SF legal community provides over $3,000,000 worth of much-needed food, thanks to Food from the Bar

Food from the Bar Chairs Jonathan Storper and Jim Donato

The San Francisco legal community really raised the bar in 2011, breaking all their previous records by bringing in $513,783 and 13,386 pounds of food to help end hunger in San Francisco and Marin. Since the San Francisco Food Bank can turn every dollar donated into $6 worth of food, that adds up to well over $3,000,000 worth of much-needed groceries for hungry families. Firms also completed 700 volunteer shifts, sorting and packing tons of food in our warehouse.

Now in its 20th year, Food from the Bar is a month-long campaign, in partnership with The Bar Association of San Francisco, that challenges law firms and legal departments throughout the city to fight hunger. It results in creative fundraising projects – including a miniature golf course that materialized in one law office, and attention-getting costumes, like the hotdog and peapod outfits sported by this year’s event chairs, Jim Donato (Partner, Shearman & Sterling) and Jonathan Storper (Partner, Hanson Bridgett) to support the cause.

Everyone at the food bank appreciates the dedication and hard work that goes into Food from the Bar. This year’s record is particularly meaningful because the San Francisco Food Bank has seen a 32 percent increase in demand for food assistance.

Here are the winning firms, along with our Platinum partners and number of meals their generous contributions will provide:

Per Capita Awards

Grand Prize: Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP
First Place: Fremont Group
Second Place : Bechtel Legal & Risk Management
Third Place Miller Law Group
Top Food Raiser:  Kirkland & Ellis, LLP
Top Volunteer Recruiter: Seyfarth Shaw LLP
Top Fundraising Achievement: Fremont Group
Rookie of the Year: Bechtel Legal & Risk Management

Platinum Partners

  • Stein & Lubin LLP- 42,867 meals
  • O’Melveny & Myers LLP- 53,868 meals
  • Farella Braun + Martel LLP- 55,448 meals
  • Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP- 56, 969 meals
  • Keker & Van Nest LLP- 63,300 meals
  • Shartsis Friese LLP- 67,755 meals
  • Bechtel Legal & Risk Management- 77,578 meals
  • PG&E Law Department – 84,975 meals
  • Kirkland & Ellis, LLP – 91,666 meals
  • Hanson Bridgett – 93,370 meals
  • Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP – 131,323 meals
  • Fremont Group – 247,080 meals

“It makes my heart warm.”

Frances is a new monthly donor, who was inspired to give after participating in a food drive and listening to the announcement of September 16th’s KGO Fights Hunger Day. 

I’m a daily KGO listener and last week, I heard them mentioning a big announcement coming the next day.  They mentioned it so many times that I thought it had better be pretty important, it had better change the world!

When I heard the executive director of the Food Bank on the radio the next day, I was just overwhelmed — I always am when I hear the numbers about hunger.  It made me think, because just two weeks before that we got a paper bag in the mail for the postal food drive.  My mom and I looked through our cupboards and then went to the store for more food to donate.  We ended up leaving two big bags of groceries out, and it felt good to do that.

I live with my senior mom and we’re paycheck to paycheck.  Between my paycheck and my mom’s social security, we don’t go hungry, thank the Lord.  We’ve been really tight, but we’ve never been hungry.  So when I heard about all of this on the radio that morning, I checked the Food Bank’s website and read about the programs, and I thought we should do some more.

When I told my mom that I wanted to donate money to the Food Bank every month, she asked me how I could afford it with all the bills.  We talked about it a lot and I realized I could probably drink a few less lattes, or pick up the paper a few times a week instead of every day.  If I cut back on a few things, I could make a small donation every month.  I’d like to donate more, but this is all I can do right now.

Knowing that so many people need this food doesn’t give you a good feeling.  But I think that if everybody gave just 5 or 10 bucks, we could all help each other a bit.  It makes my heart warm to know there are still organizations able to assist people to get through tough times and all these government cutbacks, and bottom line give people some sort of dignity.  I’m happy that I can give a little and the Food Bank will get the food out to people who need it.

To participate in our Meal a Month program, click here.

Stories that inspired us in 2010

5-year olds Ethan, Emily and Sophia taught us that you don't have to be big to make a big difference.

This past year, the need for food was staggering. We constantly broke our all-time monthly record for the most food delivered to hungry families in San Francisco and Marin, distributing millions of pounds of food every month.

How did we do it? With the help of amazing volunteers, donors and clients who constantly inspire us. Here are the people – and the stories – that will continue to inspire us to work even harder in 2011, not stopping until hunger in our community is truly a thing of the past:

Inspiration #1

There were a few tears shed in our office when this letter arrived…

Tamar and Ginger, thank you – and we’re so glad things are looking up for you!

Inspiration #2

Toan Lam, of GoInspireGo made this video about Herman Travis, who noticed that homebound seniors in his public housing community needed food and took it upon himself to see that they received it…

Read more about Herman and his good deeds here.

Inspiration #3

The pre-schoolers at With Care Child Care reminded us that, no matter how small you are, you can make a huge difference. See how they did it in this GoInspireGo video…

Read more about these amazing With Care kids and their teacher, Kathleen, here.

Inspiration #4

The story of pantry client “Ginny” and her teenage son reminded us of how important every single vegetable is…

“Ma, you got anything to eat?” And sad to say, a lot of times it’s like, “Mom, there’s nothing to eat.” That’s the worst thing, when your child is hungry and he can’t just get something to eat when he wants it. A lot of times, I eat less and sometimes don’t even eat so he can have something.

If we didn’t have the food bank, it would be a lot worse for my son. He’s a growing kid, he’s always hungry! And I’m always like, look, you gotta save something for another day. At our food bank here, we get vegetables and rice and a couple of things of juice. I appreciate it all, but you have to make it last. What I’ll do with certain kinds of vegetables we get – like onions, celery and bell pepper – is wash it off, soak it, cut it all up and freeze it. That way, it can stretch…

Read more of Ginny’s story here.

Inspiration #5

When we put out a call for people to write letters of hope and support that would go to our clients along with Thanksgiving groceries, thousands of letters flooded in, including one from San Francisco 49er Kevin Jurovich and a stack of letters and drawings from school children, some even in Spanish and Chinese… 

Read more about the Thanksgiving notes here.


Inspiration #6

Behind every one of our 200+ neighborhood grocery pantries are the volunteer pantry coordinators who take on the tremendous job of getting the food distributed every week. Here’s how a coordinator at one of our newest Healthy Children pantries sees the impact it’s making on a school in Marin…

A lot of people would probably be surprised to see the hunger and homelessness we encounter. It’s a wake-up call, especially here in Marin County. We discovered that we had between 100 and 110 homeless students at our school at any given time, and the only meals they ate were from our cafeteria. So not only were the students not getting a meal before or after school, the rest of their family wasn’t, either. That kind of instability, of constantly moving, of never living under your own roof or having enough to eat – that creates a tough environment for a child. These are some serious obstacles to learning. But I think our market is helping. It’s a small act with a big impact.

Read more about this wonderful new pantry here.  These are just a few of the people who inspired us this year. (There are a lot more stories here.) To all our many volunteers, donors, staff and clients, we give our sincere thanks – and our promise that we’ll work even harder in 2011, to make sure every family in our community has the food they need to thrive. If you’d like to help inspire us, please visit our website to learn more, donate and volunteer.

Pudge is worth his weight in food for the hungry

"Woof! I'm ready for my close-up!" Pudge the bulldog turned out in his finest to support the ABC 7 Holiday Food Drive this week.

People come up with all sorts of creative ways to collect food for the San Francisco Food Bank. Case in point, Valerie Lo, who invited friends (both human and canine) over for a party. The goal? To match twice the weight of her bulldog, Pudge, in donated food.

Pudge proudly poses with donations. How could you resist that face?

Luckily, Pudge is – well – pudgy. So the goal was 100 pounds of food, or “two Pudges,” as Valerie put it. Not only did Valerie’s guests bring 156 pounds of food (more than three Pudges), they also wrote $170 in checks – which enables the San Francisco Food Bank to distribute $1,020 worth of food!

Valerie and Pudge also turned out (in the rain, no less) to support the ABC 7 Holiday Food Drive this week. We’re hoping it brings in thousands of Pudges’ worth of food, because this holiday season, the need is greater than ever. We need cash, too. If you’d like to donate, click here, and we’ll give Pudge the credit. Consider giving $50 (a dollar for every pound of Pudge). That will enable us to distribute $300 worth of food. We think Pudge would approve!

Pudge checks out the haul.

Want to be inspired this holiday season? See what these 5-year olds did to help feed the hungry

A few months ago, we reported to you about Emily, Ethan and Sophia and their goal to rais money for the San Francisco Food Bank. Now we’d like to share a wonderful video of these 5-year old fundraising champs. Thanks to the video, produced by GoInspireGo, you can see them at work  – and hear why fighting hunger is so important to them.

Want to help add to the total raised by these little fundraisers with big hearts? Donate here, and we’ll make sure Ethan, Sophia and Emily receive credit for inspiring your gift. Want to help in other ways? Here are some ideas.

San Francisco 49ers write holiday notes to Food Bank clients – you can write one, too!

Members of the SF 49ers with holiday notes they wrote to SF Food Bank clients.

We’ve got a big goal: to give a note of caring and encouragement to each family receiving Thanksgiving groceries from the San Francisco Food Bank. That’s 35,705 notes!

Today, we got some help from the San Francisco 49ers, when Delaney Walker, Kevin Jurovich and Nate Byham stopped by our warehouse. Here’s one of the notes they wrote to our client families:

You can help, too! Write your note online and we’ll print it out to share with one of our 35,705 client families.

This holiday season, help us make sure families in need get all the nourishment we associate with Thanksgiving – and all the good cheer that makes the food taste so much better. Please join the 49ers and write a note here!

New Hybrid Truck Rolls Out Savings – and a New Look

San Francisco Food Bank client Onesimo Flores joins California State Assemblywoman Fiona Ma and Food Bank Deputy Executive Director Leslie Bacho in front of the new hybrid truck. Food Bank client Ava is depicted on the truck, enjoying a "very, very, very, very, very special delivery."

