Meals on Wheels collaborates with Marin Sun Farms to incorporate 100% grass-fed beef into its menu.
Opening up The Sangiacomo Flynn Building, home to Meals on Wheels San Francisco’s new industrial kitchen and food distribution center has been one of the most important milestones we’ve accomplished, thanks to so many supporters since we began operating in the City in 1970.
We built the new kitchen with a number of goals in mind. Our top priorities include increasing our meal-making capacity to meet growing demand, continuing to advance the quality of our meals, and offering a choice of meals and foods to meet various dietary needs and preferences.
With these goals in mind, we are excited about a new collaboration that allows us to acquire the healthiest beef and pork to incorporate into our meals and even more flexibility in creating new entrees. Earlier this year, we began preparing various dishes and entrees using 100% grass-fed, pasteurized meats supplied by Marin Sun Farms based in Point Reyes National Seashore. This company, headed up by husband and wife duo Claire Herminjard and David Evans, operates the last remaining USDA-inspected abattoir in the Bay Area, is a certified organic and Animal Welfare Approved facility, and provides the highest quality meats available in California.
Like many couples, David and Claire met through their mutual work. David, a rancher by trade, grew up on his family cattle ranch in Marin and, through his experiences, had always wanted to produce and raise grass-fed animals. With the knowledge that small farms in the country have been on the decline for many decades, David started Marin Sun Farms in 1999 with the vision of building back the resiliency in the local food system, starting with small, local farms.
Claire also shared a similar passion. In 2011, she started her own company, Mindful Meats, with the focus of bringing pasteurized beef to underserved communities with a focus on public schools. When the two married in 2017, they merged their two business in order to advance their mission.
“Our goal is to provide access to healthy and clean proteins to all communities, not just those who can afford them,” Claire explained during a recent phone call. “Meals on Wheels fits within our mission as many older adults who receive your meals most likely cannot make it to the grocery store, or if they can, may not be able to afford to purchase good quality meat.”
Today, Meals on Wheels San Francisco incorporates between 3,000 lb. to 4,000 lb. of Marin Sun Farms beef and pork weekly into its culinary creations. The shift to higher-quality meats means additional health benefits for our meal recipients.
“Eating fresh foods is much healthier than eating processed foods, especially for our older population who may already have health challenges, such as controlling their blood pressure and/or blood sugars,” explained Nancy Wong, Director of Nutrition Services at Meals on Wheels San Francisco.
The partnership with local and sustainable companies is truly key in supporting the community. In addition to the Marin Sun Farms, Meals on Wheels is collaborating with local businesses such as Earl’s Organic Produce to purchase fresh bananas, as well as the San Francisco Wholesale Produce Market to recapture fresh food that might otherwise be discarded, reducing food waste while guaranteeing access to fresh produce to be used in our meals.
DID YOU KNOW?
Older adults process protein less efficiently and need more of it to maintain muscle mass and strength, bone health, and other essential physiological functions. Read the full article on Kaiser Health News.