While times of crisis, like the global pandemic we are currently living through, certainly put an incredible strain on our daily lives, these times of adversity also provide humankind with an incredible opportunity to illustrate the best traits our species has to offer. It can be easy to focus on the less positive stories that permeate the media, like those around toilet paper and hand sanitizer hoarders, or the relatively small factions of people across the country who are neglecting to social distance as they protest stay-at-home orders or crowd public beaches. But if you look a little harder, you’ll find that there are far more people doing good and trying their best to give back in whatever ways they can.
Here in San Francisco, we’ve seen many companies going above and beyond to ease various burdens that COVID-19 has thrust onto our city and its people. We’ve pulled together a few of their stories to help spread the word and amplify their impact. We hope you’ll consider supporting these businesses to thank them for doing their part in these unprecedented times.
Bistro SF Grill is a gastropub and wine bar that serves everything from burgers and fries to steaks, seafood, and vegan fare. Since the crisis began, however, owners Hasim and Senijad Felic have modified their business model and their menu. In an effort to keep their staff employed and the people in their neighborhood nourished, the restaurant is now selling healthy meals for just $5.50.
Available for pickup during lunch from 11AM-2PM and dinner from 4:30-7:30PM, their menu changes daily, but the meals remain consistently healthy and delicious. So far, they’ve offered chicken paella, salmon dijon with mashed potatoes, a vegetable polenta, and many more. The restaurant serves hundreds of these meals each day, and they plan to continue doing so for as long as needed.
If you want to help support this noble effort and have the means to do so, Bistro SF is accepting donations. If you’re in need of a hot meal, or know someone who is, you can visit Bistro SF at 1305 Castro St. in Noe Valley. One note: if you plan to pick up a meal, remember to bring cash. During this time, credit cards are not being accepted.
Want to learn more about the project? Read this article from SF Gate.
This popular tea house is known for its healthy cuisine and wide selection of, you guessed it, teas! During the COVID-19 crisis, Samovar has begun offering free meals on Mondays, known as the Samovar Cares Lunch Box. This box includes a bowl of veggie jook, which is a delicious and comforting rice porridge, and a cup of tea. These complimentary meals can be picked up at their Fillmore or Valencia Street locations from 10AM-5PM. If you’re closer to their location on Howard Street, pickup takes place between 10AM-4PM.
Want to say thanks to Samovar for their generosity? You can use the “tip jar” function on their website to leave a one-time donation. If you want to provide longer-term support, they also offer a meal plan subscription service, which is available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. As we all shelter-in-place, this is a great option for anyone who is looking to add a bit more variety to their daily meals or get a periodic break from the constant cooking a lot of us have recently taken on. Their meals are nutritious and delectable, but, depending on what you order, they can land on the pricier side, so make sure to choose your menu and frequency of delivery wisely.
In addition to staying open for quick pickups of your favorite caffeinated pick-me-ups, Andytown Coffee Roasters has also gone above and beyond to ensure our frontline healthcare workers’ coffee needs are met during this time. Since they began taking donations from customers, they have raised more than $60,000 to coordinate up to 4 hospital donation drop-offs per day. The best part of Andytown’s story? It has proven that doing good is just as contagious as any virus. Since they started this initiative, other local businesses, like a juice bar and granola maker, have followed suit, and other coffee shops across the country have started similar programs in their cities.
Want to lend a helping hand? It’s as easy as patronizing the coffee shop for your morning brew or afternoon iced latte. If you’re feeling particularly generous, feel free to tip generously or offer a donation to keep their program going strong.
In an effort to protect and bring much-needed comfort to San Francisco’s most vulnerable, Kim Dang, the owner of Eric’s Restaurant, began personally delivering free meals to the elderly and immunocompromised in her neighborhood. Using social media, Dang’s daughter was able to connect her mother with those most in need. At the beginning of the quarantine, she delivered 15 meals per day, but that number has quickly grown to 45 meals per day, five days per week.
To say the recipients of these meals are grateful would be an understatement. And while the food itself is certainly appreciated, it is the personal touch and obvious care Dang puts into this effort that really makes the most meaningful difference.
If you’d like to support Eric’s Restaurant and Kim Dang’s mission to feed the most at-risk, consider ordering some of their delicious Chinese food for pickup or delivery the next time you want to enjoy a non-home-cooked meal.
This Italian restaurant has partnered with some of its investors, supporters, and regular customers to donate up to 200 dinners each night for those most in need of a hot meal.
These complimentary dinners are reserved for people whose jobs in the food & beverage industry have been eliminated, as well as frontline healthcare workers, and other members of the community whose livelihoods have been impacted by this crisis. Those who would like to sign-up for a free meal can do so here.
If you are not in need of a free meal but would like to support Che Fico Alimentari in distributing them, you can help by purchasing one of their Family Meals, which feeds 2-3 people. These meals cost $50, and you also have the option of donating another $50 Family Meal upon checkout. Online ordering is available daily from 5-8PM.
During normal conditions, Triple Aught Design creates apparel and equipment that aims to inspire people to live their most adventurous lives. This includes jackets, vests, and other insulators to backpacks, tools, and other vital outdoor accessories. While they were forced to close their storefront at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, Triple Aught have not ceased their operations, but have instead pivoted into helping create the essential PPE our frontline workers so desperately need. In addition to dedicating part of their development team to assist in pattern making, marker making, and fabric evaluation, they’ve also dedicated half of their prototyping facility to producing masks and gowns, which are then delivered directly to local hospitals and other essential workforce businesses.
Want to ensure Triple Aught Design thrives long after this crisis subsides? Consider exploring their website and purchasing some of their state-of-the-art products. They’ll definitely come in handy when our shelter-in-place orders are limited and we’re free to adventure outdoors once again.
San Francisco-based sunglasses company, Sunski, has found a very on-brand way of giving back during the pandemic. For each pair of sunglasses sold, they are making and donating one pair of protective medical goggles to healthcare providers who desperately need them. Their goggles, which are manufactured in their FDA-registered facility, meet all ANSI Z87.1+ requirements, including splash protection.
To make it as easy as possible for those who need them to access them, they’ve set up a simple form on their website. If you are a healthcare provider or know someone who is, make sure to put your order in for a free pair! If you are just a concerned citizen who would like to get these goggles out to those who need them, purchase a pair of sunglasses! If you can’t afford new eyewear, you can still help by spreading the word about Sunski’s amazing initiative on social media.
If this pandemic has shown us anything, it’s that community is incredibly important. We’re proud to be a part of the larger San Francisco community, which has joined together so beautifully to help each other through this trying time. If after reading these stories you find yourself inspired to join us here in San Francisco, we’d be happy to welcome you. Reach out to Mary Ann Texiera and her team of real estate agents. They’re available throughout this time to answer your questions and help you begin your search for a home in the San Francisco Peninsula.