Our innovative pantry network is the cornerstone of the Food Bank’s outreach. Before the pandemic, the setting resembled a neighborhood farmers market where the participants could choose among food that was culturally appropriate and accessible in a dignified manner.
That changed at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. Many of the regular pantries in the network had to close for safety reasons, and we had to open pop-up food pantries serving about 10 times more people than our regular pantries to meet the growing need.
Together with partners, we are now running 240 pantries, located in easily accessible locations like schools, churches, and community-based organizations. For safety reasons, we are running most of them outdoors, and some as drive-thrus, and the groceries are pre-bagged. Still, a typical weekly pantry offers the participants carrots, potatoes, onions, apples, oranges, and lettuce, along with rice and chicken or eggs.
This program brings food directly into the neighborhoods where it is needed the most and caters to populations ranging from families to seniors. As a result, we’re addressing the problem of hunger on a grassroots level, involving the greater community in the effort to ensure that no one has to worry about their next meal. Not now, during the pandemic, or tomorrow.
At our pantries,
received fresh groceries every week
We distribute food to
In a few months, my son will be eating solid food, and I know that with the pantry I can give him something to eat every day.”
- Maria, Pantry participant, Bernal Heights
You have no idea how many lives you saved, my own included.”
- Gregory, Pantry participant, North Beach
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