Our Community Cookbook: Holiday Recipes and Stories

November 15, 2022

How many of our favorite holiday memories revolve around food? Spanning different cultures, regions and families, food is at the center of our tables and our traditions, especially during this time of year. So, inspired by the season, we set out to ask Food Bank staff, volunteers, and our community what some of their favorite holiday recipes and food-related memories are. Please enjoy this collection of stories and tasty treats – and let us know if you make any!

Hui Yu’s Soy Sauce Turkey and Potatoes

We met Hui Yu at her neighborhood pantry in the SOMA district, where she volunteers regularly and picks up groceries for her and her husband as well. Prior to retirement, Hui Yu worked in a restaurant kitchen, so she’s no stranger to feeding others. Now, she often cooks meals for friends in her senior living facility who can’t make it out to the pantry. Poultry was at the top of Hui Yu’s list as a holiday main: “With chicken, sometimes I’ll roast or fry it. Or, we’ll have the whole family over and then celebrate together with a turkey. On the outside, I’ll use Chinese soy sauce, put it all over the skin, massage it, and then inside, put some potatoes.” Sounds delicious!

Katherine’s Pfeffernüsse

Katherine, Donor Database Coordinator at the Food Bank, shared a Pfeffernüsse recipe (German spiced cookies) that brings back the memories of a winter trip with friends years ago. “One of the joys of food for me is that it can so easily evoke memories and sensations from good times with those I love, or on adventures in places I love. Pfeffernüsse will always remind me of the Christmas I spent in Berlin visiting friends. One bite and I’m suddenly coming in from the biting cold to have a small treat of the spiced cookie and a cup of hot tea after my daily ritual of wandering through the neighborhood Weihnachtsmarkt. The glazed version is common, but I also like them with a dusting of powdered sugar or just plain.” Keep scrolling for her full recipe!

Barbara’s Okra, Cornbread, and Sweets

Barbara, a senior living in the Fillmore who picks up groceries at her neighborhood pantry, sees the holidays as an opportunity. “My favorite recipes for the holidays are things you don’t make on a regular basis, traditional recipes that comes down from your family. My favorite recipe that was passed down to me is my mother’s okra.” At first thoughtfully pondering what else makes up her usual holiday table, Barbara began quickly listing other favorites: “I’m a dessert person, so I make lemon pies, coconut pineapple cake, peach cobblers and banana puddings. Oh, and cornbread dressing! Because there’s no recipe for that – it has the basics, the trinity: onion, pepper, celery. But it’s more of a feeling. So, the trick to that is to make a scratch cornbread.” We agree. Often, the best recipes aren’t written down or in a cookbook – they’re a feeling, or a memory.  

Steve’s Turkey Dinner

“I think holiday meals are always a way of coming together with family,” Steve told us at his neighborhood pantry. He’s a military retiree and a volunteer at his local pantry, where he also picks up groceries for him and his wife. For his family, the holidays are about the joining of different traditions. “I have a traditional turkey dinner, where I usually go up to my sister’s house for Thanksgiving. And then I host a turkey dinner for my wife’s family. My wife’s Chinese, so we tend to do Chinese vegetables, mashed potatoes and cranberries [on the side].”

Kim’s Naw Mai Fan

As Program Manager at the Food Bank, Kim is around good food quite a bit! But nothing quite compares to her family recipe for naw mai fan. “This is my mom’s recipe. She learned how to make this from my grandmother, an immigrant from the Toisan region of China in Guandong province. My grandmother came to San Francisco’s Chinatown right after World War II, where she raised my mother. We make naw mai fan every Thanksgiving and Christmas and it is my all-time favorite food.” Full recipe is included below, so please let us know if you give it a try!

María’s Ponche con Piquete

Sharing is caring! María is a mom, volunteer, and pantry participant in San Rafael. She told us that her family embraces potlucks during the holidays, but also for camping trips and other gatherings throughout the year. “Our tradition for Christmas is to get the whole family together, and everyone brings a little something. Someone brings the pozole, someone else the tamales, the champurrado, the ponche. We make ponche con piquete, like we call it back home – it’s made from fruit, and you add wine to your liking.” 

 

 

This is just a small sampling of the wide variety of food traditions in our community – a huge thank you to all who shared with us! To neighbors across San Francisco and Marin, we wish you a happy holiday season. We hope some of these recipes and stories inspire your next culinary adventure!

Detailed Recipes

Thank you to Katherine for sharing her Pfeffernüsse recipe. Here it is, in full: 

 

Thank you to Kim for sharing her family’s naw mai fan recipe. Here it is, in full:

 

Farmer’s Market Style…Is Always In Style

November 15, 2022

On a warm Tuesday morning in August, hundreds of our neighbors in the Canal District of San Rafael shopped for groceries. To an outsider, it might look like a farmer’s market, teeming with activity and brimming with bright produce. Birds chirped, kids shouted and laughed at the nearby Pickleweed Park play structure, and people stood around chatting.

