Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Sf Marin Food Bank Volunteer

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What Food Means To Us

Volunteers power San Francisco Marin Food Bank in mission to end hunger

For many of us, the holidays are a time to gather around a shared meal. Pantries are perused, cookbooks are cracked, and calls are made to relatives for their special recipes .

Heres what we know at the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank: in sharing a meal, we share our humanity. Weve spent the last 365 days gathering stories from the community and asking: what does food mean to you?

Food means nourishment

One sunny February morning, we visited our partner Code Tenderloin in San Francisco and heard from volunteer Arielle: Food means nourishment of the mind, body, and soul. Food makes you feel good, gives you confidence and courage that maybe you dont have when youre hungry. Maybe best of all is you can share it with people its the way to a persons heart.

Code Tenderloins Executive Director, Donna Hilliard, added: I think, with our culture, food is everything. When we come together, we eat. When we celebrate, we eat. When were sad, we eat. Sharing meals especially means a lot. For the folks at Code Tenderloin, all of us have been on the ground, so we serve our food with love. Thats why so many people are comfortable coming back we want them to feel like our extended family.

CalFresh recipient Yurin told us how a balanced meal means wellness for her family. Its something fundamental to health, she shared. Having good food, healthy food, is vital to every person every day.

Making Space for Joy

More than Just Calories

Thank You For Your Interest In Volunteering At The San Francisco

Are you still holding volunteer shifts at the warehouses?

Yes. We still need the help of volunteers to keep distributing food to the community. To help protect the health of volunteers and staff, we have made significant changes to our volunteer program. Now, we are:

  • Reducing the number of volunteers at each shift.
  • Cutting non-essential projects. Only critical volunteer projects will continue. For example, packing senior boxes and grocery bags for delivery to homebound neighbors.
  • Conducting shifts outside, when possible.
  • Asking volunteers to maintain a healthy distance from one another.

All other best practices cleaning surfaces regularly, providing hand sanitizer, wearing gloves, and making masks available still apply.

Why haven’t you stopped volunteer operations during this time?

At this time, the Food Bank is still fully operational. As indicated in the new public health order that requires residents to stay home except for essential needs, food banks are an essential service similar to a grocery store. Now, more than ever, our continued efforts will be critical to ensure that our most vulnerable neighbors get access to the food they need to weather the pandemic.

We cant provide food without volunteers. We have made significant changes to our volunteer program to help protect the health of our staff and volunteers.

How do you keep your volunteers safe?

If volunteers or staff arrive who are sick, we are requesting they go home until they are well.

Help Your Neighbors In Need

During the COVID-19 pandemic, San Franciscans have stepped up to help our neighbors. Youve helped people access food and basic necessities, and have checked in on their well-being.

Your fellow San Franciscans need your help more than ever before. Lets keep the generosity going.

Support your neighbors by volunteering and donating to San Francisco-based organizations. Your contributions of time and money will help make this challenging time brighter for us all!

Recommended Reading: Food Bank Of Santa Barbara County

Feel Good Have Fun Volunteering At The Sf

The importance of contributing to a meaningful cause through volunteer work is a value that many parents want to instill in their children. While there are all sorts of ways to get out there and make a difference with your kids here in the Bay Area, volunteering at the San Francisco warehouse of the SF-Marin Food Bank, located at 900 Pennsylvania Avenue, in Potrero Hill, is particularly kid-friendly and surprisingly fun.

Save Time Achieving Your Mission

McKesson Ventures Team Volunteers at Local Food Bank

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Read Also: How To Donate Frozen Food

Signing Up For A Shift

Signing up to volunteer at the Food Bank can be done online and is super quick and easy. Begin by creating a user account and youll then be able to sign up by clicking on available two-hour shifts listed on the Food Banks volunteer shift calendar. Keep in mind that weekend shifts are quite popular, so you should plan to sign up as far in advance as possible to volunteer with younger kids, especially if you have a large group. Shift sign-ups are posted three months in advance for three-month periods, so, for example, sign-ups for May, June, and July are posted on February 1.

Volunteer With The Sf

Open six days a week / hours and locations are flexible

  • Volunteer at a Pop-up Pantry To support those who no longer have access to food, the Food Bank is opening a number of pop-up pantries.
  • Volunteer in the Warehouse Shifts are offered at our warehouses in San Rafael and San Francisco. Currently we are packing senior boxes and building grocery bags for home delivery.
  • Bilingual Support Help us reaching everyone in need of food assistance.
  • Deliver Fresh Groceries Load up your car and bring groceries on a weekly basis to homebound recipients.

Read Also: Utah Food Bank Mobile Pantry Schedule

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At A Community Pantry

SF-Marin Food Bank Volunteer Tour

What: The Food Bank distributes food through a network of 450+ partners. These organizations, for example, schools, churches, and community centers, are located throughout San Francisco and Marin, aiming to provide accessibility to community members where they live or work. These partners are responsible for organizing, staffing, and leading their distribution. In general, our partners receive and distribute food on a weekly schedule, and some would benefit from a long-term volunteer.

