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St. Anthony Foundation Participates in House Committee Roundtable on Food Insecurity


Press Contact:
Sally Haims | Chief Marketing and Communications Officer
SHaims@stanthonysf.org | (415) 254-5884

SAN FRANCISCO (September 16, 2022) – On August 22, San Francisco hunger advocacy organizations welcomed Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Congressman James P. McGovern (MA-02), Chairman of the House Committee on Rules to the SF-Marin Food Bank for a roundtable discussion focused on ending hunger in America. The visit was part of a series of events highlighting the reality of food insecurity in the United States and examining the steps that Congress and the Biden administration could take to equitably combat it. Representative McGovern will be convening the second ever White House Conference on hunger, nutrition, and health in September 2022.  

Speakers included policy experts on health, poverty, and homelessness, including St. Anthony Foundation CEO, Nils Behnke. Nils’ remarks focused on food as a gateway to stability.  

“At St. Anthony’s, we have served those most in need in our city since 1950 from our home in the Tenderloin. It is our mission to recognize every person’s dignity and to serve them with the respect they deserve, no matter who they are,” said Mr. Behnke. 

Nils explained that St. Anthony’s provides a broad range of services to guests, starting with food services in the dining room where approximately 1,500 meals are served daily. During the height of the COVID pandemic, while some of the other providers had to close their doors, St. Anthony’s moved their food services outside and met the needs of their guests by serving 2,000-3,600 daily. That adds up to close to 47 million meals during the last 72 years.  

“We don’t consider the impressive numbers of meals served a sign of success. While we are called to serve people experiencing poverty with their immediate needs, our objective is to cater to the whole person and to help them achieve lasting, positive changes in their lives,” said Nils.  

At St. Anthony’s, team members accompany guests on their individual journey with clinical and recovery services, social workers, workforce development, training and employment at St. Anthony’s. Called the Companionship Model, the program is designed to especially help those experiencing chronic homelessness, substance use disorder and recent incarceration. 

Nils added, “Change is possible when we not only serve those most in need, but also take the opportunity to help them make lasting positive changes in their lives.” 

Watch a recording of the roundtable at Speaker Pelosi Holds Roundtable on Hunger and Food Insecurity | Speaker Nancy Pelosi

About St. Anthony Foundation 

In the Tenderloin’s struggle with poverty, addiction, and mental illness, St. Anthony Foundation has been a beacon of consistency, companionship, and caring for more than 70 years. We provide our guests with a range of services—from a place to rest or take a shower, clothing, and addiction recovery, to meals, medical care, and workforce development. At St. Anthony’s, we take a different approach, one that delivers meaningful results — Hope. Stability. Renewal. 

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