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San Francisco community market that provides free groceries in Bayview-Hunters Point expanding

San Francisco Bayview-Hunters Point community market provides free food without stigma
San Francisco Bayview-Hunters Point community market provides free food without stigma 02:20

A San Francisco market that allows disadvantaged residents to grab what they need at no charge is expanding its operations to two days a week to provide more residents with a new way to get healthy food options. 

The food at the District 10 Community Market in the city's Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood is free for those who qualify; part of an effort to move away from the experience of standing in a line for a box of groceries and help lift the street and surrounding area. 

"I want to be part of this project because I want to know that my neighborhood is being revitalized and is really filled with good ideas," said Diego, one of the volunteers at the market.

D10 Community Market started operating earlier this month and leaders say they are trying to scale up to have three days a week where families can come by to get the food they need. The city district has a population with lower health outcomes and more than 40,000 households that receive some sort of public assistance. 

The produce they select is meant to complement the unique diets of a diverse neighborhood and their cuisines. The market, funded by the city following an ordinance that created the project, is modeled after a similar market in Santa Barbara.

"The experience that we want people to have, is first of all, we want to promote healthy eating and food choice in low-income neighborhoods," said Geoffrea Morris, the lead consultant for the market and one of the co-founders. "So this market is to kind of delete the stigma that comes behind food insecurity."

While the market has funding to keep operating into next year, it is constantly seeking donations to keep feeding the community. The organization running it has an emphasis on seniors, but the market is initially targeting families with children up to 24 years old.

"Being able to get the freshest food onto the street because we have historically been a food desert so it's really important to see this beautiful vibrant fresh food in the community," said Cathy Davis, the executive director of Bayview Senior Services. Her agency got the bid to create the market.

She hopes the market can also recover food that is being wasted elsewhere but could still be nutritious items for their clients. In order to be eligible, residents are usually referred by a partner organization. Davis says it's already a gift to the neighborhood by attracting more people and activity to 3rd Street.

"It brings a lot of new good energy to the community," sad the volunteer and longtime Bayview resident.

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