Giving Back This Season and Always
Bi-Rite community team highlights four amazing, local San Francisco nonprofits doing good this season.
Each month the Bi-Rite Family of Businesses shines a spotlight on local nonprofits that are directly serving those in need in our neighborhoods. This December, members of our staff who are especially committed to extending our community impact, selected four partner programs to highlight: The Women’s Building Food Pantry, Mo’Magic healthy holiday meal box program, Friends of the Urban Forest tree planting, and Tenderloin Safe Passage’s community safety initiative.
And in the spirit of the season, staff will be volunteering at each partner program throughout the month and helping collect donations for the organizations in the Markets.
We sat down with our staff to learn more about these partners and why they’re excited to give back this holiday season:
In addition to financially supporting these community partners, this season staff across the Bi-Rite Family of Businesses are also volunteering. Why do you think that’s especially meaningful?
A significant reason we’re able to support these partners – and to take time to volunteer – is because of our guests. They make a conscious decision to support a company that values community every time they shop with us or order catering. Volunteering is an opportunity for us to increase our impact, to spend time together as a company, and bond in our shared passion for helping others. – Rachel Gray, Bi-Rite Catering
You’ve volunteered at Mo’Magic for the past three years, what’s your experience been like?
This program is amazing! It’s Bi-Rite’s seventh year collaborating with Mo’Magic, some of our producers, other San Francisco companies, and the local police department to put together holiday meal kits full of seasonal produce and sustainably raised turkeys to give to 250 families in need in the Western Addition. It is incredibly empowering for me to be a part of that legacy and always heartening to see different parts of the community work together towards a common goal. – Ryan Wong, Bi-Rite Market Divisadero
We often think of the presentation and beauty of food – which is something you also thought of when selecting Friends of the Urban Forest as a community partner. Tell me more about that connection.
The Bayview district, where our commissary kitchen is located, is an area alive with culture and community. And it’s also filled with a lot of warehouses and large buildings. Friends of the Urban Forest’s mission is to promote a larger, healthier urban forest as part of San Francisco’s green infrastructure through community, tree care, education, and advocacy. We’re inspired to take action; planting trees to beautifying the Bayview district with a gift that keeps on giving. – Tina Ruiz, Bi-Rite Catering
You mentioned that now more than ever it’s important to show up for our most vulnerable community members. How are you showing up?
Our neighbor, The Women’s Building is a safe place. Focused on women’s issues they provide the tools and resources for everyone to create better lives for themselves. What a mission! And I think volunteering is the single most important thing we can do for our communities. This season we’ll be helping at The Women’s Building food pantry, helping distribute free food to our Mission community members. They’re the ones we need it the most, and it’s important that we see them, that we serve them, that we help give them the tools to create resilience. – Moira Chase, Bi-Rite Market 18th Street
This will be Bi-Rite’s first holiday season at our new location in Civic Center Plaza, what are you looking forward to about volunteering in this neighborhood?
The Tenderloin and Civic Center neighborhoods are some of the most unique and diverse areas of San Francisco. We’re excited to work with Tenderloin Safe Passage, an organization that is truly an integral part of the fabric of the Tenderloin neighborhood. It’s so amazing that Safe Passage, a program started by a group of mothers who came together to find a new way to keep their children safe, has grown into this coalition of community members working to respond to different emergencies while rerouting children to avoid traumatic situations and contributing to a culture of safety in the Tenderloin. We can’t wait to get out there and meet more of our neighbors! – Tim Ross, Bi-Rite Cafe
How is volunteering in step with Bi-Rite’s mission of Creating Community Through Food?
Our passion for community building thrives through service to local organizations. Our staff live in the very communities we aim to serve, and volunteering is a way for employees to further experience how their work has a direct impact. We’re drawn to the mission of Creating Community Through Food, and we try to find small and large ways to fulfill that mission, every day. – Sierra Hawthorne, Bi-Rite Market Divisadero.