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Food Charities Come Together for Mock Earthquake Event; Provide 6,000 Meals

May 15, 2013

Denise Lamott

Karl Robillard
415.592.2736 (office);  415.722.4512 (cell)

SAN FRANCISCO (May 8, 2013) – On May 15, San Francisco’s major hunger charities will come together for their first-ever joint disaster planning event, simulating the aftermath of a 7.8 earthquake that has devastated the Bay Area.

Named “Disaster Feed SF – First Responders for Food,” the event is an opportunity for members of the Tenderloin Hunger Task Force (THTF) to practice providing meals for the area’s most vulnerable populations in the aftermath of a disaster.  The agencies will serve 6,000 hot meals without the use of electricity to residents of the Tenderloin from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 15, in the 100 block of Golden Gate Avenue.

Shortly after 12 p.m. on May 15, the mayor, fire chief and executive directors from participating agencies will roll up their sleeves and serve meals together, highlighting the critical message that disaster resiliency is a city-wide responsibility.

THTF agencies include St. Anthony’s, GLIDE, Meals on Wheels, Project Open Hand, the San Francisco and Marin Food Banks, The Salvation Army and the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation. In addition to allowing these agencies to practice disaster communication and coordination, the event will also educate neighbors in the Tenderloin and surrounding area about personal disaster preparedness through educational booths and handouts.

Disaster Feed SF is part of a statewide disaster preparedness event known as Golden Guardian 2013. Cities and counties throughout California will test emergency operations plans, policies and procedures for dealing with a catastrophic earthquake. 

The San Francisco Department of Emergency Management (DEM) has planned and organized exercises throughout San Francisco that focus on citywide coordination, shelter and care. The THTF organized Disaster Feed SF together with the DEM, the Human Services Agency of San Francisco, San Francisco Community Agencies Responding to Disaster and the American Red Cross Bay Area.

“During an actual event of this scale, the city will be mobilized to provide support, but we know that nonprofits are the key responders during the first 72 hours following a disaster,” said Cissie Bonini, on behalf of the THTF. “The purpose of this exercise is to recognize that no single organization can do this alone. This event will give us practice in responding to a crisis together.”

“The scenario is two days post-earthquake, and we will be feeding those populations least able to provide for themselves in the event of a disaster,” Bonini said. “Obtaining food is challenging enough for THTF clients under normal circumstances. Imagine the effect of a catastrophic event.”

Meals will include hot dogs, fruit, chili, coleslaw, bean salad, cookies, juice and emergency water. Agencies will also provide home-delivered meals to homebound and critically-ill seniors in the area.

“Actual emergencies look more like people coming together than cities falling apart,” said DEM Executive Director Anne Kronenberg. “San Francisco’s recovery starts with the community and our partners that are there to lend a hand.”

Follow the event live at #DisasterFeedSF.