The primary focus of Felton’s Family Support program has been to inform all families in our four Early Care and Education (ECE) programs of resources in the community, provide emotional support, and offer direct services that are available. Updated information of current basic need resources have been available for them on-site via our weekly diaper and food bank open to Felton families. In addition, we have instructed all families to request basic need supplies by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
With the Shelter in Place ordinance in March, in continued partnership with the San Francisco Food Bank, we decided to extend our Farmers Market across all of the ECE programs. With this, we increased our food supply to double the amounts and supplement our regular weekly food bank, which normally provides fruit, vegetables and bread with additional items using emergency grant funds.
We have been purchasing additional protein items to complement the Farmers Market with these essential items: milk, eggs, potatoes, beans and rice.
Families wait outside of the 1325 Florida building, following physical distancing requirements. Families come in one by one to get pre-packed items.
An Increase in Service
The percentages of weekly participation in Felton’s Farmers Market have steadily increased in the past four weeks.
- Since March 16th, 2020, we’ve had a 92% increase in the number of families we are serving. This is nearly double the number of families we normally serve.
- During our second week, we served 51% more families than we normally do.
- By the fourth week of the food bank distribution, our usual households served increased by 167%, which is nearly serving three times the families we usually serve on a weekly basis.
Basic Household Needs & Diaper Bank
Many of the families that Felton’s Children, Youth and Family (CYF) Division serves have been impacted financially due to local business, retail and restaurant employers closing and laying off employees. Families have indicated financial hardships resulting from COVID-19 and requested support with general household products. We have received requests from nearly 50% of our families in our programs requesting hand sanitizer, household cleaning products, feminine hygiene products, diaper, wipes, baby formula, toothpaste and toilet paper and shampoo. Since COVID-19, now every week, families have access to these basic products.
In addition, we have prepared care packages for families who have medically fragile children and for parents who are immune-compromised and unable to come to pick up food. We have delivered food and supplies to families living in the Bayview due to public transportation services interruptions due to COVID-19.
Lastly, a few families have expressed their gratitude in the following words upon receiving their care packets:
- “Thank You So Much my husband and I both are not working. This is helping my family in our time of need.”
- “This means so much to me and my family! You don’t even know how much of a difference this will make.”
- “Thank you for being here for us this food is amazing, my kids love the fresh fruit.”
Early Literacy + More Bags
In response to families’ requests and once it was determined that Shelter in Place was going to be extended through May 3rd, Felton decided that it was beneficial to create early literacy bags for all enrolled children.
In partnership with EDvance SF, Felton has prepared 350 Early Literacy + More Bags for all enrolled children in the early care and education centers. We began distributing these on April 22, 2020. Families were very excited about materials that will support their children while sheltering in place.
Yohana Quiroz, Felton’s CYF & TAY COO, shares a behind the scenes peek at the preparation for their distribution on April 22, 2020.
To learn more about Felton’s Farmers Market visit the Children, Youth, and Families (CYF) Division’s Healthy Families, Healthy Lives “Familias Sanas, Vidas Sanas” Wellness Program page.
You can also donate to this program by visiting felton.org/donate to donate online and designating ‘Family Services’.
About Felton Institute: Founded in 1889, Felton Institute responds to human needs by providing cutting edge, evidence-based mental health and social services that transform lives. Felton Institute is a tax-exempt organization registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit under EIN 94-1156530.
Offering more than 50 acclaimed and honored programs that address homelessness, mental health, prenatal, adolescent, adult and senior needs, Felton Institute provides services in San Francisco, Alameda, San Mateo, Marin, and Monterey counties.
Felton is named for its social services pioneer and executive director Dr. Katharine “Kitty” Felton who was called the ”conscience of San Francisco” and was committed to ensuring that children and families in crisis have access to social services and resources in order to help them build upon their inherent strengths and develop self-sufficiency. www.felton.org