Who are the hungry people? (you can help with a comment)

By Gayle Keck
San Francisco Food Bank

In San Francisco, they’re all around you. 150,000 San Franciscans face the risk of hunger every day – that’s 1 in every 5 adults and 1 in every 4 children. Yes, a shocking 25% of the city’s children don’t have enough food to learn and grow properly.

Who are the hungry people?

They are parents, like Janie, giving up their own food so their children can eat. Here’s Janie’s story, in her own words:

I’ve been working since I was 12 – started out with a paper route, and I did a youth program and then I worked in delis and restaurants, but then I got injured. Now I’m disabled. People don’t come onto this earth thinking they’re going to be poor.

I have a son, a sophomore in high school. This is a growing kid who’s constantly eating, wants something to eat all the time. And, sad to say, a lot of times it’s like, “Mom, there’s nothing to eat.” And that’s the worst thing. When your child is hungry and he can’t just go into the refrigerator or cabinet and get something to eat when he wants it. And a lot of times, I eat less and sometimes don’t even eat, just so he can have something. Even if he gets lunch at school he comes home and he is just hungry.

Who are the hungry people?

• 40% of the households the San Francisco Food Bank serves have at least one working adult.

• 84% of San Francisco Food Bank client families with children had at least one person who lost their job, received a pay cut or had work hours cut back in 2009.

• The number of San Franciscans on food stamps has grown by some 52 percent since 2008 – but still, only 39.5 percent of those who are eligible participate in the food stamp program.

• 24,000 households in San Francisco count on the food bank for groceries to feed their families.

What can you do to help?

• Leave a comment below, and Tyson will add 100 pounds of chicken to a truck headed for the San Francisco Food Bank – up to 30,000 pounds. Protein is the most-needed item for food bank clients – and the most difficult to obtain. (we promise we will not use your email address for marketing purposes)

• Make a donation. For every $1 donated, the food bank can distribute $6 worth of food.

• Volunteer. Help sort, re-pack and clean food that’s headed to the 200+ grocery pantries in San Francisco and Marin County.
• Look around you and remember: In a city overflowing with good food, every 5th person is hungry.

367 Replies to “Who are the hungry people? (you can help with a comment)”

  1. valerie

    who are hungry people you say
    their to color,no rich or poor big or skinny,short or tall.hungry people could be right next door,at your job or maybe you or me.Hungry people could be anyone.
    thank tyson for getting the word out

  2. Fr. MG Selvin Raj SJ

    Through CSR your organisation has been helping the poor in most need.

    I have been working among the poor in villages in India for the last 8 years. The Tsunami in coastal Andra pRadesh ( INDIA) took me closer to the suffering people. From then onwards I have been working among the poorest of the poor.

    Will it be possible for your organisation to help us under your CSR programmes.

    Looking forward to your reply. Thanks!

  3. Pingback: Scoop du Jour » Blog Archive » The 2010 Hunger Challenge Day 5: Chickening Out

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  5. betty stone

    i was wondering do u guys help people in western kentucky? if u do we could use so help on food for my family we have a little bit of food but not much we have 7 people that live here and we have a baby too i live in marion kentucky my address is 429 w bellville st thank u if u can help us

    • Ed Nicholson Post author

      Ms. Stone–Please get in touch with God’s Pantry Food Bank in Lexington–859-255-6592. They can connect you with someone in your community who will be able to help.

  6. Paula

    I will never be a rich person. I have to help others and I will give away anything that I can spare.

  7. valerie

    Thank you tyson
    Hunger has know time or month when it hit home
    I wonder could we have save a child feed a child day
    I just close my eyes and went back in time.
    Just Imagine a child went threw your kitchen garbage to find food and there was nouthing you can do,Know child should go with out food
    thank you tyson for geeting the word out there on hunger


    What a wonderful thing you are doing here 🙂

    I am a member of http://www.wishuponahero.com it’s an Awesome site and helps so many.

    It’s just a shame more help can not come fast enough for all the hunger in this world.

    But, KUDOS TYSON, you do so much good for the world! U ROCK!

    Please visit the website I posted and help stomp out starvation in the USA. So MAny on the site need FOOD for their children and family 🙁

    I wish I had a billion bucks to grant just the food wishes there. Sadly I can’t but every little bit helps, STOP BY AND GRANT A WISH OR MAKE ONE TODAY!

    Thank you!

