Interfaith Food Pantry &
SF Food Bank
Coordinator: Megan Lehmer
INTERFAITH FOOD PANTRY
The Interfaith Food Pantry is a consortium of 5-6 Cathedral Hill congregations including UUSF that take turns sponsoring and staffing a weekly food distribution. Over a dozen volunteers meet to distribute food to 300 low income families
The Interfaith Food Pantry is going strong with a number of adjustments to accommodate for COVID-19.
Anyone wanting to volunteer! https://signup.com/go/pambAKf
All five churches are working together, rather than rotating with each church taking responsibility for a single Saturday according to the calendar as we have done in the past. The reason here is that we are trying to have younger volunteers and encouraging anyone who is over 60 to stay home. The next pantry is every Saturday, rather than May 16 as all the churches are pitching in together to try to get younger volunteers. (One church only had volunteers who were over 60.)
A truck from the SF/Marin food pantry still delivers food at 7:30 am at Old First Presbyterian Church at the corner of Van Ness and Sacramento (1751 Sacramento St, San Francisco, CA 94109)
Volunteers can still park in the church garage slightly east of the church on Sacramento. We give out stickers, so volunteers can park for free.
We make an attempt to distance volunteers who unload the truck. Everyone wears gloves and masks as available. We use disinfectant spray liberally.
We use the large room, where the clients used to line up, for the volunteers to pack the food for our clients into paper bags. (Anything which falls on the floor is discarded.) Each client gets only one bag, so they get a little less food than before.
The bags are then taken upstairs where the clients pick the pre-loaded bags from tables we set up outside in order to minimize volunteers' contact with clients. We are now just checking pantry cards and no longer check ID’s to streamline the process to get clients are on their way with a minimum of contact with volunteers.
We do have a translator as about 80% of our clients are Cantonese, many of whom are monolingual. We are purchasing an awning to protect the bags in case of rain.
Volunteers meet at Old First Presbyterian (Van Ness and on Saturday mornings from 7:30-11:30am to sort and distribute food items to people in need. We are always looking for volunteers to staff our turn at the Food Pantry. Please contact Megan Lehmer. Familes welcome. You need not stay entire period. We offer parking vouchers so our volunteers can park for free in the church garage on Sacramento St. We do encourage families as this is a service activity which is appropriate for children age 5 and over.
Our Pantry Days for 2020 are the following:
SF FOOD BANK
The San Francisco/Marin Food Bank fights hunger in San Francisco and Marin by giving food to needy families and organizations that serve them, providing high quality food to more than 225,000 people in the Bay Area. UUSF's ties to the SF Food Bank are many. Recipients from the Food Bank include the Interfaith Food Pantry, Winter Shelter, Faithful Fools, Tenderloin Tessie, and Up on Top.
Given how vitally important the SF Food Bank is to the ministry of UUSF, we have been collecting monetary donations on the first Sunday of each month. (For every dollar collected, the Food Bank can to provide six dollars worth of food.) Volunteers are needed to staff the collection table.