Public Hearing on Food Insecurity for SF Low-Income Pregnant Women

Former PTBi Community Engagement Specialist, Daphina Melbourne, speaking at the public hearing on 9.12.19



On Thursday, September 12th we were proud to join communities and organizations from across San Francisco at City Hall for a special public hearing on food insecurity for low-income pregnant women in San Francisco held by the Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee.  The meeting was convened by Committee vice chair and District 2 Supervisor Catherine Stefani because, as she put it, “too often food insecurity is treated as a secondary issue.” She stated, “the purpose of this hearing is to bring clarity and focus to food insecurity and prioritize it in the same way we prioritize housing, homelessness, and public safety.”

Over the course of an hour and a half, community members stepped up to the microphone to share their knowledge or experiences of food insecurity. The public comments section began with Paula Jones from the San Francisco Department of Health who shared an overview of the issue with the officials, laying the landscape for the intimate personal testimonies that were to follow. One powerful comment came from a mother whose daughter was forced to leave her school’s campus because there was not enough food for all of the children. Another testimony came from our former Community Engagement Specialist, Daphina Melbourne, as she shared her experience growing up in San Francisco in a food-insecure household, and how much it impacted her seeing her mother struggle with such basic needs.

Key takeaways from the meeting include:

  • Ensuring that the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority allows strollers and people with grocery bags access vehicles
  • Asking Budget and Legislative Analyst Office to create an assessment on SF systemic engagement on food security – to understand the needs of Family Resource Centers
  • BLA to assess what data we should be collecting on food insecurity and best practices for collecting that data.
  • Speaking with San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority about instances of refusing access to people with strollers or too many grocery bags

Other elected officials on the committee included Committee chair and District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman as well as District 10 Supervisor Shamann Walton.

Learn More

Watch the full public hearing

Read PTBi's Policy Brief - Food Security Program Expansion Can Help Reduce Preterm Birth