Giving is Good: But Can We Do More?


cabbage at alemany farm san francisco

The contrast is stark: San Francisco has more billionaires per capita than any other city in the world, yet one in four people living here is food insecure. Enter the city’s nonprofits, many of which are dedicated to closing that unacceptable chasm.

At Bi-Rite we’ve always been inspired by SF’s nonprofit organizations and how they lift up communities in need. While we’ve been directly involved in community work the past 20+ years, we knew we wanted to, and could, do more to further support efforts. So, in 2019 we launched our first Bi-Rite Family of Businesses Grant Program. And today we’re honored to introduce you to the recipients.

Bi-Rite Family of Businesses Grant Recipients

Alemany Farm increases food security and educates SF residents about how they can become their own food producers. Absolutely all the food the farm grows is given away for FREE! It goes to neighbors, volunteers, food pantries, and families who harvest for themselves. Bi-Rite’s funding commitment will help Alemany Farm develop children’s and family educational programming to feed more families and allow children in underserved communities to get their hands in the dirt and learn where their food comes from.

CommunityGrows cultivates healthy youth through growing gardens in low-income, diverse communities. The Bi-Rite grant funding will support their BEETS (Band of Environmentally Educated and Employable Teens) program where the teens learn how to build gardens, and teach health-focused workshops to younger children, all while gaining leadership training and job readiness skills, and getting paid at the same time!

Going Deeper Than Simple Funding

We know $10K each will help Alemany and CommunityGrows make a real difference in the well-being of our communities. But we asked ourselves: can we do more? “Funding will directly support programming, but we could use mentorship around marketing and communications,” requested Kelly Ernst Friedman, CommunityGrows Executive Director, in her application. “How can we champion and amplify our youth’s many strengths?”

Bi-Rite has a plan for that. Throughout 2020, two mentorship committees of dedicated Bi-Rite staff, folks who are experts in their field and passionate about community work, will collaborate with our recipients, providing a strategic sounding board as they implement their funding, and also offering focused mentorship around a specific need each nonprofit identified for their organization.

“Bi-Rite’s mentorship will help us tell the stories to make our program more sustainable and impactful,” ErnstFriedman said.

At Bi-Rite, we’re grateful and humbled to contribute to something we hope will reverberate for years to come. In 2018, Alemany Farm gave away more than 25,000 pounds of sustainably grown produce. Now, just imagine what they might do next…

Rachel Kiichli is the community & social responsibility manager at the Bi-Rite Family of Businesses.

Photo: Chase Johnson

Edible San Francisco relies on the support from advertising partners like Bi-Rite Family of Businesses  who share our vision and want to see the Bay Area’s local food community grow and flourish.