June 2023 Convening

Posted on: June 21, 2023  |  Posted in: Community Blog

Convening Topic:

“Connect & Cultivate: Raising Awareness on Food Security” 

This month, we aim to demystify what you may or may not know about Food Insecurity Impacting Military Families.

    • We will provide a panel showcasing data/facts on food security as well as learn firsthand from those supporting food distributions and who are making a meaningful impact within the community to support military families. 
    • Some of our featured guests will include:
      • Anahid (Baboomian) Brakke, President & CEO, San Diego Hunger Coalition: anahid@sdhunger.org Ms. Brakke is a first-generation Armenian whose father immigrated from Teheran, Iran. She is the first in her family to earn a bachelor’s degree. Anahid grew up in a small, working-class town in Oregon and paid for her own education at Wellesley College in Boston in part by working as a secretary and office manager and by taking numerous semesters off to save money. After graduation, Anahid spent 5 years managing data on mortgage-backed securities for a financial software company outside Boston. After relocating to San Diego, at the age of 31, Anahid changed her career path entirely and accepted an entry-level position at The San Diego Foundation to apply her skills toward making the world a better place. Four years later, Anahid moved into a grantmaking/program officer role as TSDF’s Director of Health & Human Services.After 10 years in philanthropy, most recently as the Leichtag Foundation’s Director of Self-Sufficiency Grantmaking, Anahid joined the San Diego Hunger Coalition as its Executive Director in January 2015, and now serves as the organization’s President & CEO.
      • Gina Camacho-McGrath, Principal of Miller Elementary School, gcamacho-mcgrath@sandi.net. Gina is a proud product of San Diego Unified both as a student and educator.  After graduating from Patrick Henry High School, she attended San Diego State University for her Bachelors and moved on to complete her teaching and administrative credentials at National University and USD respectively. She began in the district over 25 years ago beginning as a classroom aide and eventually began teaching across the district at schools such as Walker, Euclid, and Hamilton.  After a rigorous process, she was accepted into the ELDA program where I began my journey as an administrator.  She was a vice principal intern at Curie Elementary before becoming the vice principal at Horton Elementary and then at Correia Middle School.  Throughout her journey and at various assignments, she has always held a firm belief in the importance of building strong relationships with staff, students, and parents.  It begins with building trust with each individual.  Our work together will rely on our collaboration with one another to do what is best for our children.  She is dedicated to spending time in the classrooms, being of service to the staff and children and ultimately you so that she can get to know your children while supporting the teaching and learning.  The times she has spent with the students are the times she values the most and finds the most rewarding.
      • Bob Kamensky, Chief Strategy Officer, rkamensky@feedingsandiego.org
        Born into a military family, Bob Kamensky served in the U.S. Navy for over 35 years before switching to the not-for-profit sector to bring his experience to Feeding San Diego. He brings strategic operations experience to the organization that was gained in leadership positions serving in the U.S. Submarine Force. Bob joined Feeding San Diego in January 2021 to support Feeding San Diego’s mission to end hunger and execute the growing non-profit’s need to feed more people while maximizing food rescue. In his role, he serves as a catalyst in transforming Feeding San Diego into a thriving organization able to serve tens of millions of meals every year. Employing his robust experience, he implements new standards and practices organization-wide to ensure operations and budgets are maximized.
        Bob graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Engineering and went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Aerospace Systems Engineering from West Coast University. After college, Bob immediately joined the U.S. Navy and enjoyed a long career that brought him around the world and had him overseeing multiple commands. During this time, he served as Vice Commander of U.S. Submarine Forces for three years leading efforts of 50 reserve commands comprised of 2,000 people in support of worldwide submarine operations.
        He then left the military and transitioned to the corporate world, starting in the aerospace business, while continuing his military service as part of the Navy Reserves. His corporate career saw him succeed in department leadership roles in various industries, from consumer electronics to nuclear instrumentation. He then went back to the military with a role at the Department of Navy (civilian side) to lead the implementation of process innovation for Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR). In this role, he was promoted to U.S. Navy Flag Officer (Real Admiral) and assigned to a series of strategic leadership roles culminating in forming a multinational command in Europe as Commander Submarine Forces NATO. He then turned his focus to education and giving back, teaching organizational leadership as an adjunct professor at Point Loma Nazarene University and providing consulting services part-time to non-profit organizations. It was then that he began consulting for Feeding San Diego in strategic planning, eventually accepting a full-time position as Chief Strategy Officer.
        Having first been stationed in San Diego in 1980 and establishing his home here, Bob is leaning into this part of his career where he can improve the city he calls home and where his family lives. In his daily work, he focuses on his core business principles, which include being mission-driven, employing servant leadership, and practicing good stewardship of resources provided by and to the organization.
      • Additional Organizations Participating Will Include:

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Discussions with service providers showcased some valuable resources for military and veteran spouses. For a full list of insights, please review the information below:


San Diego County Resources: Non-Profit Food Assistance (sandiegocounty.gov) 

First 5 San Diego – The First 5 Years Make a Difference 

Feeding San Diego 

Feeding San Diego – Home 

Find Your Local Food Bank | Feeding America 

Agency Partners – Feeding San Diego 

CalFresh – Feeding San Diego 

Feeding San Diego Marketplace – Feeding San Diego 

Produce Pantry – Feeding San Diego 

School Pantry – Feeding San Diego 

After School & Summer Meals – Feeding San Diego 

Feeding Heroes – Feeding San Diego 

Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank 

About – Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank 

Emergency Food Assistance Program – Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank 

Neighborhood Distribution Program – Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank 

CalFresh Outreach Program – Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank 

Nutrition & Wellness – Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank 

Jewish Family Services 

Home – JFSSD 

Free Food 

Metro United Methodist Urban Ministry – FreeFood.org 

Ocean Beach Emergency Food, Inc – FreeFood.org 

God’s Extended Hand – San Diego – FreeFood.org 

Hand Up Youth Food Pantry at JFS – FreeFood.org 

Mama’s Kitchen – FreeFood.org 

Neighborhood House Association – FreeFood.org 

San Diego Rescue Mission – Emergency Food & Shelter – FreeFood.org 

Community Christian Service Agency – FreeFood.org 

Monthly Food Distributions/Farmers Markets: 

Courage to Call 

Free Food Distribution – Courage to Call (courage2call.org) 

Food 4 Warriors 

FOOD4WARRIORS | Us4Warriors 

Salvation Army – Chula Vista 

Cure Hunger – Chula Vista Corps (salvationarmy.org) 


Services – Military Outreach Mission San Diego (sandiegomom.org) 

Support the Enlisted Project (STEP) 

WOW | STEP (teamstepusa.org) 


Feed Our Heroes • USO San Diego 

Additional Resources: 

Food Distribution & Pantries — San Diego Hunger Coalition 

Food Assistance – 211 (211sandiego.org) 

Hunger Relief – San Diego Rescue Mission | Food Bank Near Me (sdrescue.org) 



For your convenience, below you will find resources and relevant links that will be referred to in this Convening.

SDMFC Materials


2023 HFSD Food Assistance Resource Flyer – June Update

Summer Meals Flyer 2023 Final

EMERGENCY FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE: Support the Enlisted Project – https://www.teamstepusa.org/