Food fundraiser for Bay Area Fil-Am health workers, seniors
SAN FRANCISCO — Filipino American-owned restaurants in the SOMA Pilipinas district have banded together to collaborate on a fundraiser responding to the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Titled #FilipinosFeedTheFrontlines, the undertaking aims to raise $100,000 in order to provide at least 10,000 meals for Bay Area healthcare workers and scientists as well as Filipino American seniors and low-income families in the South of Market (SOMA) district.
SOMA Pilipinas is the city’s designated Filipino Cultural District, from 2nd St. to 11th St., bordered by Market and Brannan streets.
“The heart of Filipino cooking is rooted in family and hospitality,” says Kristen Brillantes, co-owner of Sarap Shop, one of several restaurants involved in the endeavor.
“That’s what we all plan to deliver—balanced, nutritious meals that will provide both sustenance and the comforting taste of home.”
Donation options start at $10 for a single meal, $50 for feeding a family of five, $100 for feeding a staff of 10, or $20 monthly for providing two meals for frontline workers. All meal donations are tax deductible.
“We also have the safety and wellness of our recipients and the planet in mind. We plan to provide prepackaged, refrigerated meals that are easy to reheat, whether that’s a five-minute break or when workers finally get home from a long shift,” she adds.
Restaurants participating in #FilipinosFeedTheFrontlines project include: FK Frozen Custard, IVSF Catering and SF Chicken Box, Sarap Shop (halo halo milk tea, adobo poutine), Señor Sisig, Little Skillet (chicken and waffles), Lumpia Company, Manila Bowl, Mestiza Taqueria, Nick’s on Mission and Grand (vegan Filipino comfort food), Ox and Tiger (Filipino and Japanese cuisine).
Fil-Am health care workers
The fundraiser is organized by Kultivate Labs (KL), a nonprofit that supports Filipino American-owned businesses in SOMA Pilipinas.
KL’s research indicates that nurses who are Filipino or of Filipino heritage account for almost 20% of registered nurses in California.
Other data the organization has researched include:
At Seton Hospital in Daly City, one of the largest medical facilities in Northern California, 60% of the employees are Filipino.
As of 2019, one-third of foreign-born nurses in the US are Filipino. Since the mid-1960s, around 160,000 Filipino nurses have joined the US healthcare system.
As of 2016, the Philippines has provided the third largest number of actively licensed foreign doctors in the US.
The fundraiser’s beneficiary hospitals and facilities include Alta Bates Hospital (NICU, Emergency Department), Chan Zuckerberg BioHub, Laguna Honda Hospital, Seton Medical Center (Daly City), Sutter Health: Mills-Peninsula (ER, Infection Prevention), Stanford Hospital (Patient Care, Case Management and Social Work), University of San Francisco (COVID-19 Screening Tents, COVID-19 Mobile Clinic, OB-GYN, Charles Chui’s Lab).
Meals for seniors and low-income families in the South of Market neighborhood will be transported by Fil-Am nonprofits United Playaz (violence prevention and youth development), West Bay Pilipino Multi Service Center, and South of Market Community Action Network.
By covering the costs of meals for those in need, it’s KL’s intention that the public will, in turn, help stabilize the Fil-Am restaurant businesses in SOMA Pilipinas.
KL projects that because of the effects of the work suspensions due to the pandemic, insolvency is a very real threat for some of the businesses they work with. The fundraiser is an effort to stem losses and stabilize their operations.
KL executive director Desi Danganan says, “We’re always finding ways to help other. [This fundraiser] is our way of connecting the dots in our community from the heroic efforts of our healthcare workers to the most vulnerable of society like our seniors; as well as our Filipino American businesses that are on the brink of collapse.”
To donate, visit Kultivatelabs.com/frontlines.