| Help Families: Adopt a Pantry Through SF Food Bank
Nov 13, 2009
All grocery pantries are not created equal. Some, like those hosted by congregations, provide more food— particularly protein items like beans and staples like rice—to their clients. Others, like those at schools and public housing communities, don’t have supplemental funding and receive the basic groceries the Food Bank allocates from its supply of donated food.
Fresh produce—and lots more— is always free to every pantry, but the Food Bank typically has to purchase essentials like rice, beans and other items in order to always have them available for clients. These foods are often distributed through our Shopping Program, which allows pantries to “shop” at the Food Bank at a subsidized rate. But some pantries do not have the budget to make use of the Shopping Program to supplement their weekly distribution.
Now, all that’s changing. The Food Bank’s new Adopt-a-Pantry program allows individuals, groups or companies to sponsor most-needed items that will make a big difference to underfunded pantries.
Nearly a hundred pantries are eligible for “adoption.” With an average donation of just $7,000 a year, Adopt-a-Pantry partners can provide most needed foods to the pantry of their choice every week of the year. The program adds volume, variety and most importantly, greater nutrition, to our pantry distributions.
This year, two groups became the first San Francisco Food Bank Adopt-a-Pantry partners. The first pantry is at Sanchez Elementary School, where parents pick up groceries when they drop off their children in the morning. Noe Valley Family Ventures, a giving circle of eight families not only donated funds, but is also volunteering their time at Sanchez—planting lemon trees and helping to put on a Nutrition Night for children and families.
The group’s initiative shows that the program isn’t just about food— it’s also about building community and growing greater engagement. By making a direct investment in a community served by the Food Bank, donors can see the tangible results of their support.
“We saw the pantry before adopting it, then we saw it after,” says Yvonne Keene, one of the circle’s founders. “The difference is just extraordinary. I feel like my few dollars pulled together with a group can really have a fundamental impact on people’s lives.”
The pantry at Westside Courts, a low-income housing development, experienced an increase in demand due to the economic downturn. Thanks to a group gathered by Food Bank Board Member Bernice Welles, the 60 families per week who depend on this pantry have much more nutritious food on the table.
Adopt-a-Pantry partners will be recognized on our Adopt-a-Pantry Wall in the Food Bank lobby. But those who already take part say the best recognition is seeing that smile on someone’s face, knowing they’re going to eat better that week.
Please contact Aaron Rashba at
(415) 282-1907, ext. 228 to learn more about the Adopt-a-Pantry program
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