This Marin food pantry looked much different than Tuesdays past. In late August, Bahía Vista was the first to switch from pre-bagged groceries back to farmer’s market style pantries – the way our pantries operated for years, prior to COVID.

COVID Pantry Pivots

Farmer’s market style means people choose what they want (and leave what they don’t), rather than taking home grocery bags packed by volunteers. Pre-COVID, all food pantries run by our neighborhood partners operated this way. But due to social distancing guidance, pre-packed bags became the norm.

Now, nearly three years later, we are slowly working our way towards re-opening farmer’s market style at all food pantries.

“What you’ll eat, you take”

At Bahía Vista, community members voiced their support for the transition.

“I thought this was kind of cool. There were times [before] where you might get something that you don’t necessarily need,” said Aaron, a dad of three and private security worker. “For us, six onions is a lot – I don’t know what to do with so much onion.”

Other neighbors like Mirsa agreed. “I love this. What you’ll eat, you take; and what you won’t, you can just leave, so it doesn’t go to waste.”

Picking what you like, what you know how to cook, taking as many ingredients as your family can use and leaving the rest are all meaningful decisions. And an essential part of offering services in a dignified way means ensuring our neighbors can say no to items they don’t want, or can’t use. As Community Support Coordinator Angela notes, “participants are more relaxed as they shop.”

Farmer’s Market Style Forecast

“For me, this pantry style is perfect.” – María, mom, volunteer and participant at Bahía Vista

The Food Bank is hoping to pivot all Pop-up Pantries back to this model in the future. Our second Pop-up Pantry, Golden Gate, just made another successful transition to farmer’s market in late October. And though it will take time and careful planning to pivot the remaining pantries, given that some see thousands of neighbors in a day, the positive reception and seamless transition at Bahía Vista and Golden Gate bodes well for farmer’s market style at other Pop-ups.

“Participants love the fact that they don’t have to take all the food items, and the children like helping the adults shop. And one of our favorite things, as staff, is seeing our participants interact with volunteers, as they now meet face to face while shopping for their desired options,” shared Mikey, Site Supervisor at Bahía Vista. “It’s been a great success.”

 

Latin American Heritage Month

September 15, 2022

Hispanic, Latino, Latina, Latinx, Latine, Latin: To recognize this heritage month, we asked Food Bankers to share their preferences and thoughts on the terms we use to describe a population that encompasses a vast array of different countries, cultural traditions, languages, ethnicities, and more.

Survey Results

From our survey results, several things were clear:  

1) Overwhelmingly, Food Bankers who identified as part of this community do not identify with the term “Hispanic.”  

2) The majority of Food Bankers surveyed who identify as part of this community personally use Latino/Latina to identify themselves. However, the majority of Food Bankers also recognized and agreed with the use of the term “Latinx” to promote gender inclusivity.  

3) When possible, it is always best to ask individuals exactly how they personally identify.  

Limitations of Terms

We know none of these terms fully capture the complexities of the communities we are trying to represent, because the communities that have been grouped under the umbrella of “Hispanic” or “Latino” are not a monolith. All of these terms have pros and cons, and often directly tie back to histories of colonization/attempts to fit different diasporic communities under one label, voting bloc, etc.  

Decision: Latin American/Latinx

At the Food Bank, we want to use this month to uplift food changemakers who identify as part of this community in all their fullness and complexity. But talking about a large group of people necessitates a broader term. Given the feedback from our staff, this year we have landed on “Latin American Heritage Month,” and using the term “Latinx” as well.

We are continually reevaluating our language for inclusivity and accessibility.

Expanding Immigrant Rights and Justice: Q&A with Alex Danino

July 25, 2022

Every other month, Alex is a steering committee member and also meets with the Immigrants’ Rights and Justice Work Group of Marin. She is joined by representatives from nearly two dozen other community organizations.

As the Food Bank’s Senior Program Manager for CalFresh, Alex has seen firsthand the struggles some immigrant communities face regarding food insecurity. 45% of undocumented immigrants in California are food insecure, according to a report by Food4AllCoalition.

She understands how misconceptions and policies like the Public Charge rules, which deny lawful permanent residency to those who rely on public benefits, can prevent immigrant families from accessing crucial services. While CalFresh isn’t a public charge program, many still won’t apply out of fear. By partnering with fellow organizations in Marin, the Food Bank is able to be part of holistically serving our community and addressing the challenges they face.

