Sinat’s Story | Food for Health

August 23, 2018

When Sinat gave birth five years ago, her doctors found an inoperable benign brain tumor. Since then, she has not been able to work full-time. Between parenting her three young daughters, her chemo treatments, and her headaches, finding a job that would accommodate her needs has been next to impossible.

Food Pantry Helps 

As a way to help make ends meet, Sinat temps part-time. But it’s not enough for her family, and she and her husband depend on the food they receive at the Tenderloin Community School pantry to make ends meet.  “With everything going on, healthy food is really important,” says Sinat. “We stay away from junk food, and vegetables are so necessary for the kids, so they stay healthy and energetic.”

Grandparents Pitch In

Sinat’s mom also goes to a Food Bank pantry nearby. Her parents emigrated with Sinat as refugees from war-torn Cambodia. When Sinat is temping, her parents watch her daughters and cook Cambodian food. “They love the vegetables and rice,” she says. “And because of the help we get at the pantry, we are able to afford meat at the grocery store.”

In San Francisco to Stay

Every day, her parents’ health declines from injuries and PTSD from their experiences in Cambodia. Sinat struggles to take care of them while she manages her brain tumor, which causes constant headaches and double vision. Her family has tried to leave the city to lower their housing costs, but that raised other challenges.

“My parents are in San Francisco, and they help us save money on childcare,” says Sinat. “We also have roots. I grew up here and see so many families I know at the food pantry. There, it doesn’t matter your race or where you are from, we are all in the same boat and just need food for our kids.”

“I’m grateful to donors at the Food Bank,” says Sinat. “What you are giving is helping out a lot of families like mine who wouldn’t make it in this city. It’s helping my daughters to grow up to be happy and do what they want in the future and not have to struggle like I do. Thank you.”

If you would like to help out a family like Sinat’s, consider a donation to the Food Bank today.


Healthy Food For People With No Place To Call Home

August 22, 2018

When you don’t have a stable roof over your head, getting enough nutritious food to stay healthy and take on life’s challenges can be impossible. As the Bay Area’s housing crisis has grown, so has our community’s homeless population. That’s why the Food Bank is committed to improving access to meet the growing need.

More than 8,600 people do not have a place to call home in San Francisco and Marin on any given night. The Food Bank reaches people who are struggling with homelessness in a number of ways, including our regular pantry distributions and community partners — many of which serve hot meals to people who are homeless.

We also partner with agencies such as CityTeam in San Francisco and the Ritter Center in Marin to distribute healthy food that does not need to be prepared in a kitchen. The special limited-cooking menu includes produce like oranges, carrots, lettuce, and tomatoes; peanut butter and tuna; and a variety of snacks. Participants who have access to microwaves in shelters and single room occupancies (SROs) also receive food like potatoes and soup.

Several times a year, the Food Bank also participates in Project Homeless Connect where numerous agencies come together to provide a full spectrum of services. They include things like medical and dental care, clothes, foot washing, and of course, food.


Maxwell is a Marine Corps veteran with a purple heart. He suffered a traumatic brain injury in Iraq, and he became homeless when he returned to the U.S. He is currently moving from hotel to hotel, hoping he will soon have permanent housing.

Maxwell recently hooked up with the limited-cooking menu at the CityTeam pantry and says the food helps him manage his diabetes. “I feel good when I have food,” says Maxwell. “The week before last, I didn’t have it. I was in bed for three days feeling terrible. The food pantry is saving me.”

Once his housing is stabilized, Maxwell plans to finish his psychology degree at UCSF with support from veterans groups.


As the homeless population grows, the Food Bank must continue to innovate and expand our reach to make sure those who struggle to find shelter have enough to eat. We’ve convened an internal working group to improve our understanding of the problem and ways we can rally as a community to help our neighbors in need. If you’re able, please make a gift today to help serve our hungry neighbors, including people facing homelessness.