Food Runners

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Friends and Family

By Nancy Hahn
Food Runners
Volunteer Coordinator

Food Runners Director Mary Risley and Mollie Stone's Sausalito General Manager David with helpers Xander and Nico
It doesn't need to be the Season of Giving for many Food Runners Volunteers to give the gift of taking friends and family along on their food runs.  Here are some of their stories.

Volunteer Molly M's kids Ryder and Rory picking up at Hamlin School
We got involved with Food Runners in 2014 because I wanted to find a way to give back to the community — and I wanted to be able to do it with my 3-year-old son.  Since then, Ryder has become a big brother, and now the three of us do runs together. I asked the kids (Ryder is now 8, and Rory is 3) what Food Runners means to them, and they said: "I like Food Runners because they get leftover food and bring it to people who need it, and I think that's very nice. My favorite part is delivering food and helping carry it inside." Volunteer Molly Mason.  Regular Runner. Fridays. Hamlin School.

Maura and daughter Grace in action on their Kaiser run
Doing my food run with my daughter Grace is a way to show her how important it is to give back to your community. It's a teaching moment for the both of us. Learning about gratitude and compassion. We both enjoy getting to know Margo at Bush Street Community and the seniors she helps. Volunteer Maura M. Regular Runner. Tuesdays. Kaiser Permanente.
Papa Seth with Ethan (6) and Matthew (4) on the job at the Ferry Building Saturday Farmers Market
I have been volunteering as a Food Runner since 2000. When my son Ethan was four and understood what I did as a Food Runner, he wanted in and has been food running for the past two years. Food Runners motto is very simple: we want people to be fed nutritious food that would otherwise go to waste. So, it is a very humbling experience every Saturday to go out and collect food from the generous farmers at the Ferry Plaza and take it to homeless shelters, the family shelters, half-way houses and soup kitchens across the city.

Ethan looks forward to doing it every weekend and talks about it at school and among friends. Together we do a little to give back to the city and the community of San Francisco, and it touches the lives of many, many people who would otherwise go hungry. It also teaches my son to be an active part of the community and that it is us, the people that should try to help the issues of homelessness and food waste in our city. We are very grateful to have this opportunity. Very soon and if space in the Food Runners truck allows, my almost four year-old son, Matthew will become a proud Food Runner too. It is never too early to start teaching children about helping and doing their part in stopping food waste. Seth A. Regular Runner, Saturdays. Ferry Building Farmers Market.

Paul H and his wife and son loading donations at Trader Joe's Stonestown

I had a visitor from San Diego visiting. He accompanied me on my Sunday morning run from three pick ups on Nob Hill to a men’s shelter in the Tenderloin. He was so impressed by the fact that food, which might have been simply thrown away, was given to those who were so grateful to have it. Karla J. Regular Runner. Sundays. White Swan Inn/Marine's Memorial Club/Meraki Market.
Tom D and 4 year old grandson Logan collecting donations at Fort Mason Framers Market
My grandchildren are now helping me with my food runs. Four year old Davis and his brother Logan, two, get more helpful every week. I think they really enjoy being part of the effort.  I still get help from their mom, Louise, and my other daughter, Jeannie as well. When Jeannie is home from college there are five of us working as a team. We all have come to know and greatly appreciate the people who donate each week.  And we all enjoy delivering the food to the veterans at Veteran's Academy in the Presidio. I can't think of a more worthwhile way for us to spend time together. Tom D. Regular Runner. Sundays. Fort Mason Farmers Market.