Food Runners

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Seniors in San Francisco

by Nancy Hahn
Director of Operations/
Volunteer Coordinator

Full meal donations from Kaiser. Perfect for delivery to apartment buildings for Seniors.
Some go to socialize. Some go for the food. You may find some kicking up their heels in dance class. Just imagine your grandma laughing and cha-cha-ing her way across the floor of the rec room at the local Y. Art instruction. Bread making, Ceramics and crafts. Bingo. Healthcare instruction. Gardening. Field trips. Music appreciation. Free meals and more. These are examples of the many services offered by Senior Programs around San Francisco.
“Our day begins with people setting up work spaces for their art, while others peruse the daily newspapers to discuss the latest events. As para-transit vans arrive, individuals using walkers and wheelchairs join the other neighborhood regulars enjoying a cup of tea or coffee,” states Richmond Senior Center.
Telegraph Hill Neighborhood Center wants all elders participating the their Senior Program “to feel healthy and vibrant, connected and mentally sharp.” Their Senior Program provides hot lunches, group exercise classes, intellectual stimulation, weekly line dancing, tai chi, special workshops, monthly blood pressure screenings, and a computer lab.
“Our dining room is more than just where meals are served, it’s where people gather to connect, share and learn,” states Curry Senior Center.

Senior exercise class at Castro Senior Center.  (photo courtesy of Golden Gate Senior Services)
 Older adults are the fastest growing age group in town. Nearly 30% of San Francisco’s seniors live alone. With San Francisco’s cost of living recognized as being  62% higher than the national average, surviving on a fixed income in San Francisco is more challenging than ever before. It is estimated that 50,000 seniors in San Francisco struggle with varying degrees of food insecurity, from occasional need for some to daily need for others.
Home bound seniors in need of food can look to Meals on Wheels for assistance. Meals on Wheels delivers nutritious meals directly to client’s homes.  Meals on Wheels is the only organization in San Francisco that delivers two meals a day, seven days a week that are nutritionally-tailored to meet the dietary needs of eligible seniors.
Volunteer Julie G. accepting donations at Real Foods on Polk Street.
 For seniors who are not home bound, food is available at Senior Programs throughout the city. Food Runners currently serves over 35 Senior Programs on a regular basis. The list includes senior centers such as Curry Senior Center, group homes such as Progress Foundation's Rypin’s House, subsidized housing apartment buildings like Dorothy Day Community Center and drop-in centers such as Pilipin Senior Resource Center. “When our clients have enough to eat,” states E of the Pilipin Center, “they can pay their rent and stay off the streets. The food from Food Runners helps so much.”
Taking nutritious food that would otherwise be discarded enables Food Runners to make an immediate and meaningful impact on the seniors being served. At Food Runners, growing old doesn’t have to mean going hungry.