San Francisco Supervisors Vote to End Hunger by 2020
In response to a recent hearing focusing on hunger, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution to end hunger and food insecurity in the city by 2020.
“It is unacceptable that in one of the richest cities on earth so many of our fellow residents should have to go to bed hungry or worried about their children’s nutrition every day,” said Supervisor Eric Mar, who sponsored the hunger hearing. “This resolution sets us on a path to solve a widespread problem in our city and create a national standard for food justice.”
The resolution was passed in response to a Board of Supervisor’s hearing Nov. 21, 2013, that examined the findings of two landmark reports: “Assessment of Food Security in San Francisco,” produced by the San Francisco Food Security Task Force, and “A Changing Landscape: Food Security and Services in San Francisco’s Tenderloin,” produced by the Tenderloin Hunger Task Force.
Among the reports’ key findings: 1 in 4 San Francisco residents are at risk of being food insecure and struggle to attain and prepare enough nutritious food to support basic physical and mental health.
Teri Olle, the Food Bank’s associate director of policy and advocacy, chairs the Food Security Task Force and was extensively involved in report research and analysis. Olle presented sections of the report at the November supervisor hearing.
“What is significant about the report is that we took the data and created a framework for thinking about food insecurity in the city,” Olle said. “It provides a model for understanding the landscape of food insecurity as well as a path for achieving food security. The data quickly shows where we need to prioritize our investments and how to address the biggest needs.”
According to Mar’s office, the resolution sets out a series of steps that will be reported on at a second hearing in March 2014. These include the following:
- the CalFresh Program is requested to analyze eligible non-beneficiaries in order to develop targeted intervention for increasing CalFresh enrollments;
- the Department of Aging and Adult Services is requested to provide an analysis of the funding required and policies needed to ensure homebound seniors and disabled adults are served within 30 days, and, in an emergency, within two to five days
- the Housing and Homeless Division of the Department of Human Services, in partnership with the City's homeless services providers, is requested to determine the (extra) cost of providing shelter meals that meet nutritional standards required of senior congregate meal programs; and be it;
- the Food Security Task Force is requested to explore strategies (and associated costs) for a voucher redeemable for healthy foods at local retailers including grocery stores, corner stores;
- the Department of Children, Youth and their Families is requested to work with community groups to develop a plan to expand the number of sponsors providing meals and snacks to youth;
- the San Francisco Planning Department will consider food security matters as part of its planning process for General Plan updates and major area plans.
Members of the task forces supporting the hearing include: Community Living Campaign, Department of Aging and Adult Services, Department of Children, Youth and their Families, Episcopal Community Services of San Francisco, GLIDE, Meals On Wheels of San Francisco, Project Open Hand, Salvation Army, San Francisco Department of Public Health, San Francisco Human Service Agency, SF and Marin Food Banks, SF Environment, St. Anthony’s, Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation, and UC San Francisco’s Center for Vulnerable Populations at SFGH.