LAST UPDATED: May 7, 2020
Accessing Food During the COVID-19 Emergency
From the Office of Senator Scott D. Wiener (D-San Francisco)
Local food banks will likely remain the main point of access for food distribution as the crisis continues. The state is working to supplement food banks and community efforts to provide food by deploying 500 national guardsmen to distribute food. For families, school districts are continuing to help provide meals to children. Programs like Meals on Wheels are also helping deliver meals to seniors and other vulnerable populations.
Grocery stores are essential businesses and are open. Many grocery stores have agreed to specialty hours for seniors and/or those with serious health conditions. Call your local branch or check their website for the updated information.
Gov. Newsom has waived certain reporting requirements for CalFresh applicants - so beneficiaries won’t have to prove their income to continue getting food stamps. CalFresh recipients are also now able to order food online from Amazon and Walmart. Deliveries are free for orders over $35.
California has also launched Great Plates Delivered, which delivers three nutritious meals a day to vulnerable residents from local businesses/restaurants. For more details visit https://covid19.ca.gov/restaurants-deliver-home-meals-for-seniors/.
Many food banks remain open, including the SF-Marin food bank and Meals on Wheels. St. Anthony's, Project Open House, and other organizations throughout the city are also providing food.
Go to https://sf.gov/get-food-resources to find food resources in San Francisco. The website is part of the Mayor’s effort to expand food access by expanding the capacity of existing food programs.
For families, SFUSD will provide free meals to all children 18 and younger during the school closure. Sites throughout SF will be open on Monday and Wednesday to pick-up several days' worth of meals to take home. To find a site, go to sfusd.edu/schoolfood.
If you are having trouble getting to a grocery store, the MTA has launched a program to provide subsidized taxi rides for people who need to run errands but have disabilities or are 65 and older. The “Essential Trip Card” will cover 80% of the cost of essential travel. People who qualify can apply by calling 311 during the day and mentioning the program. More information is at SFMTA.com/ETC.
San Mateo County
- Many San Mateo County schools are offering food for children and families. Jefferson Union High School District Nutrition Services is offering food to-go at three district campuses for all district students and any children under the age of 18. Families can pick up meals from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with food for several days. Jefferson Elementary District is also offering food at three sites, from 10 AM to 1 PM. To find a school site near you, go to San Mateo County School Closure Meal Sites.
- Second Harvest Food Bank offers food at various locations throughout San Mateo County. Call 1-800-984-3663.
- Families receiving SNAP/CalFresh benefits can go to Expensify.org and submit a copy of their receipt (dated March 1, 2020 or after) that includes a summary of SNAP/CalFresh benefits used on the purchase. Expensify will then reimburse you up to $50 for essential goods and groceries purchased on your SNAP/CalFresh card.
- Boys & Girls Club of the Peninsula offers to-go dinners and will distribute grocery boxes to community residents starting April 1st. Click the link for information on days, times, and locations!
- St. Vincent de Paul offers food and hygiene bags at locations in San Mateo, South San Francisco, Menlo Park, & Redwood City.
- For the most updated county resources, visit the county website here.