Did you know that San Francisco is home to 8,000 homeless people...and that nearly 70 percent of homeless don't even eat on a daily basis?
Yep, it's no secret that SF carries the hugely unflattering title of America's second largest homeless population, and not a day goes by without someone begging the question, what the hell are we gonna do about it? Instead of sitting around waiting for someone else to fix it, why not kick off 2017 by helping to put food in the bellies of those people in need? Perhaps unsurprisingly, there are apps for that.
Moving the world forward takes one step at a time—and Charity Miles takes this message literally. With every mile you bike, run, swim, or walk, you can donate money (amounts vary from sponsor to sponsor) to an organization of your choice. In the spirit of feeding SF's growing homeless population, we recommend putting your mileage dollars toward Feeding America, which distributes more than 47 million pounds of food every year throughout various SF food banks including Project Open Hand.
Whether you're a large-scale grocery store with a pallet of cosmetically imperfect but perfectly edible squash, or a private catering company with mounds of uneaten hors d'oeuvres leftover from a client party, Food Cowboy will be more than happy to wrangle it for you. Download the app, set up a user profile, and describe the food you would like to donate. The team at Food Cowboy will connect you to local charities and food banks in need of your offering. With a rewards point system based on donation hauls, you'll be coming out ahead too—all accepted donations are tax-deductible.
Waste No Food
Similar to Food Cowboy, Waste No Food's philosophy is if you don't want it, someone else probably does. Whether it's leftovers from a hotel's cold brunch buffet or the excess bread from your family reunion, Waste No Food, an open marketplace for local charitable venues, will give it to soup kitchens or homeless shelters that need it. You can either download the app or register on the website, list what excess product you have with their description and expected shelf-life, and then wait for a ping. Registered Bay Area food pantries and shelters will contact you for a pick-up. No need to do any heavy lifting—the charities are responsible for the pick-up as well as any costs associated with transporting the goods.
Volunteer Match is the safe, altruistic step-sibling to Craigslist. (And "matching" on Volunteer Match won't lead to any Lifetime movie iterations any time soon.) Simply create an account and begin perusing volunteer opportunities organized around your interests—for example, offering a helping hand at Food Runners, North Peninsula Food Pantry, and SF-Marin Food Bank.