This week, we are highlighting the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank. Like all food banks over the past year, the SF-Marin Food Bank has directly witnessed and felt the effects of the hunger crisis resulting from COVID-19 .
The San Francisco-Marin Food Bank is now serving nearly twice as many households as before the pandemic – 55,000 now compared to the previous 30,000. To do this has taken a tremendous outpouring of volunteers and donors. “We’ve been truly in awe of how the community has responded,” states Keely Hopkins, Communications Manager at SFMFB.
One thing that has been unique to their pandemic response has been their Pantry at Home program. Before the pandemic started, they had a small home delivery program that delivered to a few hundred home-bound seniors. But once they saw the need for many of their regular pantry participants who were over 65 years old to shelter in place to protect their health, they quickly scaled up the program. With the help of volunteers and a few corporate partners, in a matter of just a few weeks, they were delivering to 12,000 low-income seniors sheltering at home. Now, as the pandemic has persisted, some of those individuals have chosen to return to their pantries. Yet SF-Marin Food Bank consistently serves approximately 8,000 seniors through the Pantry at Home program. The support of the community and the quick ingenuity of their staff to make this happen is something all of us are very proud of.
More recently, the SF-Marin Food Bank recently named a new Executive Director, Tanis Crosby to take the helm from Paul Ash who led the organization for more than 32 years. Paul Ash is retiring. He initially planned to retire last year, but due to the unprecedented events of 2020, agreed to stay on to help the food bank adapt and respond to the impacts of the pandemic. Going forward Paul will serve as an advisor and consultant to Tanis and the food bank as needed.
Tanis previously served as a leader in the YWCA movement for almost 20 years, most recently as the CEO of the combined YWCA Silicon Valley and YWCA San Francisco & Marin. Tanis has dedicated her career to advancing the mission of eliminating racism and empowering women. She brings a deep understanding of the root causes of food insecurity to the SF- Marin Food Bank’s mission to end hunger in San Francisco and Marin. This is a unique and challenging time for all food banks: the need for a strong social safety net has never been more apparent. Under Tanis’ leadership, they will remain committed to providing food to all of their neighbors who need it most and advocating for stronger policies around food security.
Thank you, SF-Marin Food Bank, for all you do. We, and the SF/Marin communities, are so grateful for your tireless work during this ongoing hunger crisis. We know that the food insecurity caused by COVID-19 will be felt long after the pandemic is over, and it is so important to have such a wonderful resource for those who continue to face food insecurity.
Read more about the change in leadership here. You can also visit www.sfmfoodbank.org to read more stories from volunteers, participants, and staff about what it has been like at SFMFB this past year.
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