A Proven Commitment to Providing Food Security
For many San Francisco residents, home-delivered meal programs provide so much more than nutritious food options and warm dinners. These organizations are the gateways to warm conversations, caring companionship and much-needed human interaction for seniors, persons with disabilities, and families in need.
Sadly, these critical service providers are under attack.
The current administration’s proposed federal budget would cut the Community Development Block Grant program, a crucial source of funding for home-delivered meals. Other vital programs that support nutrition initiatives are being dramatically reduced, imperiling the food security of millions of residents across the country.
Many of the beneficiaries from these programs are seniors with limited mobility options, leaving them unable to travel to a local grocery store. Others live in disadvantaged communities that do not have nearby healthy food alternatives — areas commonly referred to as food deserts.
Enrollees in these programs are often tied to fixed incomes, making the stability and reliability of home-delivered meals crucial to their health and wellbeing. And there are precious few outside resources for those who enroll in these programs — 70 percent of the enrollees are seniors who live in poverty, and many live in Single Room Occupancy (SRO) units that lack cooking facilities.
With these proposed rollbacks potentially threatening many of our important non-profit partners, we need to support them at the local level. That is why our proposed budget includes $9.6 million annually for our home-meal delivery programs, assisting organizations such as Meals on Wheels, Self Help for the Elderly, and Centro Latino de San Francisco.
Overall, my annual budget includes a total of $18.7 million in nutritional initiatives, which include community meals and grocery delivery services in addition to home-delivered meal programs. That more than doubles the funding levels from seven years ago, when I first took office.
Our community meal programs help feed veterans, and cater to the diverse ethnic makeup of San Francisco, serving up Chinese, Kosher, Russian, and Samoan-Hawaiian cuisines, among others. Last year, home-delivered meal programs contracted by the Department of Aging and Adult Services delivered more than 1 million meals through community dining programs and nearly 2 million home-delivered meals.
Without support from the city, our non-profit partners would struggle to meet the growing demands of their clients. During the next 20 years, the number of senior residents in San Francisco is projected to grow by 100,000.
Our country continues to experience great upheavals, and our vulnerable communities are the most susceptible to these tumultuous changes. We are doing our part to ensure that no San Francisco resident goes hungry because of some misguided policy developed in Washington D.C.