We spoke with Alex to learn more about what the Committee is currently focusing on and what their plans are to further reach and support immigrant communities in Marin.

Food Bank: Can you tell us a little more about the Immigrant Rights and Justice Work Group and how it started?

Alex: The Immigrant Rights and Justice Work Group started as a Public Charge Working Group at first. We started to see lack of enrollment in public benefits, such as MediCal, CalFresh, and WIC, rental assistance, and this was due to the Public Charge fears during the Trump administration. So, we started to meet to talk about the challenges and what we were hearing on the ground. We also shared data and started to talk about strategies to support and undo the harm of the Public Charge rule towards the community.

Today, we’re still working with many nonprofits and organizations that represent the diversity of Marin County that work with older adults, children, families, the unhoused community, etc. We [Food Bank] were one of the initial partners that began raising the concern about access to CalFresh.

FB: What inspired you to do this work?

What really inspires me about this work is being able to lead by the voices from lived experience on the barriers to access and work with partners because I’m able to do my work in a multidisciplinary way and address the root causes of hunger. I’m able to listen and understand the challenges that organizations face. I get to hear about how they’re providing resources like rental assistance to clients that are facing high rent and costs while alleviating barriers to fair wages.

To me, food access brings an opening to the world of what more we can be doing. It’s such an ongoing opportunity for me to constantly learn and understand the community. The collective, the partnerships, the on-the-ground work, and overall motivation to help support clients in a holistic way are what inspires me.

FB: What is the Working Group currently focusing on?

We’re currently focusing on these priority areas:

  1. Ensure access to benefits and services, including disaster-related benefits
  2. Advance equitable recovery from COVID-19
  3. Implement federal immigration relief policies
  4. Reduce educational disparities and inequities

FB: Are there any specific challenges immigrant communities in Marin face?

Alex: Most of the immigrant community in Marin County is from Guatemala, Mexico and El Salvador. So, one challenge is they must navigate languages since not everyone speaks Spanish and there aren’t community interpreters and materials for the Mayan Indigenous community.

The other main challenge overall for the immigrant community is fear in advocating for their rights. The immigrant community feels like they have no voice due to racism against immigration. We also saw that with the pandemic and everything that was happening there were challenges on access to housing, fair wages, education, immigration status, and really understanding the Public Charge rule. So that’s why we’re working with organizations that represent the diversity of Marin County that also work with seniors, children, families, the unhoused, etc.

I’ve also seen more community members getting involved in community meetings and initiatives to talk about the challenges, find ways to get more involved and co-create solutions.

FB: What are you most proud of accomplishing within the Work Group?

I would say that the thing that I’m proud of is just the immediate support everyone provides as challenges occur. I’ve been able to share how we’re able to message around providing food for all in our pantry network and making it a safe space for all.

We also collaborate with First 5 to host forums. Every year they have several educational forums and educate on policy, bring in policymakers, along with Marin Community Foundation and Health and Human Services.

FB: Is there anything else you’d like to share?

This partnership is crucial. We’re all working in specific areas and in many ways , which can sometimes make us work in a silo. But by broadening and expanding partnerships, as we do in the IRJ Work Group we can do so much more. As a trusted member we can share resources of other organizations, which gives immigrants more ease while they get back on their feet, and that to me is collective impact towards sustainability.

The gratitude that comes from the community is so powerful. They pray for our families and us and give us blessings from their heart. And that to me is priceless.

 

Building a Participant Volunteer Community One Bag at a Time

April 19, 2022

Mei has been picking up weekly groceries at our Martin Luther King Jr. pop-up pantry in the Portola neighborhood of San Francisco every week. After she retired as a seamstress, she took care of her grandchildren after they were born until they grew up. 

One day, Food Bank staffers passed out flyers asking participants if they’d be interested in volunteering. When Mei was approached, she immediately offered to volunteer and was eager to jump right in. 

“I enjoy coming here and wanted to help out,” said Mei, who smiled behind her mask while packing some carrots and winter squash into a food bag at the Martin Luther King Jr. pop-up pantry. “I always took my grandchildren to this park to play,” says Mei, “so this is my neighborhood.” 

Since then, Mei has been coming every week to pack food bags. Every Monday morning, the closed-off street next to Palega Playground and Recreation Center in the Portola neighborhood and just over a mile away from John McLaren Park turns into a food pantry. It’s a well-orchestrated symphony that participants have seen every week but are now helping to conduct. 

From Participant to Volunteer 

Louisa Cantwell, who supervises the pop-up, was looking for an opportunity to engage more with the community and decided to ask if the participants wanted to volunteer at this pantry with the Food Bank.  

