EatSF participants experience the pleasure of fresh fruit and vegetables, some for the first time. The vouchers are also a stabilizing influence in their lives since they worry less about where their next meal is coming from or about how to obtain healthy foods for their families.
A program coordinator at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, an EatSF partner organization, recounted the following two stories:
“I was attending a group session last week… and witnessed a participant bring in organic strawberries he had just purchased across the street at the farmer’s market. He had used one of his vouchers to make the purchase and was able to buy enough to share the strawberries with fellow participants in the group. He spoke about how easy it was to use the vouchers, and that it gave him a good feeling to be able to purchase and share a healthy alternative to others in need. It also encouraged two more eligible clients to sign up for the program on the spot.”
“While assisting a Spanish-speaking-only client in filling out the pre-program survey with the support of an interpreter, I learned how he used his food stamps that equaled about two weeks’ worth of food for him and his family (3 additional people) and how he stretched that two weeks into 3-3 1/2 weeks’ worth of food. The addition of the supplemental EatSF program is allowing him to provide for himself and his family for the entire month now.”
Sharing a healthy alternative to others in need is definitely a sentiment we support here at EatSF, and supporting families struggling to make ends meet is one of the ways we’re breaking the cycle of hunger and assisting our participants in making healthier choices.