For many, the holiday season is a cherished time to celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of a new one with friends, family and loved ones. While this year has felt especially tough for many of us, the effects of 2020 have left an unprecedented number of individuals struggling to afford rent, utilities, medication or food. Since the start of the pandemic, thousands of more people have joined pantry lines across the country for the first time. That’s why this holiday season, it’s more important than ever to make a difference however you can.
One organization stepping up during this time is our local partner, the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank. In response to the pandemic, the Food Bank quickly pivoted to create new programming. They opened emergency Pop-up pantries in areas with the greatest need across San Francisco and Marin, and started home-delivery to thousands of seniors sheltering in place. In many neighborhoods they are now distributing double, triple, or even ten times the amount of food. This year, they are working hard to distribute extra food to help the community make the holidays as special as possible for as many people as possible. In December, they will be providing close to 5 million meals across San Francisco and Marin.
Every $1 donated provides 2 meals for families in need and 94% of all donations go directly to their programs and the people who need it most. Below, we've outlined some easy ways you can help during the holiday season.
You can safely volunteer at pop-up food pantries and warehouses in San Francisco and Marin by packing grocery bags for participants or delivering groceries to homebound seniors and adults with disabilities. The need for volunteers doesn’t end in December, so please consider volunteering throughout 2021 and especially during the week when they need even more help.
If you’re bilingual, your language skills are also imperative to make these distributions more inclusive and effective for all participants. Currently, Cantonese and Spanish support are their most urgent needs. Learn more about volunteer opportunities here.
The Food Bank needs sustained financial support to continue to respond to the dramatic need they are seeing in the community right now. Your donations are what keep them going. Sign-up for their Monthly Giving Circle to help support year-round or host a virtual fundraiser. Your gift will go a long way to feed those in need.
Take Action Today
It will take systemic change to end hunger. That’s why our actions extend beyond food distribution and CalFresh assistance. You can influence change by:
- Calling and emailing your members of Congress to demand they pass comprehensive COVID relief to keep our communities fed.
- Speak up on social media and tag your members of Congress by using the hashtag #BoostSNAPNow. You can find their Twitter handles here.
- Write a letter to the editor to highlight why boosting SNAP will help your community. You can submit one to the San Francisco Chronicle here.
As the effects of COVID-19 are felt, we are inspired by all the ways – great and small – that our community of #anovafoodnerds continue to come together to support each other. Whether you decide to volunteer, donate, or take action, your support will provide more food for the community during the holidays and beyond.
We love to hear from you, so please share your stories of giving with us at email@example.com. Thank you and Happy Holidays!
Until next time,