Charity Profile: SF-Marin Food Bank
Every year, many San Francisco area participating bars select the SF-Marin Food Bank as their Negroni Week charity. We spoke with Food Bank representative Rachel Breuer about what support from the local bartending community means to their organization and the work that they do.
Imbibe: Tell us about the work the SF-Marin Food Bank does in the Bay Area community.
Rachel Breuer: People are often surprised to hear that 1 in 4 people in San Francisco and Marin is struggling to make ends meet, and that hunger affects all types of households in our community. We’re serving working families who need some assistance getting healthy food on the dinner table every night of the week, seniors who are living on a fixed income as the cost of living gets higher, kids who need a mid-morning snack during the school day, and individuals who may not know where their next meal is coming from. When these basic needs are met, there’s less stress, easier learning in the classroom and ability to focus on one’s life goals. We work with a variety of programs throughout San Francisco and Marin: meal programs, food pantries and snack programs for kids. One of the biggest issues we address is that when money is tight, food is often one of the areas people cut back. Many people skip meals to ensure that their rent is paid or they can afford their medicines. Our pantries help reduce this stress by providing a good selection of supplemental groceries that help households make ends meet.
Imbibe: How can people get involved in your cause? What’s the best way for people to help fight hunger in their own communities?
RB: 1. Donate money: For every dollar donation, we can distribute $6 worth of food—we stretch our budget with food donations, bulk purchases and the help of over 25,000 volunteers each year. We’re smart and thrifty. You have to be to end hunger. 2. Host a Food Drive: It’s a great way to get your office, group, school or congregation involved in giving back. Plus, you can raise awareness about the issue of hunger in your community and collect cans to be distributed to those in need. 3. Volunteer: We are able to purchase food at such a reduced rate because we buy in bulk. We rely on thousands of volunteer each to re-pack and sort the food to be distributed to the community. Last year, volunteers provided a collective 145,739 hours of support—the equivalent of 70 full-time staff!
Imbibe: How did you find out about Negroni Week? Did you know that so many bars in the SF area would be supporting you this year?
RB: Campari America has been a wonderful supporter of the SF-Marin Food Bank and let us know about the event last year. We have been anxiously awaiting this year’s event since then. We are overwhelmed with how many bars chose us that their charity partner this year!
Imbibe: Where will you be imbibing during Negroni Week this year?
RB: There are so many great bars participating in Negroni Week that are supporting the Food Bank that it will be too hard to just choose one—so we will be going to them all. It is a good thing we have a week to do it!