Meet Vivienne Flesher and Ward Shumaker | Members of the Breadwinners Circle

June 29, 2017

Artists Vivienne Flesher and Ward Shumaker have achieved international acclaim, exhibiting their art around the world. Through it all, they remain rooted in our community.

Thirty years ago, Ward purchased a charming, century-old house two blocks from the Food Bank. “I remember when the warehouse was built,” he said. “We’ve enjoyed watching the neighborhood change, and the addition of the warehouse made us doubly happy.”

Ward and Vivienne made their first gift to the Food Bank in 1995 and have supported our work over many years. Their generosity stems from a strong belief that everyone should have food, clothing, and a roof over their heads. For Ward, tithing was part of his Nebraska upbringing. Vivienne weaves philanthropy into daily life — when going out, she often brings warm clothing to give to homeless neighbors.

Wishing to get more involved, Vivienne recently offered pro-bono photography to the Food Bank. We jumped at the opportunity. She spent a morning at San Francisco State University, where we help low-income students enroll in CalFresh (formerly food stamps). We also provide free groceries on campus every week.

Rather than hide behind her camera, Vivienne talked with students, listened to their stories, and captured their essence with photographs — some are on this page.

“The kids were so warm and willing to share,” she said. “It broke my heart to see them struggling, and it was so moving to be able to help. It was an honor to photograph them.”

We are grateful for Breadwinners like Vivienne and Ward, who feel a personal responsibility to ensure everyone in our community has enough to eat.

Click here to find out how you can get involved!