The San Francisco Food Bank recently celebrated the arrival of our first hybrid truck. Not only will the new truck mean a 38% savings in fuel costs, but it will also cut back on noise and pollution in neighborhood areas when deliveries are made.

The new truck’s look is as bold as its fuel savings. Actual Food Bank clients are pictured on each side, holding groceries like those the truck will be delivering to our 200+ pantries.

Our new truck, with some of the produce it will be delivering to hungry children, seniors and families.

Over the next five years, the San Francisco Food Bank aims to replace all 11 diesel trucks in our fleet with hybrid vehicles, in order to meet state-mandated regulations.

With our entire fleet converted to hybrid, we’ll see a fuel savings of approximately $25,842 every year. That’s enough to distribute an additional 103,000 pounds of food—or enough groceries for more than 80,700 meals!

The media turned out in full force for the truck’s launch (including three different TV stations), and California State Assemblywoman Fiona Ma joined in the festivities, along with a very proud SF Food Bank client, Onesimo Flores, 74, who is pictured on the truck.

SF Food Bank client, Onesimo Flores, 74, poses next to his photo on the new truck.

Our Grants Department worked tirelessly to make the new hybrid truck a reality. The truck purchase was made possible by a generous $100,000 lead gift from the Trustees’ Philanthropy Fund of the Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund and a $30,000 voucher from the California Air Resources Board’s Hybrid Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP).

The San Francisco Food Bank is grateful to all of the community partners supporting the effort to green our fleet: CALSTART, Eaton, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Coast Counties Peterbilt and Peterbilt Motors Company.

Thanks also goes out to Susan Fleming photography and advertising agency Engine Company 1, for helping us with the truck’s new look and text.

We need your help, too! Replacing all of our fleet with hybrid trucks in just five years is a huge challenge. If you’d like to help, please contact our Development Department at 415-292-1900.

Three 5-year-olds Raise Over $5,000! Can You Help?

"If we collect a big pile of money, can we throw it in the air?" Ethan, Emily and Sophia asked. "Sure!" their teacher replied. After raising over $5,000 to help feed those in need, they deserve to celebrate! See more photos in the slide show at the end of this story. (Photo by M. Pfeiffer)

It was a big day Thursday for 5-year old pre-school students Emily, Ethan and Sophia. They presented the money they’d raised by recycling cans (5,290 of them!) to the San Francisco Food Bank. Everyone celebrated at With Care Child Care, where graduating students always have to complete a community service project.

The three young fundraisers presented their “Big Money Jar” full of cash and checks to Food Bank Executive Director Paul Ash…

And held hands, while they announced in unison that they had raised “five thousand-three hundred-four dollars and five cents!” Then, as their proud teacher, Kathleen looked on, they told the crowd (again,  in perfect unison) that the amount they raised would provide enough groceries for 15,912 meals for hungry people…

Paul Ash thanked the students for their amazing accomplishment and presented them with certificates of thanks from the San Francisco Food Bank. Ethan, Emily and Sophia proudly posed with their certificates…

If you’d like to help make the amount these amazing 5-year olds raised even bigger, you can make a donation here. Specifiy “With Care” in the “Organization” field and we’ll make sure it gets credited to their grand total!

Here’s a slide show about Emily, Ethan and Sophia’s project and their celebration:

Slide show photos by M. Pfeiffer and S. Newman

Our 5-Year Old Fundraisers Top $1,600!

Our young fundraisers smash cans to recycle for cash (Photo by M. Pfeiffer)

For their pre-school graduation project, Emily, Ethan and Sophia are recycling cans and collecting donations for the San Francisco Food Bank. So far, they’ve managed to raise an amazing $1,6.17.85 – and have a lot of fun!

Here’s the letter they wrote to our Executive Director, Paul Ash, with the exciting news:

If you’d like to help Emily, Ethan and Sophia fill their “big money jar” or add to the stash of cans they’re recycling for 5 cents apiece, please contact their teacher, Kathleen, at 415-550-7527. Or, you can make a donation on our website, using this special link. We’ll be sure that Emily, Ethan and Sophia get credit for your generous support of their cause!

Our Youngest Fundraisers Are At It Again!

Emily, Ethan & Sophia are determined to help feed the hungry (Photo by M. Pfeiffer)

Every year, the graduating pre-school students at With Care Child Care have to complete a public service project. Last year, 5-year old Phoebe decided to recycle soda cans and donate the money to the San Francisco Food Bank. Not only did she beat her goal of raising $1,000 – the story of her “really, really big” goal spread over the internet, and Phoebe ended up raising $20,000!

This year’s graduating class is at it again, writing letters and smashing cans. Emily, Ethan and Sophia haven’t set a monetary goal, but they do have a personal goal: to learn to work together. Here’s the letter they sent out asking for help:

If you’d like to help Emily, Ethan and Sophia fill their “big money jar” or add to the stash of cans they’re recycling for 5 cents apiece, please contact their teacher, Kathleen, at 415-550-7527. Or, you can make a donation on our website, using this special link. We’ll be sure that Emily, Ethan and Sophia get credit for your generous support of their cause!

%d bloggers like this: