Food Security

Shift Power to Communities to Ensure People Have the Food They Need to Live Active, Healthy Lives

Learn more about how we're taking action

Everyone should have reliable and dignified access to nutritious food. Keeping up with the rising cost of living in the San Francisco Bay Area and Hawaiʻi can be a constant struggle, and too many people are forced to make trade-offs between paying rent and feeding themselves and their families. 

While traditional food security strategies and interventions provide critical resources to communities, gaps persist. In the next phase of our food security work, Stupski will invest in solutions that elevate communities as active decision-makers in addressing this challenge. We see this as a unique contribution we can make to the field—promoting community solutions to meet community needs.

By 2029, we commit to ensuring that communities lead the way to increase food security for low-income community members. 

To reach our goal,

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

Invest in Our Neighborhoods

Promote community solutions to meet community needs

In the next phase of our food security work, Stupski will pursue a neighborhood strategy, collaborating with and investing in community-based organizations (CBOs) to identify and address food security needs in San Francisco and Alameda Counties and Hawaiʻi. 

Why CBOs?

CBOs know what their communities need. They are the first line of defense when individuals and families struggle to make ends meet. CBOs also have the trust of their community and are adept at engaging diverse individuals and families. They likewise shape their programs to be culturally relevant—offering multilingual resources and providing culturally appropriate foods—and promote dignity for community members.

This strategy allows flexibility for communities to define and determine what food security means to them. To start our work, we will invest in a number of planning grants with well-respected and effective CBOs in the communities we call home—San Francisco and Alameda Counties and Hawaiʻi. Over the next year, our partners will identify the most pressing food security needs in their communities and recommend solutions on how to address them. The most promising of these proposed solutions will be developed into implementation projects supported by the next cycle of funding.

Through our partnership with CBOs, we hope to also gain a deeper understanding of changes communities want to see in the food security infrastructure, such as food banks, public benefits, and school meals. We will use this input to guide our investments in large-scale food systems throughout the remainder of our spend-down.

Defend and Protect Public Saftey Net Programs

Public safety net programs have been under unprecedented assault from the federal administration since 2016—including the Public Charge rule, which allows the federal government to deny green cards to immigrants it deems likely to use public benefits like CalFresh and SNAP.  It has become imperative for Stupski to support advocacy efforts while fundamental protections are systematically undermined. The Foundation will also support efforts to protect recent expansions of benefits introduced as a response to COVID-19.  

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.

Use Food as Medicine 

Patients with chronic diseases and other severe illnesses need treatment options beyond medications and surgical procedures. Food as Medicine programs use an upstream approach that taps into the power of nutritious foods to nourish the body, help prevent disease, and mitigate chronic illnesses. Food as Medicine programs advance health equity by transforming the health care system’s role to increase access to, and utilization of, the best available affordable food to improve communities’ overall health. Our work will build on recent gains in positioning medically tailored meals for coverage by Medicaid with the goal to also include food prescriptions coverage. 

Boost School Meal Participation

School meal programs are a critical source of food for students, nourishing nearly 130,000 students who qualify for Free and Reduced Priced Meals in San Francisco and Alameda Counties. Breakfast is served at nearly every school in the two counties, but only 1 in 4 qualifying students eat school breakfast because of barriers like meals being served too early and stigma among their peers. 

We are partnering with Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry program to move breakfast to within school hours in our local school districts in an effort to grow participation levels to match the national average (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 to increase school meal participation and enhance food security.

OUTCOMES

By implementing these strategies, Stupski will support our partners to achieve the following outcomes:

ACCESS

Strengthened access to a range of food security resources that fit the unique needs of each of our communities such as farmers markets, SNAP and matching benefits programs, and new tech-platform solutions to bridge supply and demand

QUALITY

Increased quality of food security services, such as better nutrition, dignity of services, and culturally relevant food

RESILIENCE

Creation of community-led sustainable food systems linked to local food production, distribution, and fair labor practices