SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - Hundreds of kids cycled through the streets of San Francisco on Sunday, in part to help raise awareness about an important non-profit in their community. The annual ride out was organized by Mission Food Hub, which describes itself as part food pantry, part community youth group.
"Oh my god, it was amazing. To go and take all these young people, 1300 plus, to go all the way across the city, up to Golden Gate Park, and just lay on the grass, was just amazing," said Roberto Hernandez who founded Mission Food Hub.
Rides like these are part of what Roberto Hernandez says makes his pandemic born non-profit so special.
"Families who live in overcrowded housing were feeling anxiety, and so parents said Roberto, can you do something with these kids," said Hernandez.
Now Mission Food Hub not only operates as a neighborhood food pantry, it also helps get kids out of the house and active. The organization works with other community groups like Norcal Peddle Gang, to buy the kids bikes and get them riding.
"We’re trying to get the kids out, having a good time, not stuck on their phones, not stuck on social media, reality, having fun with smiles on their faces," said Daniel Rodriguez of Norcal Pedal Gang.
Sunday’s ride, which kicked off in the Mission, also helped raise money for more than 9,000 families who receive grocery deliveries every week from the Mission Food Hub.
"Everybody is going through something and so here, we don’t ask questions. We make sure everyone eats. We even make sure they take a bag of food home," said volunteer, Nancy Heinicke.
The organization says spiking gas prices and inflated food prices have made the Mission Food Hub's th role in the community, as important as ever.
"You know a lot of people think that the pandemic is over, but it’s not. A lot of people are still unemployed, got no cash, and so we’re still feeding our community," said Hernandez.
The organization, like many area food pantries, says it is also feeling the pinch of higher food costs.