  9. Colin M.

    I shop at the S.F. Food Bank every Friday and work with the homeless and low-income families/individuals every weekday in Marin County. This is a great gesture on the part of Tyson, their donations will help feed many hungry people. It’s unfortunate, though, that they treat their chickens in an inhumane manner. There is a great documentary, titled Food, inc., which has a first-hand interview with a woman who Tyson contracted out to raise their chickens. The lives that these chickens lead is incredibly sad and unhealthy. Even though people are poor, they should be afforded access to decent nutritious food that will help their children do better in school and improve their performances at work. The thing I enjoy the most about shopping at the S.F. Food Bank is the high quality food items they have available almost every week. If you load broilers up with antibiotics and other weird chemicals (like ammonia) they are inevitably going to affect the individuals that ingest them. Come on Tyson be a front-runner in the industry and clean up your act!

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE68F0XT20100916 (taken from Natalie M’s comment above)

  10. Sara

    Thank you Tyson for your contributions! People should really consider over populating the world. If you want a child, have 1- if you want another, ADOPT.

  11. Tim Simmons

    I know what it’s like – I lived in SF ten years ago and went hungry often. I’ve eaten at missions and I’ve eaten at Ruth Criss and I’ll tell you that the mission food tasted better in a way because someone was willing to help out. I hope this helps – pack another 100lbs of chicken on that truck 🙂

  12. Hartless

    Excellent initiative. Having spent several years in SF I can appreciate the need of many hungry families in the city. Kudos to your organization.

  13. Jan Frankel

    Thank you Tyson & everybody participating in this fantastic effort to alleviate hunger in San Francisco.

  14. Niki

    Wow! That’s amazing! I can’t believe how little effort it is to do something so big. Hope we can get to 30,000! Great job Tyson’s Food!

  15. Just Me

    Thanks for helping feed my teens. I TOTALLY understand teens always being hungry! I look forward to when CA starts hiring back teachers instead of laying them off. Then we all can eat every meal with out wondering what there is to eat.

  16. Faith Kramer

    I’m a Hunger Challenge participant, trying to live for a week on food stamps, so I can’t thank Tyson enough for coming forward with this fabulous donation.

    Thanks, Tyson, for your 3rd year of support for the San Francisco Food Bank’s Hunger Challenge and for your commitment for helping to end hunger.

  17. William James

    Thank you Tyson for helping those in need in San Francisco! A great Arkansas Company setting a great example

  18. Norma Eckblad

    Thanks for the reminder that people right in our own back yard are going to bed hungry. Thank you Tyson for the donations.

  19. Valerie Kirk

    I am grateful that the SF Food Bank exists, as so few safety nets remain in our country. As the mother of a young child, I’t heart breaking to know that many of my neighbors struggle to feed their children.

  20. Greg

    I’ve been participating in the SF Food Bank hunger challenge this week….and the four chicken breasts I included in my $28 budget were a major highlight of the week. Thanks, Tyson, for contributing so generously!

  21. Tami Twarog

    It’s the core hierarchy of needs – food, shelter & water. One can’t function properly without good nutrition. Thank you Tyson for helping out those in need.

  22. Susan Sanford

    Thanks, Tyson. Two loads of chicken for hungry people in the Mid-South in the last two months! 186,000 people a week rely on food from our food bank each week for their next meal; 62,000 of them are children! The number of homeless people is growing and we support the San Francisco food bank’s efforts too, since their homeless population is enormous!

  23. Tom Winters

    Thank you Mr Tyson for your generosity, and please remember if you recycled the waste products from the birdies, we could grow some extra veges to feed a few more of the hungry.

  24. Emily

    Having done the Food Bank’s Hunger Challenge this year (for the second time), I’ve gotten to feel, ever so briefly, what it’s like to have to survive on a very limited food budget. It’s difficult and not at all enjoyable, to say the least, and it has given me a renewed appreciation for the work the Food Bank and other anti-hunger agencies do.

    Thanks for donating to help combat hunger in San Francisco.

  25. Judy Judd

    I used to operate a Northern California food bank, and I know how critical it is for the community to support donations like this. Thank you to everyone who comments!

  26. Jim Evans

    Ok, Tyson. Add my 100 lbs. I’ll help load it if you need me to.

    Seriously, living in northwest Arkansas, I’m very proud to have the opportunity to have worked with the Tyson team on a number of projects. Whether it is playing golf at The Blessings for the Northwest Arkansas First Tee chapter, or providing event management support for local charities like Hanna’s Hope. Tyson ALWAYS steps up to the plate (literally). Great folks at Tyson and great corporate mission.

