DataFox Serves up Hot Meals to Seniors and the Critically Ill

Posted in: volunteer, Project Open Hand

At DataFox, in addition to building a culture based on our shared values, we also put them to work in the San Francisco community!

In a city where an estimated quarter of residents have incomes that put them at risk of food insecurity, food programs – and the volunteers that support them – are a dire need.

At DataFox, we decided to put our values to work, strap on our hairnets and aprons, and lend a hand to one of the non-profit organizations making a massive positive impact on food insecurity in San Francisco – Project Open Hand.

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Food insecurity – the inability to feed with adequate nutrition without the assistance of emergency food programs – plagues anywhere between 100,000 and 225,000 residents, according to the recent study: Assessment on Food Security.

Located in the heart of San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood, Project Open Hand serves San Francisco and Alameda counties, preparing 2,500 nutritious meals and providing 200 bags of healthy groceries every day.

After a quick team vote, Project Open Hand was the clear winner of where DataFox would be spending our time volunteering.

The day began with an overview of Project Open Hand’s beginning. Project Open Hand was started in 1985, at the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic (which was hitting the San Francisco Bay Area especially hard). Ruth Brinker served a meal in her kitchen to seven men from her neighborhood struggling with the disease, and just like that, Project Open Hand had its first clients.

Today, the organization has grown and now relies on 125 volunteers a day. With 28 able-bodied volunteers, the DataFox team was equipped to do some damage in meal prep and service.

After the brief overview and tour, we were led into the kitchen and given instructions; it was time to put on our hair nets.

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Our team was split into various aspect of meal prep, from zucchini chopping and chicken spicing, to onion chopping (shout out to Stacy who did this task like a champ and as far as I could tell, shed no tears! Amazing).

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In two hours, the team got through six 50-pound bins of zucchinis and spiced one thousand chicken breasts!

Three lucky volunteers were given the opportunity to get face-to-face time with the clients and actually serve food. In a one hour period, 51 hungry San Franciscans were given a hot meal and beverage of their choice.

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After all the food items were prepped and the food had been served, it was time for us to eat (Project Open Hand provides meals for their volunteers, too). And this being the last week of Volunteer Appreciation month, we were lucky enough to end the afternoon with brownie sundaes, courtesy of the incredible Project Open Hand team.

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Thank you Project Open Hand for giving the DataFox team an opportunity to give back with such a wonderful organization.