Food Runners

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Operational Update

by Mary Risley

Director, Food Runners

Ladies and Gentlemen; Boys and Girls; Friends and Family,

You know our story to date: 35 years ago, a small group of women and I started Food Runners with the mission of helping our fellow San Franciscans in need. In the spring of 1987, the staff and the San Francisco Food Bank could not handle fresh produce, because they did not have access to clean water to wash their hands. So, we decided to set up a non-profit where volunteers, in their own vehicles, could pick up excess perishable and prepared foods and deliver it directly to the neighborhood agencies feeding the hungry.

Today, with the help of approximately 300 volunteers, and a couple of paid drivers, we are picking up and delivering over 18 tons of edible food each year.

Now to how our story continues: Fifteen years ago, a man named Marv Zauderer spent many hours picking my brain on how to start and run a food recovery organization like Food Runners. He then founded a very similar program in Marin and called it ExtraFood.

Today ExtraFood is led by Executive Director Will Dittmar, and I am excited to announce that ExtraFood is now partnering with Food Runners to ensure our operations continue and expand in San Francisco. This partnership will allow us to combine our strengths and resources to combat food waste and hunger in San Francisco more effectively. As Director of Food Runners, I will be providing training and technical assistance to ExtraFood to ensure that our operations continue smoothly and efficiently.

We are thrilled to have ExtraFood on board and are confident that this partnership will enable us to make an even greater impact in our community. If you’d like to learn more about ExtraFood, their approach to food rescue, or their accomplishments in our space please visit ExtraFood and subscribe to their newsletter.

ExtraFood Food Recovery Driver Cisco with the ExtraFood truck

Again, I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to everyone who has supported us in the past, and I urge you to continue supporting us in the future. Thank you for being a part of this amazing journey.

Mary Risley
Director, Food Runners