  27. Liz

    Tyson is truly a generous corporation- I know this is not the first time they have participated in a program like this one.

  28. Josh

    This is generoussss, even tho Tyson chicken execs are a bunch of douchebags. Still, this helps out poor folk like me and my kids

  29. Jill Brown

    Thank you Tyson!! Sometimes we think the hungry are just the people on the street with no place to call home. Sad to realize how many of them are really hardworking families.

  30. Eddy

    San Francisco Food Bank keep up the great work! You are making a daily difference in so many lives. Congrats to Tyson for getting involved and making a generous donation.


    Thanks to Tyson for making such a generous donation! This will be a small step for the many hungry mouths of San Francisco, who would surely thank Tyson and the food bank with all their heart.

  32. brandi

    I’ve gotten groceries for myself and my daughter from the SF Food Bank more than a few times. Thank you for doing this. People need food. <3

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  34. Natalie M.

    Who are the hungry people? Possibly these 750 women:

    CHICAGO (Reuters)| Thu Sep 16, 2010 10:20am EDT
    The Labor Department has filed a complaint accusing Tyson Foods Inc of systematically rejecting female job applicants at its plant in Illinois and is asking that the meat producer be barred from federal contracts until it fixes the problem.

    The Labor Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) believes that more than 750 women are owed back wages and more than 100 women should be given the option of working for the company.
    See complete story:

    Great to provide food for the hungry, but Tyson has lots of problems. It has a poor record on environmental pollution from its plants, labor relations, undisclosed antibiotic use in its chickens, just to name a few of the issues that have been in the news over the last few years. Thanks for the food, Tyson, but get to work on your other problems. You are not stellar corporate citizen by any means

  35. jeanne

    I volunteered at the SF Food Bank for years. It’s so sad that the need has increased. Thank you Tyson, SF Food Bank, and OneBrick for making this donation happen for needy families.

  36. Connie Hale

    I shudder to think about how many people would really benefit from a chicken donation, especially having heard the new poverty numbers. I appreciate Tyson’s offer, and am starting a bag of my own extra food to take to my local market….

  37. Bessie

    I used to work at Chicago’s food bank, and let me tell you, the need for healthy, protein rich food is always high.

    Kudos to Tyson for making generous donations!

  38. Melissa

    The Hunger Challenge has really generated a lot of sites that have recipes that are budget-conscious. I see many more listings with information about cost per serving, which is absolutely essential to me when deciding if I want to try something.

  39. maggie

    Chicken! Yes! Applause to everyone who is participating in the challenge this year – and to Tyson, for coming through once again.

  40. may k

    it is nice that someone is doing something to help this serious problem.! kudos to tyson and the food bank 🙂

  41. Shirley

    Thank you to Tyson and SF Food Bank. I’ve volunteered before. It’s a lot of fun and very rewarding. I definitely recommend it.

  42. Regina

    C-that’s the way that it begins
    H-that’s the second letter in
    I-i am the third and
    C-is the fourth letter in that word
    oK-i’m hanging
    E-we’re near the

    Oh, C-H-I-C-K-E-N…..that’s the way you spell Chicken

    What a great idea. Kiddos and adults all need their protein.

  43. HLG

    Thanks to Tyson for doing this. If they’d extend this program and make chicken available to non-profits that feed the hungry – like St. Anthony’s in San Francisco – that would be wonderful too.

  44. Joyce LeBombard

    This is a good thing you are doing, Tyson. There is hunger all over this country and all over the world. This is at least a step in the rig direction to helping to combat this problem.

  45. Elizabeth Krueger

    Thanks, Tyson, for donating to the hungry. An even better demonstration of your social commitment would be if you’d change your chicken-farming practices to do less harm to the farmers, chickens, and the environment.

    • Ed Nicholson Post author

      Thanks, Elizabeth. There are quite a few misperceptions about farming practices out there–many perpetrated by folks who are trying to sell books and movies.
      Here’s a video of some of neighbors of mine here in Prairie Grove, Arkansas. They grow chickens on a farm that’s been in their family since the Civil War.

  46. Steven

    Way to go, Tyson! Plenty of hungry people in SF. Hopefully you’ll spread these donations out over the year and not inundate them all at once.

