San Francisco community orgs feed Filipino seniors during crisis

SAN FRANCISCO — At the cross streets of Lapu Lapu and Rizal is San Lorenzo Ruiz Center for Filipino Senior Living.

And on every Thursday, since the shelter in place order due to the coronavirus pandemic — various Filipino-led organizations in the area have been delivering groceries to residents in need particularly the seniors.

Back at the Bessie Carmichael school food was being prepared by over a dozen volunteers, from groups like United Playaz and West Bay Pilipino Center.

This has been a collaborative effort from all the Filipino-led organizations in the South of Market neighborhood.

“I would say that it was a community decision. It’s not one organization that wanted to put this together, it was all of us. And during a crisis like this it’s important that we all come together and work on the one umbrella,” said Rudy Corpuz Jr.

Filipino orgs have been making sure the specific needs of the elderly are met.

“A lot of our seniors have been requesting sardines, instant coffee, oatmeal, so we try to at least make them feel more comfortable and have those foods as well. crossword puzzles,” said Carla Laurel.

Volunteers here have said this experience has been very rewarding, especially when they know their help is very much needed during the crisis.

“As many of our seniors, especially the Filipino seniors, live on their own. They don’t have grandchildren. Their spouses have already passed and so they’re really isolated. So it’s really amazing to know that like, not just that we’re all one community, but we’re still carrying on that Filipino tradition of family, and we’re taking care of all of the lolos and lolas.”

Organizers also made sure all volunteers are following the safety precautions.

“We make sure that all of our staff and volunteers are wearing masks, have gloves, and remind all of the seniors and families to wash their food and still sanitize everything.”

Majority of the food is provided by the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank.

“So the food bank sources the food from various different places. All of the produce that you see here the fruits and vegetables come from farms. We get a lot of it from the Central Valley through a program called Farms and Family, but it comes from many places,” said Isabel Flores. “We purchase some of the items from the protein to the green and the staples that we want to make sure everybody gets every week. We get a lot of donations of course.”

As the San Francisco Bay Area enters the fourth week of the lockdown — volunteers here pledged to keep help coming.

“As long as it takes. There ain’t no time. We’re going to continue to do this. High tide, low tide. Rain or shine, baby. We here for the people. It takes the hood to save the hood.”

Sardines and coffee have been donated by the Sarap Shop, the Filipina Women’s Network, and other businesses and groups from the community.

Bayanihan Equity Center, South of Market Community Action Network, Kultivate Labs, Bindlestiff, and SOMA Pilipinas have also been volunteering through food preparation and delivery.

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    4 April 2020 at 9:30 pm - Reply

    California and Washington State, their curve is going down meaning infection and death is down for 2 days. ITALY curve is also going down. Daily Live TV TFVirus briefing said, US is following ITALY model which is 12 days ahead on the US, also said this 10-14 days is the peak, expect more death, mostly those on a ventilator and got infected 3 weeks ago. As of 4/4; Italy still #1 on death at 15,362 #2. Spain 11,744 #3 US at 8,100 death.