one-third of the meals packaged are distributed locally to food pantries, food banks, low-income families, homeless, seniors and low-income schools throughout San Diego County. I’d say we have distributed over 1.5 million meals to those in San Diego over the years. We also provided meals to cities and communities impacted by natural disasters, i.e., tornados, hurricanes (Katrina, Rita, Harvey, Florence, etc.) … ”
Harris said the best part of what he does is “the joy of passing on meals to those who need it most.”
According to its website, there are several components to FFCC’s Fight Against Hunger:
The first is to bring awareness to the issue of hunger and to provide practical ways for their community to offer relief. These opportunities include:
• Supporting and/or volunteering for one of the food packaging events;
• Providing nutritious nonperishable FAH meals;
• Developing solutions to food insecurity issues; and
• Creating opportunity for education and job creation as ways to battle poverty, the leading cause of hunger.