San Francisco Food Bank
I’ve been volunteering lately at the San Francisco Food Bank. The SFFB services both San Francisco and Marin Counties. Their stats are amazing. They serve 480 agencies in the two counties. Over 100,000 meals per day are offered through the various agencies, everything from Glide Memorial Church’s 3700+ meals per day to after school programs. Last year, San Francisco Food Bank provided over 49 MILLION pounds of food through these agencies. Over 225,000 people participate in the program. That’s one in four residents in San Francisco alone. The numbers are mind-boggling!! Second Harvest Food Bank in San Jose provides food to one in ten residents in that county.
On this particular day, we boxed 42,800 pounds of oranges. Fruit is generally bought from the farmers. The fruit is considered second tier, as they may not be large enough or perfect looking to sell through a supermarket or other food store. This helps the food bank keep the costs to a minimum, and the farmer gets another source of revenue. On another day, our group bagged over 4700 pounds of oatmeal, bagging from a 150-pound bulk bag into perfectly measured one-pound bags.
There are 120 full time staff members at San Francisco Food Bank. Volunteers work three-hour shifts, three times per day, seven days per week. The volunteer effort is the equivalent of 70 full time personnel. That’s a lot of volunteering. The reason I like volunteering is that you can pick your schedule. Only three hours is required per shift, and the time goes by so quickly. There are individuals like myself and groups participating. Groups have included The Gap, Wells Fargo, PG&E, WalMart Online, Paragon Real Estate. The people are fascinating, and the work is rewarding.
The San Francisco Food Bank has the system down, and they sincerely appreciate your volunteering. Don’t be discouraged when you go onto the website to volunteer for work in December. They are booked solid. But, check back in for shifts throughout the rest of the year when the volunteer spirit isn’t quite so prevalent as during the holidays. See you there!!