Food Runners

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

San Franciscans Care

By Nancy Hahn
Food Runners
Volunteer Coordinator

The Golden Gate is gorgeous, the hills magnificent and the bay sparkling. San Francisco is beautiful, no doubt. But even more beautiful than its natural wonders are the citizens of San Francisco who care. 

Care package assembly with Lindsay's family.
For the past two Christmases, Lindsay G’s two young sons made bagged lunches to give out to the homeless. This year, Lindsay’s husband’s entire family wanted to join the tradition. As December days grew shorter, the family collected new gloves, hats, rain ponchos, toothbrushes and other amenities for care packages to be handed out along with the bagged lunches. But after attending a Food Runners benefit and learning that there is “tons of food out there,” Lindsay wondered if, rather than buy and make more food, she could set up a plan for the whole family (24 strong!) to do food runs. On December 23rd, Lindsay and family, riding in six different cars, picked up from Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and Noe Valley Bakery, all for delivery to Haight Ashbury Food Program.  Robert of the Food Program set up a table in the parking lot where the children in Lindsay's family had the impactful experience of personally handing out the care packages to HAFP’s clients, a large percentage of whom are homeless. 

Care packages ready to go.
Carrie Sullivan, Culinary Programs Manager of CUESA contacted Food Runners in early December. “I have the opportunity to gather some CUESA volunteers together to make a holiday meal at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market on December 23rd, and wondered if there might be a shelter, group home, or drop-in program that might want some delicious food. Can Food Runners also help with pick up and delivery?” At noon on the appointed day, Food Runners Volunteer Michelle S arrived at CUESA’s kitchen for the pick up. The meal was loaded into Michelle’s car and delivered to the Fairfax, a group home for Veterans in the heart of the Tenderloin.

Volunteer Michelle S (left), wheeling CUESA's meal to her car.
Photo by Artie Cortez
“Hey, do you have anyone to pick up lots of food for the nuns on Sunday from here?” texted Chef Tim Stewart of McCall’s  Catering on the Friday before Christmas.  By “lots of food” Tim meant a complete Christmas dinner for over 500 people to be served at UN Plaza by the Sisters of Fraternite Notre Dame. Volunteers Mike K along with Ed S and his daughter Jessica jumped at the chance to make the pick up and delivery.  They met at McCall’s on the Christmas Eve afternoon and transported over 30 lexans filled with Tim’s holiday offering for the multitudes in need who would come to partake. 

Clockwise from top left:
1) Chef Tim preparing lexans for Volunteer Ed S. 
2) Tim and Ed loading Ed's pick up. 
3) Volunteer Mike K and Ed loading Mike's car. 
4) Unloading at UN Plaza.
In mid-December, Volunteer Kelly C called following her regular food delivery to A Woman’s Place Drop-in Center in SOMA. “A Woman’s Place is trying to put together a holiday lunch on Sunday, December 24th. They do not have cooking facilities and are seeking sandwiches, snacks and other easy to hand out type of foods.” Knowing that these specific donations might be in short supply on Christmas Eve, Food Runners contacted Annunciation Cathedral and asked if their parishioners might want to put together donations to fit the need. “We can do it!” exclaimed Christina at Annunciation. Food Runners Volunteer Samantha G picked up and delivered the donation. “Every time I do a run it reaffirms my commitment to Food Runners,” stated Samantha.  “Not only is the food needed by so many, I want to help the people who are out there helping.”

San Franciscans care. It means so much to so many.