Many San Francisco residents have a difficult time finding fresh and nutritious food for themselves and their families. This lack of food can be a contributing factor for families deciding to move away from the City. To help achieve our objective of helping to keep families in San Francisco, we focus a portion of our giving on organizations that improve access to food as one of our core program areas.
As many as one in four people don’t have access to enough proper food to maintain a healthy diet in our city. Fellow San Franciscans, including children and seniors, may be forced to skip meals or subsist on poor-quality food that is calorie-rich but nutrient-poor. Proper nutrition is a baseline necessity for raising healthy, active kids.
Effects of Hunger
Hunger affects individuals on three basic and important levels: physical, social/emotional, and intellectual.
Physical: Hunger and malnutrition make the body weak and vulnerable to diseases and infections because the body does not have the fuel to build muscle and fight off infections. In children, this can be deadly. Pregnant and malnourished mothers also deliver underweight babies, who struggle for survival. Children may have stunted growth resulting from malnutrition.
Social/Emotional: Kids may feel embarrassed or ashamed that they are hungry, and often will be irritable and short-tempered. These feelings negatively impact their relationships with their peers, teachers, and families.
Intellectual: Hunger impairs cognitive function and limits one’s ability to focus. Without proper nutrition, kids may also be prone to conduct disorders such as fighting, blaming others for their problems, and not listening to rules.
Proper nutrition goes beyond merely having enough calories, it also means understanding what types of foods your body needs to thrive. Many city residents don’t have access to fresh fruits and vegetables, or they don’t know where to find these key ingredients. That’s why we work with organizations that not only donate fresh food, but those that provide education to adults and kids as well.
How We Help
The Gujral Community Fund provides grants to support the work of charitable organizations that help improve both the quantity and the quality of the food our fellow San Franciscans need, such as:
The SF-Marin Food Bank addresses hunger head-on through advocacy, food pantries, nutrition education, and more. Their mission is to end hunger in San Francisco and Marin. Each year, over 200,000 people rely on food from the food bank and 60% of the food that is distributed is fresh fruits and vegetables.
The mission of CUESA is to educate urban consumers about sustainable agriculture and to create links between urban dwellers and local farmers. CUESA operates farmers markets throughout the city, helping to bring fresh, healthy foods to San Francisco’s residents. They also offer educational opportunities including talks, cooking classes, gardening workshops, and more.
Garden for the Environment is a ½-acre education and demonstration garden in the Inner Sunset neighborhood of San Francisco. Our mission since 1990 has been to teach sustainable gardening practices and are the only garden in San Francisco solely dedicated to this goal. This program is run by the San Francisco Parks Alliance.