Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Quaker Free Food

A block away from the Falun Gong meditation on Saturday at Civic Center, there was another mostly elderly Chinese American scrum on Ninth Street.

They were assembled for the weekly free food giveaway at the Quaker Meeting House between Market and Mission Streets, where packaged groceries are given away to the needy.

I asked the gentleman above why there were large gaps in the line and he explained that lottery numbers were given out earlier in the morning in an attempt to dissuade people from queueing up at 6AM, which was a previous problem.

Ticket holders are instructed to return at 11:45 AM for the noon giveaway, and asked not to smoke, be violent, be a minor, or save places in the line for others.

What this means in effect is that the scene turns into an outdoor meeting place for friends and relatives, as you can see above. The fact that some of the people in line turn around and sell the free groceries on Market and Seventh Streets two blocks away doesn't seem to be an issue. The bigger problem is the weekly Saturday morning crowding of the sidewalk, which is something of a challenge to wade through, but what the hell, San Francisco is a city.


janinsanfran said...

My church also does a Saturday food bank on Julian Avenue with similar lines (probably some of the same people as it happens earlier). The scene looks similar. Making the rounds of the food pantries looks to be how some older Chinese folks do their bit for the family well-being. We don't mind at all facilitating that scrap of dignity.

sfmike said...

Dear Jan: How nicely put.