SF New Deal Releases 7 Month Impact Report, Surpasses 1 Million Meals Delivered

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SF New Deal distributes over $10 million in immediate financial relief. Programs exceed magnitude of support received through Federally backed PPP.

SF New Deal

“Since the beginning, SF New Deal has been working to balance the need to address the symptoms of inequity that have long plagued San Francisco, while simultaneously building community partnerships and engaging in dialogue that endeavors to address the root causes of many of these issues."

SF New Deal interim Executive Director Jenais Zarlin announced the release of a report detailing the impact of their community feeding programs and the policy implications from their efforts with community members.

“Since the beginning, SF New Deal has been working to balance the need to address the symptoms of inequity that have long plagued San Francisco, while simultaneously building community partnerships and engaging in dialogue that endeavors to address the root causes of many of these issues. We recently surveyed our restaurant partners to measure the initial economic impact of our community feeding programs. In addition to survey findings, we reflect on larger trends, and recommendations to ensure a sustainable and more equitable recovery for everyone.”

Over 75% of SF New Deal restaurants reported PPP awards of $150,000 or less. Almost every SF New Deal restaurant has exhausted their first PPP allotment. As a second round of federal government intervention remains stalled, it is imperative that local and state governments continue to advance policies that ensure an equitable recovery for communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

Vinny Eng, Community Organizer and Head of Policy for SF New Deal remarks:
“It was evident from the onset of a Shelter in Place that COVID-19 would have far more serious consequences for communities who were already struggling with issues such as food insecurity, housing access, poverty, disability, preexisting conditions, and access to healthcare. Essential workers are keystones in our community and are the first to be impacted under economic distress. There can be no meaningful recovery unless we solve to eliminate the disproportionate impact that COVID-19 is having on women, immigrants, Black, Latino, and Asian American communities and put in place proper protections for essential workers who do not have the luxury of working remotely.”

An executive summary of the SF New Deal Impact Report follows below. The full report can be read online at https://sfnewdeal.org/impact-report.

With food insecurity growing and a 18-26 month road to recovery ahead, meeting the essential needs of San Franciscans is still a persistent and urgent matter. One out of seven small businesses in America has permanently closed due to COVID-19. Of SF New Deal’s 115 local small business partners, only one has shut their doors forever.

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 30-60 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.

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 415-480-1185.

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.

Executive Summary

March 2020 - October 2020

SF New Deal partners with community organizations to address the current health and economic crisis brought on by COVID-19. We work with local restaurants to create meals for neighbors in need and provide income for employees. Since March 23rd, SF New Deal has delivered over 1,003,494 meals and distributed over $10,250,000 in direct financial relief to 115 local businesses in all 11 districts of San Francisco.

1 out of 7 small businesses in America have closed due to COVID-19 forever. Of 115 SF New Deal restaurant partners, only 1 has shut their doors permanently.


SF New Deal Restaurant Partners were recently surveyed about the economic impact of community feeding programs on their businesses. The full report is available online at sfnewdeal.org/impact-report. What follows below are key findings and policy implications for state and local officials.

  • SF New Deal restaurants reported an 82% loss of revenue and a 64% loss of jobs in the weeks following shelter in place.
  • Direct financial relief from SF New Deal, allowed restaurants to recover $6,000 weekly or about 20% of the shortfall and about 19% of the jobs lost were rehired.
  • 75% of SF New Deal restaurants received less than $150,000 in PPP loans, amounting to an average of $6,250 per week of the 24 week program.
  • SF New Deal financial relief programs have outlasted most PPP loans and continue to provide a crucial lifeline as federal stimulus relief remains stalled.


Nearly six million jobs were lost in eating and drinking establishments in March and April of 2020, at that time, many of those losses were presumed to be temporary. However, the prolonged impact of COVID-19 has resulted in staggering permanent job losses. According to the National Women’s Law Center, "of the 1.1 million people ages 20+ who left the workforce between August and September, over 800,000 were women, including 324,000 Latinas and 58,000 Black women.” Many SF New Deal restaurants have expressed that participating in the program has enabled them to extend employment opportunities to employees, particularly immigrants, who either don’t have access to state unemployment programs or whose claims are among the millions are still awaiting processing.


Almost all of SF New Deal restaurant partners have exhausted their initial PPP loan allotment and are facing barriers to becoming cash-flow positive. These hardships are already proving to be nearly insurmountable without new government assistance. With negotiations stalled for another federal economic stimulus bill – that includes $120 billion in financial relief to the restaurant industry – state and local government intervention is crucial to ensure that workers and operators have a fighting chance at recovering equally.

SF New Deal recommends the following:

  • Access to free legal counsel against unlawful commercial and residential evictions.
  • Increasing access to government relief, social safety net programs, and lines of credit regardless of immigration status.
  • Increasing availability of public financing, community based guarantors, and dedicated funding for street vendors and those who operate in informal markets.
  • Increasing the share of government services procured through small businesses.
  • Universal health care not dependent on employment, access to rapid result testing, and free COVID-19 treatment for essential workers.
  • Affordable child care for working parents.
  • Lowering the costs of commuting for essential workers.
  • Tax credits for rent forgiveness and other arrangements that relieve debt.


Operators will continue to rely on community feeding programs like SF New Deal to alleviate the pressure to prematurely restart indoor dining room service. Dining at restaurants still possess an element of uncertainty given the persistence of the
community transmission of COVID-19.

SF New Deal continues to address the symptoms of disproportionate impact of COVID-19 while simultaneously building community partnerships to address the root causes of inequity. It is our belief that by centering those closest to harm, amplifying the work of community leaders and taking a collective action approach, we will be able to create a lasting impact that achieves recovery for everyone.

Read the entire Impact Report online at http://sfnewdeal.org/impact-report.

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Vinny Eng
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