Дополнительное продовольствие

September 12, 2020

To participate in this program, you must be a senior at least 60 years of age who has income at or below 130% of the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines. For more information and eligibility requirements, click below for the language you need. To access a calendar of CSFP food distribution sites (pdf), click here.

English   Chinese   Russian   Spanish 

This federal program is officially known as the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP). It is also referred to as the Supplemental Food Program (SFP), Senior Food Box Program, and the Monthly Food Box.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider. Click here for more information.

 

Sandy’s Story | Grocery Delivery Makes the Difference

July 30, 2020

Before the pandemic, Sandy performed as a fiddler at festivals. And before that, as a young woman, she was an activist. She’s a mother and a grandmother with a zest for life.

She also knows what it’s like to experience hunger.

When she was a child living in Northern Ireland, there were times she and her brother would have to split what little food they had.

“I remember a time we split one scrambled egg,” she recalls. “Hunger has always been something. Not ‘I missed lunch,’ but true hunger.”

And now after 48 years in San Francisco, living through so much of this city’s rich and vibrant history, she is experiencing the challenges of living on a fixed income amidst the rising cost of living in the Richmond District.

“I’m living on my savings and I also get retirement. The rent here is $840 a month. I thank God it is only that. And my check is about 800 and…,” she pauses to think. “It’s close, I mean they are right next to each other.”

COVID-19: A Challenge for Seniors

Even before the pandemicone in seven adults between the ages of 50 and 80 nationwide were food insecure. For many low-income seniors, the Food Bank was a lifeline, helping ensure they weren’t choosing between affording food and paying rent.

COVID-19 suddenly threw a new impossible choice into the mix: choosing between risking your health to pick up much-needed food or go without it. To guarantee they wouldn’t have to make that choice, we started grocery delivery to 12,000 low-income seniors in our community every week.

To aid in these efforts, the USDA also granted a waiver that allowed Amazon to deliver senior boxes from the Supplemental Food Program (SFP), which provides a monthly box of mostly shelf-stable food to seniors living at or below 130% of the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines.

While we look forward to bringing seniors back to the community centers, churches, and other weekly pantries locations, the recent spike in COVID-19 cases makes it clear: seniors like Sandy are still vulnerable.

Grocery Delivery Makes All the Difference

When Sandy’s husband was still alive, the couple relied on the monthly SFP food boxes. But her health challenges made picking up the SFP box difficult, and after her husband was killed, she stopped coming.

Even after she stopped picking up her SFP box, she kept in touch with Shirley Chen, senior program manager at the Food Bank. And in March, Shirley was able to connect her with our CalFresh team who signed her up for benefits, enroll in our Pantry at Home program, and even help her get her SFP box delivered straight to her door.

Unfortunately, the USDA ended the waiver allowing us to deliver SFP boxes for seniors shelter at home in June, making her Pantry at Home deliveries and CalFresh benefits even more crucial.

Thanks to the Food Bank, and the help of its caring staff members and volunteers, Sandy said she hasn’t been so well fed in a long time. “Do you know how long it has been since I could buy a rolled pork roast? My family came over and shared it with me. It fed 5 of us.”

In a time when we just don’t know what tomorrow will bring, the generosity of the Food Bank staff and her neighbors who make these deliveries means a lot. “I’m terribly grateful.”

Advocating for Long-Term Change to End Senior Hunger

May 28, 2020

Food In Crisis, and Every Day

We’ve all seen the images of cars lined up for miles, waiting to get groceries.  We’ve witnessed thousands of our neighbors, standing six feet apart, waiting in lines snaking around city blocks in our neighborhoods to pick up food for their families.  We’ve read with disbelief the unemployment numbers, growing by millions with every passing week. We’ve rushed to aid our senior neighbors and relatives, sheltering in place and unable to access resources safely.  We know that we are in a moment of historic highs for hunger in our community.

But here at the Food Bank, we have known that hunger has been a crisis for thousands of our fellow San Francisco and Marin residents long before the COVID-19 pandemic.  That’s why we not only provide free weekly groceries to people experiencing an acute need for food in the moment, but also have invested in long-term policy advocacy to combat hunger at the systemic level.

CalFresh is a Proven Solution

As a proven positive public health intervention and powerful economic stabilizer, CalFresh has a critical dual role to play in California’s immediate and long-term COVID-19 response. Yet, only 19 percent of eligible older Californians (age 60 or over) receive CalFresh, the lowest participation rate of any state.  Here in California, the average monthly benefit for a senior is $158, making it especially worth their while to apply. Yet seniors represent the population with the greatest gap between their eligibility for SNAP and their enrollment in the program, due in large part to the administrative hurdles of applying for the program as a senior.

