Food Runners

Thursday, November 30, 2017

'Tis the Season

By Nancy Hahn
Food Runners
Volunteer Coordinator

The parties! The galas! The food! Soooo much food. The Embarcadero towers are a-twinkle. Visions of  sugarplums dance through our heads along with thoughts of all the other mouth watering delectables bound to turn up at holiday soirees. The Season of Excess is upon us. Excess for many, but not all.  An estimated 1/4 of San Francisco's population struggles to feed themselves and their families on a daily basis. That's approximately 190,000 San Franciscans facing the threat of hunger regularly.  It 's not The Season of Excess for them.

That's where Food Runners comes in because The Season of Excess is also The Season of Giving. Donations roll in at greater than normal volume during the holidays when those in need often feel the pinch the most.

Martin DePorres Director Charlie E. receiving Noe Valley Bakery donations
Donations like the 60+ frozen turkeys from Related on the Monday before Thanksgiving. Donations like the delicious array of cakes, pies and other baked goods donated annually on Thanksgiving Eve and Christmas Eve by Noe Valley Bakery. Especially needed by soup kitchens serving holiday meals.

SusieCakes annual Thanksgiving Eve donation ready for transport
Donations like Thanksgiving pies and cookies from SusieCakes, picked up by Volunteer Kim H. and her son Max. Delivered to and much appreciated by the veterans residing at Veteran's Academy in the Presidio. "Max and I have been doing the SusieCakes Thanksgiving Eve run for the past four years, Kim states. "It's become a meaningful part of our Thanksgiving ritual. I'm already signed up for next year!"

Tim's turkeys cooling and awaiting transport by Volunteer Karyn S.
Donations like an entire Thanksgiving Dinner for 700, complete with all the fixings, lovingly prepared by Chef Tim Stewart of McCall’s Catering. Chef Tim prepares the meal at McCall's commissary kitchen in the Potrero area. Food Runners volunteer Karyn S. then picks up the dinner from Tim for delivery to Fraternite Notre Dame in the Tenderloin. This takes several trips. Despite having moved to Southern California this past summer, Karyn was on the job, traveling north especially for her cherished Thanksgiving tradition a la Food Runners.

Tim's Thanksgiving Dinner being served in UN Plaza by Fraternite Notre Dame
Food Runners volunteers relish the holiday season. Showing up with food where it is needed most is gratifying at any time of the year, but showing up during the holidays is positively heart expanding. In the words of Food Runners founder Mary Risley, “The volunteers who pick up and deliver the food have an immediate sense of helping others at the most fundamental level. And the recipients have tangible proof that their fellow San Franciscans really care.” 

Want to join the important mission? There  are many ways to donate to Food Runners during the holiday season.

Over the bridges and through the hills, to holiday feasts we go...  Do you know what's happening to the leftovers at the all the dinners and parties you'll be attending this season?  Tell the host/caterer/event coordinator about Food Runners. Give the gift of food to those who need it most. It means so much.