A 69-year old EatSF participant and Curry Senior Center client receives EatSF vouchers along with a once-a-month nutrition class through the center located in the heart of the Tenderloin district of San Francisco. She speaks of the impact that EatSF has had on her own life, how it unites her community, and how it provides hope of a better future for the Tenderloin.
EatSF’s partnership with Curry Senior Center provides a space for participants to attend classes that help them identify ways to improve their diets to better their health. Once strategies for each participant are identified, like increasing potassium consumption for this particular participant, participants use EatSF vouchers to purchase fruits and vegetables to manage and improve their health. Partnering vendors like Mr. Radman, owner of Radman’s Produce Market, then help participants identify produce that meet their needs.
This EatSF participant raves about the impact that Mr. Radman’s store has had on improving the food landscape of the Tenderloin community and how EatSF vouchers provide Mr. Radman with a stable market for selling fruits and vegetables. “When he first opened up, I remember how he was struggling, trying to find out what the community wanted. Now, people go to him because the quality of his products are good. I like him because I can talk to him. If he doesn’t have something that I want, I can say, ‘Mr. Radman, can you go and get so and so, so and so?’ and he gets it. If it works, he keeps it.”
In addition, this participant describes how EatSF provides stability to an otherwise unstable community. “I think the program draws us together…We all sat there week after week getting to know each other, and now we feel like a family…And it’s all over the vouchers, once a month.” This participant explains that many members of the community want to “make the Tenderloin just as good a community as any other community in this city.” There is a belief in the community that the EatSF program has the opportunity to do just that — unite the Tenderloin and make it a better place to live through the simple act of eating and enjoying healthy food together.