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.”

Feeding the Programs that Feed the People

July 12, 2017

Did you know that almost 10% of the food we distribute each year reaches neighbors in need through meal programs? The Food Bank provides ingredients to more than 200 local nonprofits who host soup kitchens or provide home-delivered meals.

In 2017, we are on track to provide four million pounds of food to meal programs throughout San Francisco and Marin. By purchasing ingredients in bulk and gathering millions of pounds of donated produce, the Food Bank provides high-quality, nutritious food to our partners.

We work directly with farmers, packers, manufacturers and retailers, sourcing fresh ingredients for partners such as Glide, Meals on Wheels, St. Anthony’s Dining Room, and St. Vincent de Paul, among others.

“The Food Bank is the foundation of the Bay Area’s food assistance network,” said Ashley McCumber, executive director of Meals on Wheels San Francisco. “We rely on the Food Bank as a primary source for fresh, healthy produce for our home-delivered meals and groceries. Thanks to our partnership with the Food Bank, we are able to nourish thousands of low-income seniors across San Francisco. Together, we are a formidable force to end senior hunger and isolation.”

Supplemental Food

June 9, 2017

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.

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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.