“Even though the participants all speak different languages, there’s a genuine sense of community here. A participant volunteer said to me that she’s not able to donate food or money to the Food Bank. But she’s able to give her time, and she didn’t know she was able to do it before. She feels very empowered by that.” 

It’s also been easier for Louisa to fill up volunteer shifts. 

“What we found was by removing the barrier of having to sign up for a shift through our website, we were easily able to get people to come down and volunteer two to three hours of their time every Monday morning.” 

Annette, who’s a longtime volunteer, enjoyed seeing the change of pace since she started. “This is already a community-building experience,” she said. “To have participants volunteer with us too is incredible.” 

Preparing for 2022 and Beyond 

Louisa is planning to invite participants to volunteer at several other pantries. Because the community stepped up at the Martin Luther King Jr. pop-up, she’s hopeful that other pantries will see similar results 

“It’s really important to put equity at the center of what we do. These opportunities will give participants agency, choice, and power in the food distribution.” 

For Mei, volunteering while also receiving food made an impact on her. 

“I’m grateful to be able to get this food while volunteering because it helps so many people.” 

Honor Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month

October 15, 2021

We honor #LatinxHeritageMonth and #HispanicHeritageMonth and celebrate the members of the Latinx and Hispanic community. We have immense gratitude for our partners who work so hard to #endhunger in these communities in SF & Marin every day. Knowing that food insecurity rose to 19% in the U.S. amongst Latinx and Hispanic people last year, according to Feeding America, please consider showing support for our many partners who serve the Latinx and Hispanic community.

Honramos el #MesdeHerenciaLatinx y #MesdeHerenciaHispana y celebramos a los miembros de la comunidad latina y hispana. Tenemos una inmensa gratitud por nuestros socios que trabajan tan duro para acabar con el hambre en estas comunidades en SF y Marin todos los días. Reconociendo que la inseguridad alimentaria aumentó al 19% en los EE. UU. dentro de la comunidad latina /hispana el año pasado según Feeding America, considere mostrar su apoyo a estos socios.

The First 100 Days | Q&A With Executive Director Tanis Crosby

May 27, 2021

100 days into her tenure at the Food Bank, Executive Director Tanis Crosby reflects on her experience, her gratitude, and on the enormity of the imperative work ahead.

Tanis CrosbyWhat’s your overall pulse, 100 days in?

I feel incredibly grateful and humbled and… at home.

What’s one memory from your first 100 days that will stick with you?

One Wednesday evening, I volunteered packing boxes of food for seniors. Music was playing through the speakers—whoever curates our playlists is just magical—and next to me was this lovely man named John, who had been volunteering with us on Wednesdays for 21 years, wearing his food bank sweatshirt as a badge of pride. Next to John were a couple of women who were having a blast working together, just completely welcoming, and some families who came to volunteer as a unit. It was this beautiful community within a community that had sprung up.

At the end of the shift, the Food Bank project leader Robert announced how many pounds we had collectively packaged, and I looked around and felt such pride and celebration of taking action to fight hunger together. It was such a clear image of our vital service and the wholly unique way in which we bring the community together for a great cause. It was a moment.

Your second 100 days may look very different from your first as vaccines roll out. How is that changing the way you think about our priorities?

The pandemic is revealing that which we already knew to be true: Poverty and racism are inextricably linked to food insecurity. That is not going to go away when the masks go away. We’re going to focus on advancing our mission with the analysis and the framework that this team’s wisdom created, which is understanding that we are addressing not only the consequences of hunger, but also the causes. We will work on upstream and lasting solutions and are steadfast in our commitment to ensure we are making meals possible for our neighbors right now.

As we look forward, we also need to determine what it means to sustainably serve all of those who need us – those we are currently reaching and those we hope to reach. After more than a year spent responding to this crisis, how do we return to solutions we know work, but weren’t possible during the pandemic – like a farmer’s market style distribution to enable choice – and what innovations from our crisis response do we maintain – like the grocery delivery. This will be hard work, but it is essential work. The Food Bank is part of a critical safety net that is made up of grassroots, well-established, and new community-led organizations as well as government programs. Together we will find the solutions. Because we are all working collectively to fulfill our purpose of ending hunger.

This isn’t just a vision, it will be a future, with partners, donors and volunteers making it real.

Do you think there are ways in which the pandemic has changed our community for the better?

The pandemic was a stark reminder that you can work hard, get a job, and still find yourself at risk of homelessness or relying on the Food Bank to make sure that you’re not choosing between your PG&E bill and feeding your family. You can have good job and not be able to make ends meet in San Francisco or Marin.

That’s not going to go away anytime soon. And what it has created is empathy and a deep-seated understanding that food is a human right. The community wants to be part of taking care of each other. Whether they are a 10 year-old donating their small proceeds from a lemonade stand, or a Foundation giving millions, donors of all ages, of all means are recognizing that we’ve got to take care of each other. And that has been completely inspiring.

