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Sinnamond gives partial credit for her healthy waist-length hair to MOWSF’s Home Delivered Groceries (HDG) program, which provides bags of fresh groceries to low-income seniors every Wednesday. The retired health professional says after her hair had noticeably thickened, her doctor asked her if she was eating more protein.
“She said to me, ‘Something’s changed. You’re looking better. I can see it.’ And that’s because of this program,” said Sinnamond. “I wasn’t getting enough protein because it’s the hardest thing to buy. It’s the most expensive thing in the store.”
The HDG program is run in partnership with the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank. The Food Bank provides fresh fruits, vegetables, protein, grains and more, and then MOWSF provides the volunteers, who pack the groceries into bags and then deliver them to seniors around the city. Each week, volunteers bring food to nearly 200 seniors.
Sinnamond, who asked that we not mention her age, lives in an affordable senior housing complex where many of her neighbors also receive home-delivered groceries from MOWSF. She runs a monthly cooking class, often using food from the program. But Sinnamond not only shares her recipes, but her food as well. “Across the hall there was a man who was a veteran and he had severe difficulties. I was worried about how thin he was, so I began taking him soup,” Sinnamond says.
“After one year, he began saying to me I want to cook something. What is in here? What makes it taste so good? And it was just whatever Meals On Wheels of San Francisco was bringing me,” said Sinnamond. Her neighbors will sometimes gather their resources a potluck, MOWSF style – one neighbor will make the chicken, while Sinnamond bakes a cake, using the eggs from her delivery.
MOWSF Volunteer Conor Egan, a VP at a start-up tech company, brings Sinnamond her groceries each week. He gets to the MOWSF headquarters at 7 a.m. to pick up the grocery bags, and then hits the road. Conor, whose grandparents are no longer alive, says volunteering gives him an opportunity to have the interactions with elderly people he otherwise wouldn’t have. “I feel like they have wisdom to give and could use some help,” he says.
When his car broke down and he could not make a delivery last month, he made sure to explain to Sinnamond the following week what had happened.
“He makes it seem like we are important enough to tell us why he wasn’t here. He makes you feel as though you’re a real person,” Sinnamond says.
In her last delivery, Conor brought her three bags of plump cherry tomatoes. “They’re delicious, I eat them like candy” said Sinnamond. “Nothing ever gets wasted.”