Friday, November 29, 2013

Spotlight on Hunger: WYCD Interviews The Food Pantry in San Francisco California.

This holiday season, What You Can Do is teaming up with Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen to help raise awareness and fight hunger in New York City. As 1 in every 5 New Yorkers face hunger, Holy Apostles plays a crucial role in providing food, support and hope to people in need.  

The What You Can Do team is based in New York, so we have the opportunity to collaborate with many organizations that are inspiring change throughout our city. Since fans watch What You Can Do from around the world, we thought this holiday season would be a good time to highlight different perspectives on hunger.  Over 49 million Americans are facing hunger today, with more than 15 million of that number being children. 

We interviewed representatives from food banks and hunger organizations across the country and in Canada, asking about involvement in their communities, services they offer, trends they are seeing in their areas etc. 

Our third spotlight this season is on The Food Pantry, a hunger relief organization that helps provide free groceries to families in need, in the San Francisco Bay Area.  

An interview with Sara Miles,  founder of The Food Pantry, in San Francisco California.

WYCD:  Please tell us a little about your organization and the community that you serve.

The Food Pantry offers free, fresh groceries to about 450 hungry families every week. We are a community-run organization, all-volunteer, staffed by the people who use the pantry.

WYCD:  How long have you been in operation?

Since 2000. 

WYCD:  Have the overall numbers of visitors changed in the last few years?

Our numbers go up when times are hard; we anticipate more visitors if food stamp benefits are cut.

WYCD:  Has the demographic of your visitors changed over the last several years?
(Are you seeing an increase in certain age groups, races, economic status, genders or the marital status of people needing your services?)

The incredibly high housing costs in the San Francisco Bay Area mean that we see a lot of working families, as well as elders, who ae simply unable to pay rent and to buy enough food.

WYCD:  What are the most prevalent issues in your community, and do you feel that this reflects the current trends around the region?

Housing, poverty, immigration.

WYCD:  If you have volunteers, are you finding more people involved in helping out, and does it fluctuate throughout the year?

We are all-volunteer. Glad to take individual volunteers of all ages, but we can't accommodate groups.

WYCD:  Do you have special requests for the types of food/meals that you provide?

We provide a lot of fresh produce.

WYCD:  What are easy ways that your community can help out your organization even if they only have one minute of time to give? What if they have one hour to give?

It costs us just one dollar to buy groceries for a family each week; $50 will feed a family for a year. Donations of money are far more effective than donations of food, though we appreciate getting fresh produce from neighbors who have fruit trees or gardens. 

We want to send many thanks to Sara Miles at The Food Pantry for sharing her insight on hunger in the San Francisco Bay Area with us. With hunger on the rise across the country in recent years, The Food Pantry's team of volunteers inspires us about how to participate in programs to help feed hungry people in our communities.  No matter what the size these relief organizations are helping to make a big difference in our world.

If you want to learn more about their work, you can visit the The Food Pantry website at:

If you want to learn more about Holy Apostles in New York City, you can visit their website at:

To join What You Can Do in the mission to help change the world, one minute at a time,
please visit us at:

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