Legislation for Change

We’re working to change that and make it easier for eligible older Californians to get the benefits to which they’re entitled.  We’re co-sponsoring a bill in the CA State Senate (SB 882 – Wiener) that would simplify the CalFresh application for many older adults and people with disabilities, while also making permanent several key changes to increase access to CalFresh during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The current application is 18 pages long!  When is the last time you had to fill out an 18-page application for anything?

SB 882 would eliminate burdensome, ongoing reporting requirements that cause many households to lose nutrition assistance, even when they remain eligible. SB 882 would also ensure that all applicants and participants can complete the application and recertification interview processes by phone, including submitting the required client signature. This is crucial for older adults with limited mobility and access to reliable transportation.

As the COVID-19 crisis continues to make clear, meeting the nutritional needs of low-income households is an urgent and ongoing need. No one should go hungry in California, and it is our collective responsibility to use all the tools we have to make it easier to access our most powerful anti-hunger tool, CalFresh.

CalFresh Expands to 400,000 Californians and Counting

February 20, 2020

CalFresh Expansion Makes History

In April, we shared the big news on a policy change that expanded CalFresh (food stamps) eligibility to people who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI). For the approximately 1.2 million Californians who rely on the maximum SSI benefit of just $783 a month (just 74% of the federal poverty line), finally being eligible to receive nutrition benefits can make a tremendous difference in their quality of life. Since the policy change went into effect in June 2019, we’ve been working tirelessly along with our county, state, and community-based partners to get the word out and help enroll the newly eligible seniors and adults with disabilities.

Our hard work has paid off! As of December, nearly 405,900 SSI recipients have been newly enrolled in CalFresh. That’s one-third of the entire SSI population in the state! These new applicants are receiving an average of $75-$85 per month to help meet their grocery needs.

“It has helped me a lot – you wouldn’t believe it!”

You might remember 71-year-old San Francisco resident Queen, we blogged about her last year. When the policy change went into effect in June, we helped her navigate the application process. We caught up with her last week to hear about how receiving CalFresh has impacted her life.

Queen shared her excitement about being able to use the benefits to get extra spending power at farmer’s markets through the Market Match program. “The CalFresh benefits help me purchase foods at a local African grocery store. It reminds me of my home in the Gambia,” she said. CalFresh helps her keep in good spirits. She shared, “If you eat good, of course, it impacts your health. I have been diagnosed with depression, so sometimes when I want to lift my spirit, I go and get something that I really like to eat and it helps a lot.”

Take Action!

Are you an SSI recipient interested in applying for CalFresh benefits?

  • CLICK: Apply online: GetCalFresh.org
  • CALL: Call our hotline to get application assistance in English, Spanish, or Chinese: 415-549-7021
  • COME IN: Walk into a county office to apply in person: Locations are listed on the Human Services Agency website

Are you a community-based organization interested in helping your clients enroll? 

  1. The Food Bank provides CalFresh Outreach and Application Assistance training for agencies who work closely with SSI recipients. For San Francisco-based agencies, contact Ada Lai at 415-282-1907 x258 or alai@sfmfoodbank.org. For Marin organizations, contact Alexandra Danino at 415-282-1907 x014 or adanino@sfmfoodbank.org
  2. Check out the San Francisco Human Services Agency Partner Toolkit, which includes helpful resources and outreach materials
  3. Download informational flyers to hand out and post at your organization:

CalFresh Policy Change Is a Win-Win for Low-Income Neighbors and Farmers

October 18, 2019

After a hard-won advocacy effort by the Food Bank and aging and disability rights groups, for the first time in decades, CalFresh eligibility was extended to SSI recipients in June.  Since then, over 14,000 San Franciscans have applied to receive food benefits!  Our own multi-lingual CalFresh Outreach team has helped over 1,000 newly eligible neighbors apply. 

One of the additional benefits of this historic policy change is an increase in the usage of CalFresh benefits at farmers markets in our community. The Heart of the City Farmers Market in San Francisco’s Civic Center has been operating an independent, farmer-operated non-profit farmers market since 1981, but CalFresh uptake at this market has exploded since the policy change, with the number of people purchasing using CalFresh benefits increasing by 90% over the same time last year.

Thanks to the support from the Stupski Foundation, which has identified improving access to the CalFresh program as a priority, the Heart of the City team has expanded staffing, set up CalFresh on-site enrollment stations, and purchased a second EBT machine to process CalFresh transactions more quickly. On their busiest day this fall, they served 1,538 customers, with CalFresh sales of $10,528! This is a fantastic example of how government, philanthropy, and the private sector can work together to improve food access for low-income people in our community.

Market Match Program Doubles CalFresh Purchasing Power

This growth has been enabled by an innovative healthy food incentive program called Market Match. Market Match is a dollar for dollar match, which allows CalFresh users to double their purchasing power at the farmers market. Annually, Market Match helps over 211,000 CalFresh recipients and increased the take-home revenue for 1,900 California farmers.

