I have this happen every year—I feel as though I have plenty of time for the holidays, plenty of time until next year and then all of a sudden, here I am—staring down Christmas, frying latkes (we celebrate Chanukah and Christmas in our house!), and starting to plan for January workshops.
We have some exciting opportunities in January. In addition to our usual crop of BRIDGE Housing sites, we’re adding three sites in partnership with the San Francisco Food Bank. These sites are an outgrowth of the work we did at Valencia Gardens over the summer—an effective but rather chaotic attempt at running nutrition programming concurrently with Food Pantries sponsored by the SFFB. The plus side is obvious—residents are already there getting food, why not take a minute to talk with our staff or attend a cooking demonstration? As some of our facilitators know, a large attendance is hard to come by at evening workshops targeting families of young children. But these sites have their own challenges. People are wary of us, they want to grab their food and get home, or they have concerns we won’t be able to communicate in their language.
So, as I put together my team to do these Food Pantries, I’m putting “bilingual volunteers” on the top of my wishlist to Santa. These sites are basically unfunded, although the Food Bank is pitching in with supplies and some food, so we’re going to try and scrape these together as best we can. Our potential upside could be huge—if these workshops prove to be worthwhile for the residents, we could be doing a lot more of them (hopefully with some funding!)
So, Happy Holidays everyone! If we don’t have a white Christmas here in SF, at least we’ll have a wet one.