The Food Bank just announced its Capital Campaign to expand warehouse facilities. How do you envision that helping to chart our way forward?

In this coming year, we have a tall order. Delivering on these expansion plans is really about delivering on current community need; we started this project 5 years ago with the goal of building for the future, but it turns out we are building for right now.

We are renovating not to expand, but to sustain. Because it’s not about a building and it’s not about the number of pounds of food, it’s about having the space to feed our neighbors who are making real and practical choices every day about where they’re spending scarce dollars. Our community is hurting. People are making choices–choices that weigh on families, choices that are hard and hurt.

Our job is to relieve that hurt, to make it less stressful and more hopeful. It is not about a building. It’s about what happens as a result of having that capacity to deliver on this critical need, person, by person, by person, in all of the neighborhoods in which we serve.

What has surprised you most during your first 100 days?

What surprised me was what it means to see that sheer scope upfront, to see it come alive in the field. What surprised me was how excited I would feel to see the orders being built, knowing that they would be landing in a neighborhood pantry, a pop-up or a drive-thru and put into the hands of people in our community, our neighbors. Just the magnitude of what this scale feels like, to see it and to know what it means, not just hear about it or read about it, but to see it. And just the enormous sense of… I can’t think of another word other than pride. I feel so proud to be part of this team – staff, donors, and volunteers – that is delivering food and hope to every corner of our community.

Food Bankers Tell Their Stories

March 16, 2021

365 Days of Unprecedented Need

The time before COVID-19 fully entered our collective consciousness feels so far away, so unrecognizable it isn’t fair to say they feel like 10 years ago – it is of a different place and time entirely.

It’s almost as if we all celebrated the New Year prematurely, ignoring a much more consequential marker of time: March 17, the day the Bay Area shelter-in-place order officially went into effect. The eve of which was not spent watching fireworks or drinking something bubbly, but panic shopping and hoarding toilet paper and hand sanitizer.

After a very long and very challenging year that has forever changed the fabric of our community, we do not celebrate but we acknowledge this occasion. Between March 2020 and March 2021 more than 529,300 (as of 3/15/21) people died of the coronavirus, tens of millions of people lost their jobs, hundreds of thousands of businesses shut down, and in the process, 45 million people nationwide – including 15 million children – were thrust into food insecurity.

Food pantry line

“I was naïve.”

Food Bank staff packs bags

“I’m pretty sure I was at the office,” said Michael Braude, thinking back to when he first heard about the shelter-in-place order. “We already had been meeting to address our response efforts, but I don’t think anyone expected a complete shut-down to come from out of the blue as it did.”

Looking back none of us expected to be here a year later.

“I was naïve. I thought it would be over when the order was lifted – three weeks later,” remembers Gunilla Bergensten.

Food Bank staff and volunteers

“A devastating blow.”

As the months wore on, we all saw the images of food bank lines nationwide and the heart-breaking portraits of those in them. For the Food Bank staff, this need was not distant. Day in and day out we saw our community hurting, we saw our neighbors, our friends, and our family in need.

Cars wait for food pantry

“COVID has magnified the existing health and income disparities in the community I support,” said Lucia Ruiz. “This has been a devastating blow, which often causes me to feel both sadness and anger.”

Lucia Ruiz

Almost overnight we saw the need in our community double. In just 2 months we went from serving 32,000 households a week to 62,000 (we are now steadily seeing about 55,000 households weekly).

“Seeing the surge in people who needed food, oftentimes for the first time in their lives, kept me going,” said Joseph Hampton.

Food Bank warehouse

Keeping up with that level of demand was no small feat.

“The biggest challenge I think was getting food quickly while the retail market crashed. And operating at such a high UOS (Food Bank term for households) without increasing our physical working space,” said Angela Wirch. “With everyone panic shopping there was no getting rice…there were so many challenges. The money and infrastructure were gradual, but the need was immediate. We filled that second warehouse so fast.”

Angela Wirch

Two tractor-trailers, 10 bobtails, two new warehouses, and one giant tent to cover our parking lot later, we somehow found the space for 77 million pounds of food to meet the tremendous need.

Food Bank warehouse

Finding the People Power

“Never in my career have I experienced a more profound threat of not having a safe work environment for workers or enough workers available to run the operations,” said Nadia Chargualaf.

Nadia Chargualaf

“Half of our team was incapacitated because of COVID, so we were short-staffed for a long period,” said Johnny Lee, remembering how many staff members needed to stay home because of their health. “Many of our sites were closed at the beginning, and a few remain closed to this day. We used some PPE before COVID, but now we follow all the guidelines given to us by the CDC and strictly try to enforce distancing between participants.”