Benefits are Inadequate to Compensate for Cost of Living

Despite these exciting developments at the local level, many newly eligible CalFresh recipients are receiving the minimum benefit allotment of $15 a month, which definitely isn’t enough to keep a full fridge in our expensive community. According to Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap research, the average cost of a meal here is $4.59, so incentive programs like Market Match are invaluable for helping our low-income neighbors meet their food needs.

There are efforts at the Federal level to address the inadequacy of benefit levels, including Closing the Meal Gap Act (H.R. 1368) backed by Representative Alma Adams (D-NC) and 113 House Members.  Check out the list of co-sponsors to see if your Representative has endorsed this effort.  If they haven’t, find out who represents you and reach out to demand they support this important effort!

Check out our staffer, Angelica, welcoming folks at the CUESA Farmers Market in the Mission

Big News in Hunger for Seniors and Adults With Disabilities!

April 30, 2019

For the first time since 1974, SSI recipients in California are eligible to receive CalFresh benefits. That’s 40,000 people in San Francisco and 3,000 neighbors in Marin – seniors and people with disabilities – who will be newly eligible for food stamp benefits.

With CalFresh benefits for a one-person household averaging $130 a month, this change can make a huge difference for someone in need. And, participating in CalFresh will not reduce SSI benefit amounts in any way.

Boosting food access and the local economy

Even conservative estimates suggest that connecting SSI recipients with CalFresh will result in many millions of dollars a year for low-income seniors and people with disabilities to spend on groceries. This won’t just improve the lives of SSI recipients, but the local economy gets a boost too. Every $1 spent in CalFresh benefits generates $1.79 in economic activity!

It took years of dedicated advocacy efforts by our Food Bank and our partners to achieve this historic change, which will improve the lives of some of our most vulnerable neighbors.  It wouldn’t have been possible without the generous support of our donors and coalition partners. Thank you!

In the coming weeks and months, the Food Bank’s Policy & Advocacy team and CalFresh Outreach team will work closely with the state, our counties, and other local partners to share this exciting news and assist hundreds of neighbors with CalFresh enrollment.

Learn More

  • This fact sheet from Californians for SSI provides a simple summary of the changes to CalFresh eligibility for SSI recipients

Take Action!

Are you an SSI recipient interested in applying for CalFresh benefits?

  • CLICK: Apply online: GetCalFresh.org
  • CALL: Call our hotline to get application assistance in English, Spanish, or Chinese: 415-549-7021
  • COME IN: Walk into a county office to apply in person: Locations are listed on the Human Services Agency website

Are you a community-based organization interested in helping your clients enroll? 

  1. The Food Bank provides CalFresh Outreach and Application Assistance training for agencies who work closely with SSI recipients. For San Francisco-based agencies, contact Ada Lai at 415-282-1907 x258 or alai@sfmfoodbank.org. For Marin organizations, contact Alexandra Danino at 415-282-1907 x014 or adanino@sfmfoodbank.org
  2. Check out the San Francisco Human Services Agency Partner Toolkit, which includes helpful resources and outreach materials
  3. Another helpful resource is the California Department of Social Services Outreach Tool Kit for Partners
  4. Download informational flyers to hand out and post at your organization:

Want to get engaged with Food Bank’s Advocacy efforts like this?

This historic victory was made possible through the advocacy of the Californians for SSI Coalition (CA4SSI). As a partner and ally in improving the lives of SSI recipients, we want to invite you to join us on one of our CA4SSI membership conference calls every other Tuesday at 11:30am to share updates and discuss strategy. Why stop at CalFresh? Please join us as we advocate to increase the grants to people on SSI!

Check out this video of our listening session with SSI recipients on how hard it is to make ends meet on SSI: www.youtube.com/SSI

Click here to sign up for our eNewsletter and follow us on Twitter @SFMFoodBank

Home-Delivered Groceries Foster Connections, Community

January 25, 2019

It’s a chilly Thursday evening when Samantha and her 7-year-old son, Taye, are climbing the stairs in a multi-story apartment building in San Francisco’s Richmond District. They’re here to deliver a bounty of fresh food to the Pham family – part of the Food Bank’s Home-Delivered Groceries program. And yet, the food is just part of the equation. Their knock on the front door is followed by a warm greeting, smiles, and hugs all around.

Longtime San Francisco residents, Mr. and Mrs. Pham have come to think of Samantha and Taye like family. The Phams grew up in China and Vietnam and moved to the United States after the Vietnam War. The couple settled in San Francisco, and Mrs. Pham says she has always enjoyed how welcoming and accessible the city has been for them.

