Rallying around food in Marin and the Outer Mission

Recession relief comes to Marin

This past weekend saw the opening of the Food Bank’s newest recession relief pantry in San Rafael’s Canal District. 175 families came out on that first day and were welcomed with an ample supply of groceries including: eggs, milk, bananas, onions, potatoes, carrots, chicken broth, yams, bagged rice, nectarines, corn, Brussels sprouts, and lettuce.

Marin recession pantry volunteer

The pantry is run and operated by a collaboration of local community leaders, volunteers, and the Canal Welcome Center. Located in the Canal district of San Rafael, the organization acts as a hub of services from job training, ESL classes and immigration referrals to business workshops, civic and voting education, financial literacy, free tax aid and more.

Canal Welcome Center

The opening attracted a higher turnout than expected, and we anticipate the distribution growing to over 200 families in its second week. For more on the Food Bank’s recession relief efforts, please click here.

Youth-Run Healthy Children Pantry in the Outer Mission

Excelsior Teen Center volunteer

The Excelsior Teen Center (ETC) is the site of a second new Food Bank pantry in the Outer Mission. The ETC offers teens a chance to participate in leadership development, violence prevention, employment training and placement, and afterschool and summer programs. They also serve as a safe space drop-in center for youth from 3-7pm for youth from all over the city.

Teen volunteer at Outer Mission pantry

Visitors to the pantry were ecstatic and went home to tell their neighbors about the pepperoni, squash, potatoes, yams, Brussels sprouts, green beans, mangoes, oranges, bell peppers, lettuce, pasta, popcorn, cottage cheese, onions, beets, cucumbers, and bananas.

One of these things is just like the other


The only difference between these two cans of chicken broth is the label. But that makes all the difference in the world to a food retailer.

We’re able to accept donations like the “shiner” on the left because of all of the wonderful volunteers who labelled and repacked this can…and the 48,000 others like it. Thanks to them, this wall of chicken broth went to feed hungry San Franciscans – and not the landfill.


A Giant day for fundraising!


This past Sunday, more than 60 San Francisco Food Bank staff and volunteers turned out to collect donations of cash and food at the “Giants Strike Out Hunger Food Drive” at AT&T Park. Anybody who donated $5 or 5 food items got a free Giants tumbler, courtesy of AT&T.



Before the “Battle of the Bay’ game against the A’s started, we raised $15,650.51 – including a $10,000 check from AT&T – plus 3,240 pounds of food!


AT&T presented the check to SF Food Bank Executive Director Paul Ash in a special ceremony on the field prior to the game.


Special thanks to our volunteers who masqueraded as canned and packaged foods to draw attention to the types of non-perishable items we most need to help feed the city’s hungry – and to the Giants for al their support over the years!

“Can-struction” means food for hungry San Franciscans


Thanks to Microsoft, 5,171 pounds of canned foods were donated to San Francisco Food Bank last week! They came from a temporary “can-struction” built to publicize Microsoft’s new Internet Explorer browser and a special offer the company has made to help the nation’s food banks.

For every download of the new Internet Explorer browser from this special website, the company will give $1.15 to the national food bank organization, Feeding America.

The “can-struction” of the Golden Gate Bridge, set up in Justin Herman Plaza last Wednesday, was built from low sodium chicken noodle soup (the bridge) and black beans (the water) – all of which were picked up by San Francisco Food Bank when the event was over.

Two More Grocery Pantries Open this Week!


This past Saturday, San Francisco Food Bank opened its second Recession Relief Grocery Pantry. This one is located at Old First Presbyterian Church, on Sacramento and Van Ness streets.


These new pantries are specially designed to serve people hit by the recession who have not accessed food assistance before.


Fifteen enthusiastic volunteers from both Old First and San Francisco Food Bank’s Volunteer Services department turned out to help.  All the great summer produce is coming in, and we were thrilled to have such a wonderful selection of fresh vegetables to hand out.


Partcipants received reusable bags, carrots, onions, green onions, corn, potatoes, yams, celery, chicken stock, pesto, chicken sausage, brussel sprouts, asparagus, rice, grape flavored drink mix, and bread.


Today, we also opened a new Healthy Children Grocery Pantry at 201 Turk Street in the Tenderloin, in collaboration with Chinatown Community Development Center, which serves more than 110 families.

Healthy Children grocery pantries are often located at schools or community centers, so we can reach families with children, who are in particular need of food assistance over the summer, when they can’t access a school meals program.


Pantry participants received asparagus, yellow squash, butter lettuce, corn, oranges, onions, carrots, peas, Brussels sprouts, cereal, cottage cheese, pasta, Chex Mix and Capri Sun.

More than 60 families attended the pantry today. Everyone was very excited and grateful to get the good food.

First Recession Relief Grocery Pantry Opens!

image002Today San Francisco Food Bank launched the first of five Recession Relief Grocery Pantries slated to open over the next few weeks. These new pantries are specially designed to serve people hit by the recession who have not accessed food assistance before.

To get the word out, we began an ad campaign this Monday, asking people to call 2-1-1 if they had been affected by the recent recession and are in need of food. After dialing 2-1-1, callers are connected with an operator who asks a series of questions that determine the caller’s eligibility to visit these special pantries. Based on their responses, qualified callers will then be referred to the nearest Recession Relief Grocery Pantry.


Our first pantry is operated in partnership with Providence Baptist Church. The spirit of giving was strong in the Bayview this morning, where the unemployment rate is over 40%. More than 20 volunteers from Providence Baptist Church were at the ready, and more than 125 people showed up seeking food. Truly an impressive turnout, painting an urgent picture of the level of need in the community as a result of the recession.


The gingham-wrapped tables were laden with beautiful galvanized tubs filled with gorgeous fresh peaches, perfect  potatoes, carrot hearts, red onions, celery, yams, juicy oranges, ripe-red organic tomatoes, amazing cucumbers as well as ravioli, pesto sauce, fruit punch mix, Coffee Mate and bread. Each recipient received a reusable bag. We had signs translated into 5 languages, plus bilingual volunteers from City College. Families and individuals were ecstatic and grateful.


Many thanks to our wonderful volunteers and everyone at San Francisco Food Bank who went to extra efforts to make this new pantry possible. And a big “thank you” to the team at ad agency Engine Company 1, who donated their time to create the campaign that’s spreading the word to those in need.

Here are more photos!





First Stone Fruit of the Season!!!


It’s officially summer at the Food Bank – we’ve just received our first stone fruit of the season!


Thanks to Simonian Fruit out in Fowler, CA for 38,000 pounds of fresh peaches. And thanks to the volunteers who are going to sort through it all and make sure only the best go out to our pantries:

Townsend and Townsend and Crew
Sheppard Mullin
Liner Law
Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP
Wells Fargo– Internet Services Group

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