Johnny Lee

Cody Jang remembers, “I was at work when the news came in. Within hours we had lost close to 3,000 volunteer reservations. We were worried about how we would complete the work without volunteers.”

Cody Jang

But the community not only stepped up, they stepped up in droves. Within a matter of months, if not weeks, we were seeing twice as many volunteers as we welcomed pre-pandemic – that’ more than 157,000 volunteer hours since March 2020. Not to mention the support of Disaster Service Workers, corporate partners and community groups.

United Playaz

Challenges: Emotional and Physical

“The biggest challenge has been trying to stay safe during the days that I physically need to be at the office. Even after all this time, I still get a bit of anxiety when working in the office due to the extra layers of planning and endurance (mask-wearing, sanitation, etc.) that go into working within close proximity to others during the pandemic,” said Joseph Hampton.

Joseph Hampton

“The biggest challenge is really the emotional toll that COVID is taking,” said Ken Levin. “Both in people we may know that have been directly affected, or those affected tangentially. This past Saturday, I brought food to a friend who had just lost a family member. I left it at her doorstep. Then on Monday, I attended an online memorial for another friend’s husband. Not being able to see, hug, and be with these people in their time of need has been particularly difficult.”

Ken Levin

“There were multiple types of challenges to face. But one that I really wasn’t ready for was the isolation and loneliness of being separated from my loved ones,” reflects Lauren Cassell. “A lot of things in my life changed because of the pandemic, and I wish I had been more kind to myself. Having hard, unproductive days in the midst of a pandemic is okay.”

Lauren Cassell

Policy Makers Rise to the Occasion

As the need rose, so did the public consciousness around food insecurity. Even before the pandemic 1 in 5 San Francisco and Marin residents was at risk of hunger. Food Banks can’t meet the need alone.

“Before COVID, getting movement from elected officials on policies that impacted low-income people was much more of an uphill battle. By thrusting millions more Americans into hardship, COVID forced politicians to listen to anti-poverty and anti-hunger advocates much more seriously and take immediate action,” reflects Meg Davidson. “Things we’d been told were impossible for years we were able to make happen in a matter of weeks. Turns out, we were onto something when we’ve been repeating that making it easier for people to get the help they need when they fall on hard times is good for everyone.”

Meg Davidson

“We adjusted, pivoted and made the necessary changes to help more in our community to reduce food insecurity during the pandemic. I’m proud of some of our legislative victories, such as, improvements to CalFresh, like waivers, increases in benefits, the P-EBT rollout, online EBT purchase ability, etc.,” said Marchon Tatmon.

Mayor London Breed with Food Bank staff and volunteers

Perseverance Despite the Weight of the World

“I feel very lucky to work at the Food Bank. As challenging as this year has been, I am grateful for my colleagues. I’m heartened by the generosity of our supporters,” said Iris Fluellen.

Iris Fluellen

“There have been challenging moments, and breaking points, and everything in between, but we’ve kept the work going for our communities and for ourselves,” said Claudia Wallen. “My mom always says, ‘You must have a plan B, and if possible, a plan C.’  Never before has she been more right.”

Claudia Wallen

“Being able to help so many new people get CalFresh benefits – and getting to know my staff’s pets – has kept me going,” shared Liliana Sandoval.

Liliana Sandoval

“Although I haven’t sat in my pod or met everyone internally or externally, I’m humbled to be a part of the team,” shared Denise Chen. “The dedication and commitment we have in serving our community is truly amazing.”

Denise and Donna

“Growth is messy, even when you plan it. We definitely haven’t felt like the most organized bunch on some days, but we did the work that needed to get done clear-eyed and together. My heart is so full of respect and love for each and every team member,” said Kera Jewett. “We may have been tired, sore, in PJs, short-staffed, and completely overwhelmed, but I know for a fact everyone did their level best every single day. I couldn’t ask for a better group of people to go into battle with.”

Kera Jewett

“Looking back I would tell myself, this looks really bad, but there are many, many good people doing amazing things to turn this situation and this world around, politically, scientifically, and morally, so keep your eye on the prize and don’t give up,” said Bob Brenneman.

Bob Brenneman

 

Statement on Recent Attacks | 關於最近攻擊的聲明 | Declaración sobre ataques recientes

February 12, 2021

The Food Bank unequivocally denounces the surge of violent, racist attacks that are being perpetrated against Asian Americans in the Bay Area and around the country.

The pandemic has exacerbated anti-Asian racism and hate. Between March 19, 2020 and December 31, 2020 Stop AAPI Hate received over 2,800 firsthand accounts of anti-Asian hate incidents, and more than 700 of those took place in the Bay Area. We are horrified by the trauma being inflicted on our community as a result of violent racism and xenophobia.

