Sonoma Family Meal Restaurant Network Response
Unlike the fires that swept through Sonoma County in 2017 and 2019, we are facing an entirely different disaster with coronavirus. SFM’s usual model of bringing hundreds of volunteers together to cook is not in compliance with social distancing.
Our COVID-19 Model: Paying our network of Sonoma County restaurants to cook hundreds of lovingly prepared meals each day. It’s a win-win for local businesses and food insecure seniors, immigrants, farm workers and families.
Sonoma Family Meal was born in the flames of the Tubbs fire by restaurant writer Heather Irwin. Connecting local restaurants, farms and chefs, the infant organization served more than 100,000 meals to anyone in need. That work continued, with SFM piloting a long-term recovery food project serving up to 72 families four meals per week, adding in several families displaced by flooding in 2019. During the Kincade Fire, we served another 8,000 meals to evacuees and first responders. COVID-19 has created a new challenge.
Our Restaurant Network
SFM has a large network of supporting restaurants. For this event, we have chosen two models to support our restaurant community and neighbors in this time of need.
Donations directly to Sonoma Family Meal or John Jordan Foundation Restaurant Disaster Relief Fund Match Drive will support up to 25 qualified restaurants to meet basic costs and support a small staff— making it easier for them to reopen in the future. Our Patron model (Single Thread, Mateo’s Cocina Latina, Pizzando) allows restaurant supporters to donate to restaurants to both keep them operating and create meals for those in need, lessening the need for financial support from SFM.
Our Farm Partners
SFM Farm Partners: Subsidizing local farms by purchasing produce for those in need. Local produce aggregator FEED Sonoma is creating 100 weekly CSA boxes for seniors and food insecure families. The trickle-down effect is also straining farmers and other food producers.
SFM is currently working with Council on Aging, Corazon, Community Action Partnership, Catholic Charities, La Luz, Graton Day Labor Center, Undocufund, Vintage House, the City of Sonoma and others.
Program Costs: SFM employees one female executive chef and one part-time assistant. We are volunteer-run and have minimal overhead costs. Our financials are available on request.