SF New Deal Meets Immediate Needs of San Francisco Residents and Small Businesses

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Growing collective of partners’ rapid response relief efforts have delivered 42,994 meals, investing $525,193.65 in SF small businesses since March 23, 2020

SF New Deal

“We are operating with an all-volunteer staff of 25 and have very little overhead, so we've been able to effectively support local small food businesses with every dollar contributed, while simultaneously feeding many thousands of people each week. Still, there is more to do."

On Sunday, SF New Deal (SFND) Executive Director Lenore Estrada reported the latest service figures for their volunteer-led relief effort, showing tremendous growth over three weeks. In an unprecedented show of solidarity with many of San Francisco’s most vital and long-serving community-based organizations, SF New Deal now has over 50 restaurant partners, and in its third week of operation increased capacity by 27 percent, to deliver 23,547 meals and disperse $250,000.

“These groups have been hard at work for years, bringing help to underserved communities here in SF,” said Estrada. “The Covid-19 crisis has been a wake up call for our city, and I'm moved by the way our community has come together to respond to these current circumstances in the spirit of collective care.”

SFND is pairing restaurants with existing City and Community Organizations to cook and distribute food to churches, clinics, public housing sites, SROs, and through outreach to homebound neighbors. Distribution partnerships are in place with:

  • Asian Pacific Fund Community Foundation
  • Chinatown Community Development Center (CCDC)
  • City of San Francisco's Human Rights Commission (SFHRC)
  • Korean Community Center
  • Larkin Street Youth Services
  • SF African American Faith-Based Coalition (SFAAFBC)
  • San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH)
  • Tenderloin Housing Clinic
  • UCSF Citywide Case Management (CCM) & SF Pretrial Diversion
  • ZSF General Hospital Department of Psychiatry

"This [SF New Deal] resource has been literally life saving,” says ZSF General Chief of Psychiatry, Lisa Fortuna, MD, MPH. “Staff are able to go out with food outreach and provide clinical care to patients, including at our supportive housing sites. This is helping patients to not have to go out seeking food, thus limiting their risk of being infected.”

“We are operating with an all-volunteer staff of 25 and have very little overhead, so we've been able to effectively support local small food businesses with every dollar contributed, while simultaneously feeding many thousands of people each week.” Estrada elaborates, “Still, there is more to do. We are serving more than 23,000 meals a week right now, but have demand for 11,000 more. And that's just on our current waiting list. We need to raise additional funds to help our neighbors stay healthy - their wellbeing affects all of us.”

SF New Deal mobilized on March 23, 2020 to provide immediate relief to small businesses while they await government aid in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis. SF New Deal is here to help our neighbors stay safe. Addressing their needs is:

  • CRITICAL to flattening the curve and preserving the capacity of local medical systems to address acute needs.
  • COMPASSIONATE by keeping our communities nourished, food secure, and connected.
  • PREVENTATIVE by providing community based, restorative care to chronically underserved communities, especially those who lack mobility, are housing insecure, or are justice-involved.
  • THE RIGHT THING TO DO. No one should go hungry during this time.

The shelter-in-place order is causing severe disruption to small businesses. An estimated 30 percent of restaurants will permanently close as a result of this shutdown. Approximately 25 percent of restaurant workers are immigrants and/or undocumented and thus not eligible for many government programs. Supporting local small restaurants to fill this community need serves as a vital lifeline for employers and those looking to work.

SF New Deal launched with a personal commitment of $1,000,000 from Twitch CEO Emmett Shear. Says Shear, "We know that our local economies will take time to recover, but we cannot let our neighbors go hungry. Local businesses and organizations are ready to do the work to make food and to help organize delivery to those in need, but they need support from ALL of us. Join us in helping support them."

The Timeline
On March 23rd, SFND started by delivering 100 bagged lunches each day to a clinic on Mission Street for caseworkers to hand out to their patients as they delivered daily care.

One week later, SFND expanded to 30 restaurants and launched delivery of more than 18,000 meals.

Two weeks later, SFND recruited 42 restaurants to provide services to 28 SRO’s, 20 public housing sites, 18 churches, 3 shelters for women and children, and the ZSF General Hospital Psychiatry Department.

In the coming week SFND is poised to offer nearly 30,000 meals while continuing to grow the number of small businesses receiving financial support.

SFND is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit. Personal donations can be made via SFnewdeal.org. Any individuals interested in making larger gifts from donor-advised funds, trusts, corporate sponsorship, or employer match programs can contact SF New Deal at hi@sfnewdeal.org or by calling 415-967-8247.

We are working closely with our partners to support the public good - many hands make work light and together we are healing our City of St. Francis. Join us.

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Vinny Eng
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