We are in resolute solidarity with our Asian American staff, participants, partners, and supporters during this incredibly challenging time. The community continues to suffer lost wages, businesses, and lives due to COVID-19. We also echo the recent calls of many Asian American organizations in the Bay Area to demand action from our local leaders to do more to stop these attacks.

More than half of the Food Bank’s participants are Asian Americans, many of them elders, and we see firsthand the fear and trauma the community is experiencing. Our team cares deeply for our participants and is working to ensure our food distributions remain safe, so those who need food will be able to continue to come without fear of violence. Over the coming days and weeks, we will also be working with our community partners who serve Asian American communities to ensure we are supporting them in the way they need during this challenging time. No one should forgo food due to fear and racism.

Systemic racism and white supremacy are pervasive. The same issues of institutional racism that perpetuate food insecurity are threatening the lives of people of color in our community. Anti-Asian racism, like the attacks from recent weeks, is often underreported and cannot be ignored. If we are to work towards being an anti-racist organization, then we must advocate firmly against all forms of racism.

As many celebrate Lunar New Year today, we will continue to support our community in healing from this moment.

If you would like to take action and support the Bay Area’s Asian American community, please see the resources below from many of our partners and other Asian American organizations around the Bay Area.

In solidarity,

Tanis Crosby

Resources


食物庫明確地譴責在灣區及全國各地針對亞裔美國人激增的暴力事件和種族主義襲擊。

這個疫情加劇了反亞裔的種族主義和仇恨。在2020年3月19日至2020年12月31日期間,Stop AAPI Hate收到了超過2,800宗反亞裔仇恨事件的第一手資料,其中超過700宗發生在灣區。暴力種族主義和仇外心理給我們社區造成的創傷使我們感到震驚。

在這個充滿挑戰的時刻,我們堅決聲援亞裔員工、參加者、合作夥伴和支持者。由於2019年新型冠狀病毒肆虐,社區繼續遭受工資、業務和生命的損失。我們還回應灣區許多亞裔組織最近的呼籲,請求我們的當地領導人採取更多行動制止這些襲擊。

食物庫一半以上的參加者是亞裔美國人,其中許多是長者。我們親眼目睹了社區正在遭受的恐懼和創傷。我們的團隊深切關心我們的參加者,並正在努力確保我們的食物分發安全,因此那些需要食物的人將能夠繼續前來而不必擔心暴力。在接下來的幾天和幾星期內,我們還將與為亞裔社區服務的社區合作夥伴合作,以確保我們在這個充滿挑戰的時期以他們所需的方式為他們提供支持。沒有人應該因恐懼和種族主義而放棄食物。

系統性種族主義和白人至高無上主義普遍存在。制度性的種族主義問題導致糧食危機長期存在並正威脅著我們社區有色人種的生活。像最近幾星期的襲擊一樣,反亞裔種族主義經常被低估並不能忽視。如果我們要努力成為一個反種族主義的組織,那麼我們就必須堅決反對一切形式的種族主義。

正如今天有許多人慶祝農曆新年,從這一刻起我們將繼續支持我們的社區恢復正常。

如果您想採取行動並支持灣區的亞裔社區,請參閱以下來自灣區許多合作夥伴和其他亞裔組織的資訊。

團結一致,

Tanis Crosby

資訊

  • 如果您或您認識的任何人遭受反亞裔攻擊,請在stopaapihate.org上舉報。
  • 閱讀:橫跨灣區的亞裔組織合力要求採取行動打擊暴力
  • 參加2月14日(星期日)下午1點在市中心廣場愛我們的人民:恢復我們的社區集會

El Banco de Alimentos denuncia inequívocamente la oleada de ataques violentos y racistas que se están perpetrando contra los estadounidenses de origen asiático en el Área de la Bahía (en inglés: Bay Areay alrededor del país. 

La pandemia ha exacerbado el racismo y el odio contra los asiáticos. Entre el 19 de marzo de 2020 y el 31 de diciembre de 2020, Stop AAPI Hate recibió más de 2.800 informes de primera mano de incidentes de odio contra Asia, y más de 700 de ellos tuvieron lugar en el Área de la Bahía. Nos horroriza el trauma que se inflige a nuestra comunidad como resultado del racismo violento y la xenofobia. 

Nos declaramos en solidaridad absoluta con nuestro equipo, participantes, y colaboradores asiático-americanos y quienes nos apoyan durante este período tan increíblemente difícil. La comunidad continúa sufriendo la pérdida de salarios, negocios y vidas debido al COVID-19. También, hacemos eco a los recientes llamamientos de muchas organizaciones asiático-americanos  en el Área de la Bahía para exigir acción por parte de nuestros líderes locales para hacer más para detener estos ataques. 

