San Francisco Food Bank Collaborative Programming

Leah's Pantry and the San Francisco Food Bank are pleased to introduce a slate of collaborative programming in connection with the SNAP-Ed Innovative Projects grant we received in partnership with the San Francisco Human Services Agency.

All of the programs listed below are free of charge to eligible agencies and individuals.  

Who is eligible?  Any San Francisco organization or school whose clients include CalFresh customers. Partner agencies of the San Francisco Food Bank are automatically eligible for this programming.  Other agencies are eligible as well; email us for more information on all the programs below.

Workshops for Clients

Food Smarts Workshops (Kids, Adults, Seniors).  This multi-session workshops series includes a wide variety of nutrition, cooking, and health activities and information.  Every 90-minute session includes a recipe, but a kitchen is not required.  Workshops can be facilitated in English, Spanish, Cantonese, Russian, or Vietnamese with supporting culturally competent materials.  These workshops are facilitated by a Leah's Pantry facilitator.  Schedule FSW at your site here.

Single Session Nutrition Education (Kids, Adults, Seniors).  This interactive 90-minute single session workshop covers nutrition basics and includes either a recipe or a grocery store tour.  These workshops are facilitated by the San Francisco Food Bank.  Schedule a workshop here.

Pantry-to-Plate (Adults and Seniors).  This 30-minute cooking demo introduces your Food Pantry clients to delicious recipes using pantry items.  Special consideration is given to foods that clients find unfamiliar.  This can be paired with the single-session class described above.  These demos are conducted by the San Francisco Food Bank.  Schedule a demo at your site here.

Training Workshops and Education for Agency Staff and Volunteers

Food Smarts Training Program  This successful program teaches your staff or volunteers to conduct Food Smarts Workshops at your site. Training includes topics on nutrition, health, workshop facilitation and cooking.  Follow-up workshop materials are also available at no charge, and we can offer food expense reimbursements.  Since April 2010, this program has graduated over 75 individuals from 50 agencies in the Bay Area and San Diego. Fill out the registration form here.

Pantry-to-Plate Train-the-Trainer  Learn how to conduct Food Demonstrations for your clients.  Training dates TBD.  Please let us know you are interested in this training by clicking here.

Food Safety Basics Learn about best practices to prevent food-borne illnesses, personal  hygiene, temperature control and cross-contamination during this 1.5  hour class.  Register here.

Food Safety Training.  Learn how to educate your clients about basic food and kitchen safety.  Register here.

Nutrition Basics:  Encourage proper nutrition among your clients.  Topics include nutrition for vulnerable populations, food label reading, and health benefits of a balanced diet.  Register here.

Leafy greens

Food Smarts Workshops: Impact

Through our private questionnaires and data collection these are the positive responses from participants in our Food Smarts Workshops.

84% are consuming higher amounts of fruits and vegetables.

All of our recipes are plant-based dishes.  We shop where our participants shop and often source food from the local Food Bank.  Participants are able to easily integrate the veggies they use in class into their diets.

71% are drinking fewer sugary beverages.

We use the same messaging as the Network for a Healthy California ensuring consistency throughout programs.  Everyone is shocked when we show how much sugar is in their favorite drinks.

71% are decreasing total calories consumed from food and drink.

Learning what is in the processed foods we eat (and encouraging them to pass on the really yucky stuff), incorporating more veggies and whole grains, and decreasing sugared beverages all result in fewer (empty) calories for our clients.

98% report the recipes are easy to make.

Our recipes aren’t fancy, but they are super tasty and easy to make.  This is important for everyone - busy parents, kids, seniors, and clients with limited kitchens.  About 61% report making a workshop recipe at home during the course of the series.

97% reported they had a chance to participate in class.

We make sure clients get involved in the activities, discussions, and cooking.  Food is a great way to gather a diverse group and curiosity often wins over some of our shyest participants.

99% report the recipes are budget friendly.

All of our clients face economic restrictions.  By creating flexible recipes that take advantage of Food Bank items and ingredients that are commonly available, we help clients make healthy dishes they can replicate at home.

81% have made changes to eating habits.

We teach clients a framework for creating  specific, measurable, and realistic goals.  We check in with participants each week to give support and encouragement.  Some groups choose to create a group goal they all work toward.

99% report the information presented was practical and easy to implement.

The topics of health and nutrition often seem complicated, expensive, and inaccessible to our clients.  We keep it simple.  Our focus is on choosing fresh whole foods and minimally processed nonperishables.  We help clients navigate challenges presented by their environments.

84% feel more connected to their residential community.

When our workshops are held in housing communities, we find people make friends - often across generations and cultures.  Sitting together and sharing a meal is a great way to start new relationships.