'Feeding 5,000' event spreads holiday cheer when it's needed most

It’s a sign of the times.

Wednesday’s "Feeding 5,000” giveaway at the Cow Palace was very well received. The citywide event was put on by the San Francisco Department of Public Health and the city’s COVID Command Center, in partnership with the San Francisco African American Faith-Based Coalition and other community-based organizations.

Cars and trucks lined up for the massive food giveaway.

Staff stack boxes at the "Feeding 5,000" food giveaway event at the Cow Palace.
Staff stack boxes at the "Feeding 5,000" food giveaway event at the Cow Palace. Photo credit Jim Taylor/KCBS Radio

"We’re going to reach 5,000 or more persons and households today with fresh produce, vegetables, fruit, fresh turkeys prepared for Christmas dinner with all the side trimmings," said Rev. Raynard Hillis with the San Francisco African American Faith-based Coalition. "This is what we as a coalition are focusing on in the season because of COVID-19, the loss of jobs, the loss of income. We want to make sure that people eat."

There was a lot to eat. It was all distributed under COVID-19 guidelines.

"As people come to get the food, they don’t even have to get out of their automobile," said Dr. Joseph Bryant, pastor at Calvary Hill Community Church in San Francisco.

The event was supported by major contributions from Salesforce, FivePoint and the Hellman Foundation.