Más de la mitad de los participantes del Banco de Alimentos son asiático-americanos, muchos mayores de edad, y vemos de primera mano el temor y el trauma que sufre nuestra comunidad. Nuestro equipo se preocupa profundamente por nuestros participantes, y está trabajando para asegurar que nuestras distribuciones de alimentos permanezcan seguras, para que aquellos que necesitan alimentos puedan seguir viniendo sin miedo a la violencia. Durante los próximos días y semanas, también trabajaremos con nuestros socios comunitarios que sirven a las comunidades asiático-americanos para asegurarnos de que los estamos apoyando de la manera que ellos necesitan durante este período difícil. Nadie debe privarse de comida debido al miedo y racismo. 

El racismo sistémico y la supremacía blanca son omnipresentes. Los mismos temas de racismo institucional que perpetúan la inseguridad alimentaria están amenazando las vidas de las personas de color en nuestra comunidad. El racismo anti asiático, al igual que los ataques de las últimas semanas, frecuentemente no se denuncia, pero no se puede ignorar. Si vamos a trabajar para ser una organización antirracista, entonces debemos abogar firmemente contra todas las formas de racismo. 

Mientras muchos celebran el Nuevo Año Lunar hoy, seguiremos apoyando a nuestra comunidad para que sane por lo que sucede ahora. 

Si usted desea tomar medidas y apoyar a la comunidad asiática-americana del Área de la Bahía, favor de revisar los recursos a continuación de muchos de nuestros socios y otras organizaciones asiático-americanos en el Área de la Bahía. 

En solidaridad, 

Tanis Crosby 

Recursos 

The Food Bank Hires a New Executive Director

January 26, 2021

Dear Friends,

It is our pleasure to introduce Tanis Crosby as the new Executive Director of the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank.

Paul Ash is retiring after more than 32 years of dedicated and transformational leadership. He led the Food Bank from distributing just three million pounds of food in 1989 to 67 million pounds now, ensuring hundreds of thousands of Bay Area families have access to food. The full extent of his impact is truly immeasurable. He leaves behind an enduring legacy.  

Tanis Crosby joins us after serving as a leader in the YWCA movement for almost 20 years, most recently the CEO of the combined YWCA Silicon Valley and YWCA San Francisco & Marin. Having dedicated her career to advancing the mission of eliminating racism and empowering women, Tanis brings a deep understanding of the root causes of food insecurity to the Food Bank’s mission to end hunger in San Francisco and Marin. Her energy, passion, and dedication will help lead this organization into a transformational next chapter.

“The mission of the Food Bank is critical now more than ever. The pandemic has left many of our neighbors out of work and struggling to feed their families, while crystalizing what we already knew to be true – hunger exacerbates inequities like racial injustice and poverty. We are here to end hunger, to do that we must not only address current demand, but also work together to end the underlying causes of hunger,” said Tanis Crosby, Executive Director, San Francisco-Marin Food Bank. “I’m honored and excited to be part of advancing that mission.” 

This is a unique and challenging time in the Food Bank’s history. The need for a strong social safety net has never been more apparent. Under Tanis’ leadership, the Food Bank will remain committed to providing food to all our neighbors who need it and advocating for stronger policies around food security.

Tanis looks forward to meeting our community in townhalls and out in the fieldThank you for your continued dedication and support of the Food Bank.Together we will ensure that our neighbors have the food they need to thrive.

Sincerely, 
The San Francisco-Marin Food Bank Board
Scott Brubaker, Chair

About Tanis Crosby 

Tanis serves the mission of the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank to end hunger with a commitment to equity, collaboration and community.  Joining the Food Bank in 2021, Tanis previously served as a leader in the YWCA movement for almost twenty years, most recently as CEO of a combined YWCA Silicon Valley, and YWCA San Francisco & Marin since immigrating to the US in 2014. During her tenure leading YWCAs, she centered on the mission of eliminating racism and empowering women to grow impact, launch innovative programs, and grow operations by 400%.   

Tanis has served on the Silicon Valley Council of Non-Profits Leadership Council, the National Association of YWCA Executives Board of Directors, and as Co-Chair of the Santa Clara County Blue Ribbon Task Force on Intimate Partner Violence. She has been recognized as a Silicon Valley Business Journal Woman of Influence, the YWCA of Canada’s President’s Award, the Queen’s Jubilee Medal for service, and in recognition of housing advocacy and policy change the Elizabeth Fry Society’s Housing Hero Award.   

Tanis enjoys cooking, gardening, and any opportunity to explore the outdoors of our beautiful Bay Area with her family and dogs.