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Alex, a recent hire at Meals On Wheels of San Francisco, reflects on his first experience helping with our Home Delivered Groceries program. In partnership with the San Francisco Food Bank, MOWSF Volunteers deliver fresh vegetables and other groceries weekly to 200 seniors in San Francisco.
One recipient Alex encountered in a small studio apartment at the edge of San Francisco’s Japantown, Qing ruffles through a grocery bag and pulls out one yellow onion. She squeezes it, testing its potential, gives an approving smile, and let’s it fall back into the bag. ‘Soup’ she says as she points to a pot sitting on her stove. ‘Veggie’.
Qing and her husband Zhong moved to San Francisco from a small town in Southern China in 2013. Since then, they have received weekly deliveries from the Home Delivered Groceries program. Qing and Zhong look forward to these visits. Not only do they have fresh ingredients delivered directly to their door, they also get a chance to chat with volunteers who deliver them.
Like many San Francisco seniors living in single room occupancy hotels, Qing and Zhong don’t get many visitors, so they were excited to invite us into their home. Danielle, a volunteer fluent in Cantonese translates for me as Qing describes the soup she will make that evening. As Qing filters through the bag of fresh vegetables, I can’t help but think it is this simple opportunity for human connection that makes the Meals On Wheels service model so unique.
As we leave, Qing and Zhong smile, say ‘Goodbye’ in their best English, I say ‘xei’xei’ and we head off to make our next delivery.