“I lost some weight, my A1C is down, my blood pressure’s normal. So, it’s helped in so many different ways. My doctors are very happy I got on this program.”– Sandra, Eat SF participant in the Tenderloin community
Sandra is a member of the Tenderloin community who received EatSF vouchers for approximately a year. As a type 2 diabetic with high blood pressure, Sandra takes medication to manage her health but, “no matter how many pills the doctor would give [her], it wasn’t doing the job.” Her doctors advised her to eat a diet low in carbohydrates to balance her blood sugar levels, but many of the food assistance programs Sandra participated in only offered food high in carbs and low in fruits and vegetables. “So once I got on this program and was able to get the fresh fruit and vegetables it was like everything started to come down,” Sandra explains ecstatically.
Sandra loves to frequent the Heart of the City Farmers market to redeem her vouchers. She beams as she talks about how fresh and diverse the produce at the market is – she buys everything she possibly can! She even goes on to explain that some of the farmers at the market will give her extra produce, furthering the purchasing power of her vouchers.
The Tenderloin community is home to many people with disabilities, therefore, Sandra notes how important it is to have corner stores in the neighborhood that offer fresh fruits and vegetables. “When you’re walking with a cane or you can’t walk or you’re in a wheelchair, the farmers market is sometimes too far away for people. So having corner stores like this, it helps the people here.”
Sandra passionately describes how important it has been for her to be able to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables, “because living on a small paycheck every month, doesn’t allow you to buy fresh vegetables or fruits. And this does.” She goes on to express her desire for everyone in her community to have the opportunity to experience the EatSF program: “It’s a necessity…And this is what we need to survive here.”
Sandra’s story and the stories of many other participants at EatSF is why we continue to do what we do. Put simply, “the whole idea is to get good food in your body.” And it is our goal to continue to help people do just that.