SF Ballet Gives Back with the SF-Marin Food Bank
Giving Back to Our Community, One Bag of Groceries At a Time
Days after the announcement of San Francisco’s shelter-in-place order, SF Ballet dancer Max Cauthorn reached out to Executive Director Kelly Tweeddale with an idea. “Is there a way,” he asked, “for SF Ballet to give back to our community in this time of need?” Max had been delivering groceries for several neighbors who were in high-risk groups, and he thought that maybe SF Ballet could do something similar for our audience and community.
Inspired by Max’s generosity, SF Ballet staff members reached out to the SF-Marin Food Bank to see if they needed help getting food to the community. The Food Bank responded quickly to say, yes, they did need help. As a result of COVID-19, the Food Bank is seeing unprecedented need at the same moment that they’ve had to close many locations and have lost many volunteers.
To help, SF Ballet began hosting a weekly pop-up food panty at the Chris Hellman Center for Dance every on April 13. When the program began, the plan was to host the pantry until the end of Shelter-in-Place – which at that point was supposed to end on May 1. With the extension of SIP indefinitely, the pop-up pantry continued, with dozens of dancers, staff, BRAVO members, and Food Bank volunteers serving approximately 900 families weekly.
Twenty-one weeks later, as Company dancers reenter the building for daily class, the SF-Marin Food Bank has found a more permanent location at UN Plaza. The last day for this location was August 31, but we hope to find new ways to partner with the Food Bank soon.
We also know that many of our dancers, staff, and BRAVO members will continue to volunteer with the Food Bank and we hope our patrons consider volunteering as well. In addition to the site at SF Ballet, the Food Bank also has pop-up sites around the city and is building out a program to deliver food to home-bound seniors. If you’re interested and able to volunteer, you can sign up through their website at https://www.sfmfoodbank.org/.
Header Image: SF-Marin Food Bank pop-up food pantry at the Chris Hellman Center for Dance // © San Francisco Ballet