The San Francisco Food Bank believes it is morally wrong and unnecessary for anyone in America to suffer from hunger. We define hunger as the shortage of enough food to live a healthy life. The hungry individual faces the inability to afford food or to shop for, store, and prepare food. He or she also may lack access to food programs available through the government or private charities. For an adult, hunger can impair vital daily activities such as working and caring for children. For children who have suffered from a lack of food, the effects are more profound. From lower academic achievement to long-term cognitive impairment, anemia and stunting, the affects of childhood hunger can last a lifetime. In our prosperous San Francisco community, over 150,000 people -- or one in five -- are at risk of going hungry because they are poor. Magnified by high housing costs and a rising cost of living, poverty in San Francisco strikes children, elderly, single adults and working families of every age, race and gender. The San Francisco Food Bank works with over 400 human service agencies that provide meal or assistance programs for people in need. This year, we will meet the critical need for food in our city by distributing 20 million pounds of fresh produce, frozen, and perishable foods and packaged grocery products throughout our city. With this food, the San Francisco Food Bank will provide approximately 44,000 meals each day to low-income people in San Francisco.
The San Francisco Food Bank maintains a variety of core food distribution programs. * Our pantry programs including the Neighborhood Grocery Network, Community Food Partner pantries, the Brown Bag program for Seniors, Immigrant Food Assistance Project and Produce pantries. These community-based food pantries provide weekly or bi-weekly bags of groceries to families, seniors and individuals in need of a constant supply of food. Based on our core belief that many people are better served through food pantries in their neighborhoods than other types of food programs such as soup kitchens, which are primarily based in the Central City, food pantries enable people to plan and prepare meals in their own homes. In this way, pantries can help stabilize needy families and seniors and bring them good health, normalcy and dignity. In 2003-04, we add "Healthy Children Pantries," servubg children and their families, to our roster of food distribution programs. *The Agency Shopping program distributes over eight million pounds of dry and canned goods, frozen and refrigerated products, bread and fresh produce to local agencies. *The Emergency Food Box program through which families in crisis are provided with an emergency three-day supply of food. *The San Francisco Food Bank also works to end hunger through education and advocacy. As one of San Francisco's largest and most prominent anti-hunger organizations, we have an opportunity and an obligation to leverage public support for the programs and policies that provide adequate nutrition for low-income people. This year, we will recruit community partners in the fight against hunger and work locally, regionally and nationally to advocate for food stamp re-authorization, increase access to summer lunch programs.