With two young sons to support, the pandemic has created a lot of stress for Doaldo. On top of navigating remote learning with one son and wondering if his other son – four-years-old – will be able to start school this fall; he worries about how he will continue to put food on the table.
“I haven’t worked in a month,” said Doaldo, who worked in restaurants before the pandemic. “We don’t have money for food or anything.”
Like thousands of service industry workers, Doaldo is struggling with the impact of regional shelter-in-place orders that have brought a once-thriving industry to a screeching halt in an effort to protect public health.
According to a survey by the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, 80 percent of local restaurant owners report laying off more than half their employees. Nationwide, restaurant and bar employees made up 60 percent of jobs lost in March.
Discovering a Helping Hand
For Doaldo, who learned about the Bayview Opera House Pop-up Pantry from a friend, relying on the Food Bank is new. But with little time for their family to prepare for the sudden job loss, and no other help, it has been a big relief.
“I got potatoes, eggs, and cabbage,” said Doaldo. “Those are the most important things we use to cook, and the kids love the bananas and other fruit.”
Nodding to his four-year-old son, who held his dad’s hand through the whole line, Doaldo smiles and adds, “last time they had juice and he liked that.”
Weathering the Challenge
A family with two full-time minimum wage jobs earns $58,240 a year – in notoriously expensive San Francisco, it takes $110,984 (according to the California Budget & Policy Center) to cover their basic needs. A sudden job loss can be catastrophic for a family already struggling to get by.
The Food Bank is a stop-gap to ensure parents like Doaldo, who are unexpectedly facing hard times, can continue putting food on the table for their children.
“We are living in very hard days; we’ve haven’t worked in a very long time,” explained Doaldo. “We don’t have any money and we have to pay for everything – bills, rent, food – it’s very difficult.”