The team at Euclid is lucky that our office is in San Francisco’s Mission District. We have the best microclimate in the city – one that offers sunshine and warmth with sweeping views of the Twin Peaks, Sutro Tower and the hills of Bernal Heights Park. And we have the pleasure of being a part of an ethnically diverse community with a rich history of localized cuisines, languages and cultural celebrations. Yet we can’t deny the impact that the tech industry has had on the Mission. The rising costs of housing, food and services has led to a decline in the number of Mission natives; an increase in the number of homeless people sheltering on the streets; and for those that remain, a much harder time making ends meet.
In executing Euclid’s volunteer initiative, I believe it’s important that the company does its best to volunteer our time in a way that directly impacts the areas near our office. In the past year, we’ve volunteered with Mission Graduates at Marshall Elementary and with Startups Give Back in collaboration with Lava Mae on their Homeless Pop-Up Care Village. For our event this quarter, we decided to give our time to the San Francisco Marin Food Bank.
We volunteered at the food bank a few weeks ago on August 15th. Most of our team had never been there (me included), so it was very interesting to learn it’s history, see the scale of their operation and the number of communities they impact. In addition, our guide, Chelsea, informed us of some statistics to put our service in perspective:
- In CA, 1 in 8 residents don’t know where their next meal will come from
- In San Francisco, that number increases by half with 1 in 4 residents not knowing where their next meal will come from
- The San Francisco Marin Food Bank processes and distributes 49 million pounds of food yearly with a small team onsite, but the bulk of their operation is driven by the people that volunteer there daily
For our project, we were tasked with breaking down large pallets of pears and packing 1 lb bags of frozen corn. With the help of another volunteer group from a local university, we managed to break down 20,000 lbs of pears and package 1,500 lbs of corn in under 3 hours.
It was a lot of physical labor but the team had a great time. From “hacking” the repackaging of pears by using a crate to fill smaller boxes faster to making a contest of who could get the most perfectly measured 1 lb. bags of corn, it was an opportunity for people from different teams to work alongside each other.
The results of our labor would be seen quickly: delivery of the fresh fruit to local communities would happen in the next couple of days, while the frozen corn would go out within the week.
As we continue to create product offerings to connect digital consumer behavior to the physical world, it’s equally important that we continue to get from behind our computers to connect, interact and contribute to the local community we work in.