Food Security

Ensure People Have the Food They Need to Lead Active, Healthy Lives

Learn more about how we're taking action

In a place with so much wealth, everyone should have consistent access to nutritious food. Yet 1 in 3 people in San Francisco and Alameda Counties cannot afford or do not have access to enough food to eat three nutritious meals a day. Keeping up with the rising cost of living can be a constant struggle, and too many people are forced to make trade-offs between paying rent and feeding themselves and their families. By 2029, the Stupski Foundation commits to ensure members of our communities have the food they need to lead active, healthy lives. We’re investing in solutions that not only feed people today but also expand the capacity of the system to provide food in the future.

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To reach our goal,

the Stupski Foundation will invest in the following initial strategies in the Bay Area:

Improve CalFresh Participation

Improve outreach and enrollment in CalFresh

CalFresh is a highly scalable and efficient way to ensure members of our community have consistent access to nourishing food. However, we know seniors, students, and non-English-speaking members of our community are currently underenrolled in CalFresh and are thus missing out on meals for which they are eligible. In addition, confusion over complex CalFresh application and documentation requirements cause more than 25% of CalFresh applications to be rejected. As a result, these households don’t receive the food benefits for which they are qualified.

The Foundation is partnering with community-based organizations and public agencies to improve outreach and enrollment in CalFresh. Specifically, we support efforts to develop innovative, user-centered CalFresh outreach and enrollment strategies so that more eligible members of our community are aware of and successfully apply for CalFresh. Our partners are developing scalable, user-centered solutions such as culturally appropriate awareness and education campaigns, online and text message-based enrollment, on-demand phone interviews, and other strategies to reduce wrongful or procedural denials.

Enhance the Food Bank Ecosystem

Expand our community’s capacity to engage with food banks

Food banks and their community partners are essential resources for individuals and families who do not qualify for CalFresh or need to supplement public benefits. This includes people who earn more than 200% of the federal poverty level and immigrants without documentation. Food banks are also critical partners in connecting people to public benefits for which they may qualify, such as CalFresh.

The Foundation is partnering with the Alameda County Community Food Bank and San Francisco Marin Food Bank to strengthen local communities’ capacity to achieve food security; increase local, good-quality food resources; and close the meal gap. This could include research to better understand the extent and depth of food insecurity in our communities, as well as the extent to which current food security solutions reach those who need them.

Boost School Meal Participation

Transform how students access breakfast in school

School meal programs are a critical source of food for students, nourishing nearly 130,000 students who qualify for Free and Reduced Priced Meals (FRPM) in San Francisco and Alameda Counties. Breakfast is served at nearly every school in the two counties, but only 23%-25% of qualifying students eat school breakfast due to a range of factors including difficulty getting to school early enough to eat before class and stigma among their peers.

The Foundation is partnering with Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry program to move breakfast to within school hours in Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) and San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) to match national participation levels (around 50%). Making breakfast a part of the school day just like lunch has proven to reduce student hunger, eliminate stigma, increase attendance, and improve academic performance – making it easier for students to focus and thrive in school.

As we learn more through our school breakfast grantmaking, we may also investigate other school meal programs such as: expanding summer meals, enhancing school kitchen facilities, and creating nutrition hubs to increase school meal participation.

In Hawai‘i, Stupski invests in organizations aligned with our focus areas. We are developing specific Hawai‘i strategies and investments in collaboration with the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation and our other partners across the islands over the next year. We look forward to sharing those strategies soon.

Resources

We constantly seek out information from thought leaders to challenge our assumptions and learn about the latest developments in the field. Here are just a few resources that have informed our grantmaking strategies.