Long retired, Mr. Pham has limited mobility and rarely leaves their second-floor apartment. Mrs. Pham also has trouble moving around, after suffering a debilitating back injury during the war. Despite these hardships, the Phams stay positive, and appreciate the friendly conversations and nutritious food that Samantha and Taye bring to their doorstep every week.

“For me, it’s very hard to get outside and go to the store, so we are very thankful that this food is brought to us. And, we always look forward to seeing Taye and Samantha every week,” said Mrs. Pham, beaming at Taye, who during this evening’s visit had joined Mr. Pham in his favorite chair.

Major Milestone for Home-Delivered Groceries Program

In December, the Food Bank’s Home-Delivered Groceries Program made its 250,000th delivery. To mark this milestone, San Francisco Supervisor Sandra Fewer joined us and our partners from Richmond Neighborhood Center and Richmond Senior Center to pack groceries for the Pham family and many other HDG recipients.

“Food security is a critical part of what makes and sustains a healthy neighborhood,” says Supervisor Fewer. “This dynamic Home-Delivered Groceries program allows seniors, the fastest growing population in the Richmond District, to age-in-place with community support.”

Founded in 2011, the Home-Delivered Groceries (HDG) Program serves 1,998 homebound seniors and 467 adults with disabilities in San Francisco every week. The program aims to provide nutritious food to vulnerable neighbors, as well as reduce loneliness and foster connections among community members.

“For thousands of homebound residents in San Francisco, a weekly knock on the door brings not only a delivery of fresh groceries but a friendly visit and some human contact with people who don’t get outdoors very much,” says Jillian Tse, Program Coordinator for the Food Bank.

The Power of Partnerships

The HDG program is funded by San Francisco’s Department of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS). Fourteen faith-based and community-based organizations coordinate volunteers and staff to make weekly deliveries. The Food Bank provides nearly 25 pounds of food (on average) for every recipient weekly, including chicken, pasta or rice, and fresh, seasonal produce. The food is tailored to the nutritional needs of seniors and people who are less active because of mobility challenges.

This program is needed now, more than ever, as the population of seniors in San Francisco continues to grow. In 2016, older adults comprised 20% of that population but are projected to rise to 26% by 2030.

補充食物

November 27, 2018

To participate in this program, you must be a senior at least 60 years of age who has income at or below 130% of the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines. For more information and eligibility requirements, click below for the language you need. To access a calendar of CSFP food distribution sites (pdf), click here.

English   Chinese   Russian   Spanish 

This federal program is officially known as the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP). It is also referred to as the Supplemental Food Program (SFP), Senior Food Box Program, and the Monthly Food Box.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider. Click here for more information.

 

Alimentos Suplementarios

November 27, 2018

To participate in this program, you must be a senior at least 60 years of age who has income at or below 130% of the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines. For more information and eligibility requirements, click below for the language you need. To access a calendar of CSFP food distribution sites (pdf), click here.

English   Chinese   Russian   Spanish 

This federal program is officially known as the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP). It is also referred to as the Supplemental Food Program (SFP), Senior Food Box Program, and the Monthly Food Box.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider. Click here for more information.

 

Gloria’s Story | Aging with Grace

January 22, 2018

Pay a visit to the cafeteria during lunchtime at the Mission Creek Senior Community Center, and chances are pretty good you’ll easily spot Gloria Hernandez from across the room.  She’s the one with the million-dollar smile, which expresses her glowingly positive outlook on life.

It’s been a long journey for this spunky mid-westerner.  She grew up in Chicago, got married there, had three sons, and eventually divorced in the early 70s.

“I was a single mom for many years…then my boys all moved out, and come 1994 I decided it was time for a change, so I moved out too!” she said. “I came to San Francisco for better weather and a new outlook on life.”

The first few years in San Francisco went well for Gloria, but in 2006, she lost her job and her apartment. With just days to go before she would end up living on the streets, Gloria was referred to a new senior center, located just around the corner from AT&T Park. One of the first perks of living there was receiving free food at the on-site pantry, courtesy of the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank.

“The food is a godsend,” Gloria said, continuing to beam. “My social security income is $915 a month, and nearly half of that goes to rent. After I pay my heat and utilities and get my toiletries and such, I sometimes have $6 left in the bank!”

In her married days, Gloria never worried about money. But after the divorce, she moved between a few jobs to try and get on her own feet.

“I never quite built up my retirement,” she laments.  “But believe it or not, I feel richer now.  Not financially of course, but because I’m surrounded by loving, caring friends, and staff members here.”

What does she like best about weekly groceries from the Food Bank?

“The food is so balanced. It helps feed the mind, body and spirit of the seniors living in this building,” she said. “A good home and good food – if you have one without the other, you just don’t survive. So you’re really saving lives over here.”