  47. Kai T. Rogue

    Thanks for feeding people here in San Francisco.
    So many people are going to eat just because I wrote this. Including me. well, I won’t eat chicken, being a vegetarian and all…

  48. Gail Schmunk

    As a teacher of young children, I know that hunger can interfere with a child’s ability to concentrate and learn as well as the ability to solve problems and handle challenge and frustration. Thank you, Tyson, for your promise of donation.

  49. Jody Zonnenschein

    What a totally amazing offer from Tyson Foods in order to combat hunger in San Francisco. Just imagine how many bellies will be filled, how many children will not go to sleep hungry. Thank YOU!!

  50. Sheila

    I’m so proud to work for a company that gives back to the community and is committed to end childhood hunger.

  51. Margaret bradley-Moore

    Think about it, 27% of single mothers and their children live in poverty in the United States of America. This does not take in to account of how many people in the United States are unemployed or homeless. Thank you Tyson.

  52. Kathleen

    I look forward to repackaging this chicken on my next volunteer shift at the SF Food Bank. Thanks Tyson!

  53. Richard Hom

    Tyson thank you for your generous gift. I am happy to see that great companies find ways to give in these hard times 🙂

  54. Shuai Chen

    This is awesome! 😀 is there a limit to the number of times one person can comment? Does it only count once? Can I reply to other people’s posts and donate more?

  55. Lisa Meyer

    AND many people who are very poor DON’T qualify for food stamps! AND many people who are getting those services aren’t citizens, aren’t legally qualified. At some time, we all need some help. I’d be there now, but I have a support system that keeps me out of the cracks. Many aren’t that fortunate. Food not bombs indeed, I’d also add spend money on our children instead of killing other nations young people. . . create don’t destroy.

  56. Calley

    just for laughs,

    “I think a rotisserie is like a really morbid ferris wheel for chickens. It’s a strange piece of machinery. We will take the chicken, kill it, impale it and then rotate it. And I’ll be damned if I’m not hungry because spinning chicken carcasses make my mouth water. I like dizzy chicken.”

    anyway, Thanks, Tyson, and SFFB!

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  58. leapkate

    This is an excellent way to not only donate food to the hungry all around us, but to draw attention to the cause! Thank you Tyson and thank you fellow commenters/donors!

  59. John Kelly

    I applaud corporate outreach to the needy, I just hope my email isn’t going to be sold to a million lists. But I will risk it for the sake of feeding the hungry.

  60. John Curry

    Thank you, Tyson, for your generous donation. The 30,000s of poultry will help feed alot of people and will provide those in need with high-quality protein.

  61. Stacy

    Since 2000, Tyson Foods has donated more than 73 million pounds of food to food banks and agencies serving local communities around the country.

    Thank you for your dedication to help end hunger and for supporting the San Francisco Food Bank!!!!!

  62. Kim Thelen (Do not sell!!!)

    I applaud Tyson for its commitment to help the hungry in San Francisco and other communities. This is a step in the right direction for this company.

    I would love to see this company make some drastic changes in how our chickens and other meat products are raised and grown in the United states. The factory farming practices we currently have are unhealthy for the animals and those of us who eat them. I urge you, Tyson, to lead the industry in reform for the health of our children. Then, I might buy some of your products.

  63. bambrunn

    It is terrible that there is hunger in such a wealthy country as ours, but concerned companies like Tyson are helping to make a difference. Thank you.

  64. Hannah Schmunk

    San Francisco is a city overflowing with fabulous food. With its hundreds of upscale restaurants, San Francisco is considered by many to be the most sophisticated dining site on the west coast. However, in this affluent city 150,000 people are not sure where they will find their next meal. That’s equivalent to 1 in 4 children and 1 in 5 adults. Furthermore, nearly 42,000 San Franciscans currently rely on food stamps, a number that has grown by approximately 55 percent in the past 17 months.

  65. Maggie

    Thank you to Tyson and everyone at the food bank who are working so hard to take care of others! Here’s to protein!!!

  66. Kei


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  67. Kathryn

    Trying to think of something witty or funny to say but there isn’t anything witty or funny about hunger. It hurts. Thanks, Tyson, for your part in helping to end hunger in San Francisco and Marin.

  68. Liliana

    Thanks to Tyson for their very generous donation. Every person/family that gets to eat some of this delicious donated chicken will be very thankful as well!

  69. sfBirdie

    A special thanks to Tyson for doing this AND to my good friend who actually completed the Hunger Challenge! Way to go, Dana!

  70. Alice Galoob

    I applaud Tyson for their generous contribution to fighting hunger. Thank you for being leaders in this community outreach, you are awesome!

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