SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – Homelessness and hunger – They hurt before the pandemic and are even more of a concern now.
On Dine and Dish, we visit an ethnic neighborhood in San Francisco that works to take care of their own: Italian-style.
Cancelled due to coronavirus, the annual big Italian family dinner, where hundreds gather in the basement of Saints Peter and Paul Church in the city’s North Beach neighborhood to dine on spaghetti and meatballs and raise money to feed anybody who needs it.
“I believe in communities coming together, enjoying one another, neighbors solving whatever problems they share.”
The idea, cooked up by Francis Ford Coppola of Godfather Fame, is to treat everybody like family, as does local literary icon Lawrence Ferlighetti.
“I feel I have a lot of brothers out there sleeping on the streets and north beach citizens is doing what no other part of the city is doing,” Ferlighetti said.
The big Italian family dinner might be put on hold, but the non-profit North Beach citizens still have to feed fellow citizens who are homeless and hungry.
“Nutritional meals are the most important items we’re offering right now as well as a daily touchpoint for individuals who are very isolated,” Kristie Fairchild said.
Behind the mask, is Kristie Fairchild, the director of North Beach citizens that operates out of a tiny storefront.
In the new normal of COVID-19, she says the lines of those in need are growing longer by the day.
North Beach citizens offers daily meals to go from 9:30 to 10:30 and a Wednesday food pantry for people to cook at home, for a warm family meal.