Food Runners

Friday, August 24, 2012

Hope on the Hill

From the hillside, the view unfolds in spectacular fashion. It's all there: the San Francisco skyline, the navy blue waters of the bay, the Bay Bridge, Treasure Island,  the Oakland Hills... the panorama stretches as far south as Mt. Hamilton.   And, unlike most of San Francisco, it's almost always sunny on the hillside.  A beautiful spot, right?  Wrong.  The hillside is Hunters View, a crumbling 267 unit public housing project that was constructed in 1956.  The buildings are colorless, dirty and dreary. The rumble and grind of bulldozers and back hoes echoes through the twisting streets only adding stress to the already stressed population. The good news is that the added stress is temporary. The old housing units are in the process of being demolished. Under the City of San Francisco's HOPE SF program, Hunter's View is being completely  revitalized with new housing, parks, landscaping, a community center and more. 

Welcome to the neighborhood
Tucked away at the end of West Point Avenue, past the piles of rubble, down some old cement stairs, in one of the still standing old units, you will find Hunter's View Community, a small makeshift community center that is a safe haven from the neighborhood's chaos. Hunter's View Community offers  programs for seniors, kids, teens and families.    

The Food Runners truck pulls up to Hunter's View Community,  mid-morning every Monday.  Drivers David and Kacie rolls up the truck's back door  to reveal  an assortment of food ranging from fresh fruit to deli salads to sandwiches to baked goods.  The donations come from Whole Foods where a single freckle on an apple relegates it to the "spoils." In other words, good stuff! 

Example of the "spoils" delivered to Hunters View by Food Runners
"We feed the small children first," states program coordinator, the tall, debonaire Emmanuel Hepburn.  "Then, the seniors.  What's left goes to the after school program and families.  Food Runners has made such a difference," Emmanuel continues.  "Not only do people get food that they really need, but because of Food Runners,  we can to spend less money on food allowing us to use it for other essentials that help keep the program going.  People are living so on the edge in this neighborhood.  Some of the kids go days without seeing a parent.  Food really helps rally the community too.  We have greater program participation because of the food. Especially from the teens.  More participation means less trouble!"

"We love Food Runners," a senior toward the back of the community room calls out.  "I'm here every Monday with my bag.  It's the best food I get all week."

Glad we can help, Hunters View Community.  Glad we can help.

Children and seniors first
Is your local market, bakery or restaurant  throwing away food that an agency like Hunters View Community can use?  Tell them about Food Runners.  A simple phone call to 415-929-1866 will keep the food out of the garbage and get it to San Franciscans in need.  It is estimated that 197,000 people in San Francisco struggle each day to feed themselves and their families. Food Runners is part of the solution. Tell everyone you know.