Food Runners

Friday, September 8, 2017

Full Circle

by Susan Ammon, Volunteer
On-Call Runner

I became a Food Runners volunteer over 10 years ago. I heard a public service announcement about Food Runners on the radio and I thought this would be so much fun for my teenage daughter and I to do together as it was a requirement for high school students to do volunteer service. I also thought that this type of activity suited me perfectly as I grew up with a “waste not, want not” belief system.

We did the runs together going to Green’s Restaurant at Fort Mason every Sunday and delivered the food to a variety of places such as women shelters, low-income apartment buildings and SRO’s. We were always greeted with warm Thank You’s and we both felt good afterwards. My daughter graduated and moved on, but I couldn’t put FoodRunners away. I travelled a lot for work so couldn’t have a “regular run” but I was happy to receive a call for a last minute pick-up and delivery in my other child Putt Putt (a 1990 Honda Civic Wagon). Friends visiting from out of town often came on runs with me and we had a great time! In addition, whenever I am at a luncheon meeting or dinner, I try to check in to see if they know about FoodRunners and what great work they do and how they could support them. Spread the word of sharing and caring!

I recently retired from the San Francisco VA Medical Center after 34 years and have a little more time to volunteer.  

Walden House 890
One of my most recent food runs involved picking up the food donations from a large grocery store and delivering them  to HealthRIGHT 360's Walden House. HealthRIGHT 360, serves clients with mental health and substance use disorder issues at various residential and outpatient facilities throughout California. For over 50 years, Walden House has provided primary care, mental health, substance abuse disorder treatment, re-entry and supportive services to those who can least afford it.

Dr. Vitka Eisen
The President and Chief Executive Officer of HealthRIGHT 360 is Dr. Vitka Eisen. She is herself in long term recovery from substance use disorder. "I initially came to Walden House as a client in the mid-’80s. I was a heroin user." After  graduating from the program in 1987, Dr. Eisen ran the high school at Walden House. Over the years, she has served in various capacities at Walden House from director of the prison treatment program, overseeing all of criminal justice programs, to chief operating officer for about five years before being named CEO in 2010. Dr. Eisen has grown the organization to serve over 36,000 people annually. 

HealthRIGHT 360 New Integrated Care Center
In August 2017, HealthRIGHT 360 proudly opened its new Integrated Care Center on Mission Street. The Center provides a model capable of treating all San Franciscans but it is primarily designed to treat low-income patients, and  homeless individuals who can be more difficult to reach. The spacious new Center allows clients to receive comprehensive treatment services under one roof.

Food Runners Delivery at Walden House
Having the opportunity to serve an organization like Walden House by the simple act of delivering food means so much. As I mentioned above, I am a believer in waste not, want not and although I cannot do much about the wanting of food, I can help to prevent the wasting of food!  Thank you FoodRunners for all that you do and allowing me to be of service!