Report on food security in San Francisco released

Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesA customer leaves a Fresh and Easy grocery store on April 18

One in four San Francisco residents lacks access to healthy food, 62 percent of schoolchildren qualify for free or reduced-price meals, and more than 50,000 adults and children are using food stamps, according to a new report.

The report was compiled by the food security task force that was established in 2005 and provides details of needs within each of the 11 supervisorial districts. It identifies various challenges in food security that exist despite the robust services currently offered by The City and its nonprofit partners.

In District 11, which includes the Excelsior neighborhood, there are 419 households living without complete kitchens, compromising their ability to prepare nutritious meals. In District 9, the Mission, more than 6 percent of the housing units, or 19,500, lack complete kitchens.

Citywide, tens of thousands of homes lack such kitchens.

Funding is also a challenge. While need has gone up, funding for agencies providing meals decreased by $1 million, or 5 percent, between 2007 and 2011, the report said.

For the more than 220,000 residents living below 200 percent of the poverty line, eating healthy can be daunting, the report said. For example, “Seniors in District 11 living on a fixed income of up to $1,862 per month (200% of the poverty level) are at high nutritional risk and require 11,194 meals per day; 3,929 are provided by City and nonprofit agencies, including CalFresh (food stamps), leaving up to 7,265 daily to be funded for this most vulnerable population.”

Even for those who can afford it, healthy food may be hard to come by. “Many food retail locations are inaccessible in terms of affordability, (acceptance of food stamps), cultural appropriateness, healthy food options, and in many cases, safety,” the report said.

Thursday, the Board of Supervisors Neighborhood Services and Safety Committee is expected to hold a hearing on the report.

Assessment Of Food Security In SF: 2013

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