New nonprofit formed during pandemic delivers food to San Francisco seniors

Many people who still have a job are working from home and they say they're grateful. Some are looking for a way to give back.

One woman in San Francisco started a nonprofit that gives people the opportunity to do just that. It's called TogetherSF.

People can sign up to volunteer in a variety of ways including delivering food to older people.

On Wednesday afternoon, a group of people took a break from working at home and gathered in the Bayview neighborhood to bag groceries and deliver them to seniors.

"With the pandemic, I want to come out and help because I can," Jade Quizon, a volunteer who works for a biotech company.

She and others say they have a new purpose through volunteerism with TogetherSF founded during the first week of shelter in place in San Francisco. 

"A lot of people are scared and anxious. And this gives them an opportunity to see hope and see positivity and be a part of that," said Kanishka Cheng, founder of TogetherSF.

The food is donated by two produce wholesalers.

"Thank you to Earl's Organics and San Francisco Produce Market. They've been delivering food to us every week that's allowing us to provide fresh organic fruits and vegetables to people in the community," said Brittney Doyle, founder of Wise Health, a public health consulting agency that partners with nonprofits to deliver food to low-income families and seniors. 

"This helps me. This keeps me healthy, getting fresh air, gives me the exercise as well," said Armando Luna, a volunteer with Wise Health.  He's a yoga teacher who now teaches remotely from his home.

He delivered to Irene Bostic, who lives at Armstrong Place Senior Housing.

"Somebody cares about me and that I'm very appreciative because I need it. I can't get out to get the food," said Bostic, 98.

Her 77-year-old neighbor Effie McInnis also received a delivery from another volunteer.

She told KTVU she worked as a nurse at SF General and remembered caring for AIDS patients. She said she has no fear of the coronavirus and would not  hesitate to be on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19.

"Help people that need help . It makes me feel good to be able to help somebody," said McInnis 

"It's really important that we recognize how dependent we are on each other and we can only survive if we have a strong network around us," said volunteer Quizon who delivered groceries to McInnis. 

Together SF started in mid-March and said 200 volunteers have already signed up.

It offers seniors the option of having the same volunteer work with them on a regular basis to meet their needs.