Responding to Hurricane Harvey

September 6, 2017

Food Bankers know that our primary task – today and every day – is to help hungry people get enough to eat.  Most of the time, we focus on neighbors close by – people living in our city, county or region. But during times of disaster – like Hurricane Harvey – making nutritious food available to all who need it crosses county lines and even state lines.

As Hurricane Harvey pounded southeast Texas, we at the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank were eager to help. With flood waters receding, thousands of people who lost their homes and most of their belongings are now in need of food.

The San Francisco-Marin Food Bank is responding by sending both food and staff to Texas. As a member of Feeding America, San Francisco-Marin Food Bank is part of a national network that provides assistance to food banks impacted by natural disasters.

Food Bank Staff Head to Houston

Associate Director of Operations Geno Geerlof departed yesterday, and Director of Food Sourcing and Allocation Barbara Abbott will head to Texas on Sunday. They will assist the Houston Food Bank with the massive food sourcing and distribution efforts now underway, helping provide food and water to thousands of people impacted by the storm and its aftermath.

The response from the community has been overwhelming – the Houston Food Bank is receiving as many as 120 truckloads of food every day.  They are operating 24/7 to receive donations and get them out into the community as quickly as possible.

Barbara is excited and ready for the challenge. “I imagine I’ll be looking at very long hours, and no days off while I’m in Houston, but I’m ready to help in any way I can,” she said.

40,000 lbs. of Food and Water 

In addition to sending personnel, San Francisco-Marin Food Bank is also gathering food and water for relief efforts. We have teamed up with two other Bay Area food banks (Alameda County Community Food Bank and Second Harvest Food Bank in Santa Clara) to provide foods requested by the Houston Food Bank.  This week, we will ship more than 40,000 lbs. of peanut butter, granola bars, bottled water, crackers, canned meats and veggies, instant oatmeal, and other ready-to-eat foods.

Want to help Hurricane Harvey survivors and food banks in Texas?  At this point in the disaster, monetary donations are the most effective way to provide support. Make a donation now at

Check out recent media coverage about our efforts to help in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey: