Food Pantry Volunteers

Meeting Growing Need in the Richmond

Apr 29, 2020

As many of our neighbors are facing job loss and reduced income, our first priority has been to continue offering free, healthy groceries to nearly 1,000 Richmond District residents through our weekly food pantries and home-delivered grocery program.

Over the last few weeks, we have tackled many challenges to continue meeting our community’s food security needs safely. We immediately supplied our staff and volunteers with masks, gloves, and extra sanitizing supplies, and completely changed our processes to expedite distribution and ensure social distancing.

Expanding Deliveries

The majority of our pantry participants are seniors, whose health is especially vulnerable. Starting last week, we began making deliveries to seniors 65 and over who normally come to our pantries in person. As we roll out more deliveries over time, more seniors will be able to access the food security they need safely.

It will come as no surprise that our food security services have seen increased demand across the board. Inquiries for our food pantries, home-delivered groceries, and CalFresh application assistance have spiked over the last few weeks, and we’re doing everything we can to meet that need. We’ve given out extra bags of food, cleared the waitlist of 25 applicants for the HDG program, recruited additional volunteers, and utilized our youth program staff to meet the increased safety and food security demands.

Providing Masks for Participants

As always, the outpouring of community support has been incredible. Following our public request for reusable cloth masks for food program participants, our neighbors, staff and board family members, and volunteer mask makers from across the city stepped up and donated more than 50 masks, with at least 100 more on the way! This puts us on track to distribute at least one mask to each of our delivery recipients in the coming weeks, and if we continue to receive them at this rate we’ll be able to make sure they have extras. Any extra masks beyond that will be used to protect our volunteers and staff.

If you or someone you know would like to donate reusable cloth masks, please ship them to:

The Richmond Neighborhood Center
741 30th Ave
San Francisco, CA 94121

or deliver them in person to the above address during our food pantry hours:

Mondays 4:00-5:00PM
Tuesdays 3:30-4:30PM
Thursdays 2:30-4:00PM

Thank you to everyone who has donated, and to all who have supported the Neighborhood Center through this crisis. It’s times like these that bring out the best in our community.