San Francisco officials have announced the extension of Great Plates Delivered SF, a free meal delivery program for eligible seniors experiencing food insecurity during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, through Sept. 9, 2020. "The program’s extension is critical for so many of our older residents, while also supporting local businesses at the same time," Mayor London Breed said in a statement. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the program in late April, funded largely by money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Public Assistance grant program.
Eligible seniors receive three meals a day, usually on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, unless they need daily delivery due to a lack of refrigeration, according to Shireen McSpadden, executive director of San Francisco's Department of Disability and Aging Services. In a press briefing Tuesday, McSpadden said dietary restrictions are accommodated, for example, low-sodium, vegetarian or pork-free meals are provided. Great Plates Delivered SF has fed more than 350,000 meals to over 2,500 seniors in need, so far. The majority (more than 80%) of food vendors and restaurants participating in the program are minority owned.
McSpadden said food insecurity in San Francisco saw about 1 in 4 people needing help before the coronavirus hit. She said the city's food partners have reported a surge in need as the pandemic has progressed, with Latinx and Black populations hit particularly hard by both the virus and food insecurity. McSpadden encouraged anyone who needs help to call 415-355-6700 (and press "4") to determine eligibility for Great Plates Delivered SF.
People can also call 311, the general city customer support line, 24-hours-a-day, to get information about this and several other food assistance programs. The line is staffed in multiple languages.
- Polly Stryker (@hamrashaar)