Video | Visit To A Food Pantry

We followed Elianna Roffman, Senior Program Coordinator of the SF Food Bank, to St. Francis Pantry, a food pantry in their network. In this video, we get a first-hand look at what it’s like to visit a food pantry and we get to talk to Carol and Sally, who are St. Francis Pantry committee leaders.

Visit To A Food Pantry

Elianna Roffman, SF Food Bank Senior Program Coordinator:
 We are at St. Francis, which is one out of our 200 pantries in San Francisco. And today we’re at their food pantry, and we’re actually here right when it’s going on. So, it starts around 3:45 PM, and how it works is that they have a lottery system, so each week they’re able to serve different participants first in order to keep it fair.

So, we’re in the line right now, and we’re going to walk through. And most participants come with bags or carts or reusable bags, so they can easily take their food home. Probably most of them are coming on a bus or walking home.

When people first come in, they’re just signing in on the registration form, and the volunteers are here to greet them, and the go on in and grab the food.

Carol & Sally, St. Francis Pantry Committee Leaders:
 And we’re part of the food pantry. We have a budget from our church where one of our shoppers will go on Tuesday. They will pick up what’s available on the food bank’s floor.

Today, we have USDA ham. Lots of produce, lots of fresh produce provided by the food bank. We’ll buy things like bread, cereals, rice, pastas. We purchased half a dozen eggs for everybody here today, so we usually try to have some kind of protein.

Caption: There was a 32% increase in demand for food assistance in the past year, a 46% increase since ’08.

Carol & Sally: We know that with a lot of people out of work, because of the economy and having to cut back on things, if they can get some food here, it maybe allows them to buy, pay for their electric bill, their rent, or something else they can’t do without.

Is it possible to eat healthy on a food stamp budget?

Visit to find out.

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