Although the specifics vary by site, volunteers at these pantries help with set up, distribution, breakdown, and cleanup. Heavy lifting is often required. Speaking a second language is also often a benefit at these pantries. Learn more about our pantry network here.

Who: Individuals, 18+

Where: Opportunities are currently available in the following neighborhoods:

Mission South Marin requires fingerprint and TB clearance

When: Every week, 2-4 hours per session, we ask for a 3-month commitment

Requirements: Interview with a partner organization, onboarding will vary by partner

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Food Bank Grocery Delivery

About the Eventpartnership with the SF/Marin Food BankVolunteeringin pairs or groupsChildren are welcome to participate with a parent/guardian! **


  • Day of the week: Tuesday and Thursday mornings
  • Arrival: 9am to bag and sort groceries
  • Return: Volunteers return from delivery around 11am
  • A completed background check if you would like to interact with grocery recipients.

Interested in volunteering?

Paritem Poonian 69 Of Tiburon Has Volunteered At The San Francisco

Poonian is among an army of thousands of volunteers who give their time to the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank volunteering to help the growing number of those in need.

Some 55,000 Marin and San Francisco households turn to the SFMFB each week, nearly twice as many as before the pandemic. In 2019 an estimated one in five San Francisco and Marin residents were already at risk for hunger, the Food Bank said.

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Find Out What’s Happening In San Rafaelwith Free Real

The people keep me going the community of volunteers. Several of us are regulars who have been together now over a year, Poonian said to Patch in an email.

In the time we have developed a friendship, connection, and a bond. We all share a common attribute – wanting to help and give to others in need. We as a group feel and see how we are making a positive contribution to the community.

Popup Food Bank In San Francisco’s North Beach Sees Soaring Demand

San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO – On the cusp of the Christmas weekend and the New Year, local food banks are making one last plea for help. The San Francisco Marin Bank says it still needs financial support to help offset inflation costs, as demand for help continues to grow.

“So usually our staff gets here around 7:30,” explained Rico Jones, site supervisor for Rico Jones supervisor for San Francisco Marin Food Bank’s North Beach Pop Up.

On a bitter cold morning, Jones was leading a team of volunteers, packing up bags of food. Launched in 2020, the site is now serving about 1,000 people every Thursday.

“Demand has gone up,” he said. “Certainly, since the pandemic.”

“Mostly elderly,” Beverly, a volunteer, said of the patrons. “And 90% are monolingual, which is why I volunteer. If they have problems, they know to come to me.”

Beverly has been volunteering since this site was launched. She says the crowds that form every week reflect a population in need that is often overlooked.

“They are kind of hidden,” she said. “They all live in their SROs or apartments and people don’t see them. So I think the need is very strong.”

On top of financing and securing enough food, one of the challenges facing the region’s food banks is traffic control, trying to manage the crowds that, in this case, will stretch out over four hours.


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The Food Banks Mission

The mission of the SF-Marin Food Bank is to end hunger in San Francisco and Marin by distributing food donations to needy people throughout the area a cause that even very young kids can get their heads around. Before volunteering at the Food Bank, take the opportunity to talk to your child about the problem of hunger in our community check out the Food Banks website for detailed information and how the work they do will help achieve the Food Banks goals. Your team leader will let you know at the end of your volunteer shift exactly how much food you helped prepare for distribution.

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Typical Volunteer Projects & What To Expect

You wont find out exactly what youll be doing at the Food Bank until you arrive for your shift, but projects typically include sorting fresh produce or donations from food drives, packaging bulk foods, and assembling grocery boxes for seniors. On my first visit to the Food Bank with my daughter and her soccer team last fall, we were tasked with packaging frozen corn. After donning plastic gloves and hair nets a source of great hilarity for the then nine-year-old kids we reported to a chilly workroom where tables were laid out with large vats of corn, plastic bags, scoops, twist ties and scales. Everyone at the table had a job to do, including measuring out one pound bags of corn, squeezing the air out of the bags and sealing them up, and packaging bags into boxes. Others in the group were in charge of quality control, checking the weight of each box, taping them up and putting them on pallets for delivery.

On our second Food Bank volunteer shift with the soccer team a few weeks ago, we participated in two completely different projects: assembling grocery boxes for seniors and sorting plums. The grocery boxes involved an assembly line process broken into numerous small tasks, where my daughters job was to add a can of pears to each of the boxes as it rolled down the line. As with the frozen corn project, the kids participated with a level of energy and enthusiasm that I wished my daughters had for cleaning up their own rooms and folding laundry.

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Volunteer duties can include boxing and sorting food at the Concord and Fairfield warehouse locations, assisting with senior food distribution programs and helping to distribute produce in a variety of communities. The food bank is taking extra safety precautions to protect the health and safety of its volunteers and employees, including a symptom-free sign-in sheet, social distancing, required face coverings, frequent hand washing and provided disposable gloves for safe food handling.

Also Check: Central Florida Second Harvest Food Bank

How To Give

There are many ways to volunteer safely. You can do:

  • Individual meal drop-offs
  • Phone calls from home
  • Outdoor, socially distanced volunteer shifts

If you choose to volunteer in person, remember to check your health, wear your mask, and stay 6 feet apart. We can all stay safe while helping each other.

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