OK Let’s Chat – COVID-19 Initiatives in San Francisco

discussing COVID-19 Initiatives in San Francisco

OK Let’s Chat – COVID-19 Initiatives in San Francisco

We’re tabling today’s crypto topic to discuss COVID-19 initiatives in San Francisco on our latest podcast episode with Meals on Wheels and SFUSD.

We normally use the OK Let’s Chat podcast to discuss developments across the cryptocurrency world, but this isn’t a normal time. As the COVID-19 lockdown progresses, many people in San Francisco are isolated in their homes — including vulnerable demographics, like children and the elderly, and those recently unemployed.

In this episode of OK Let’s Chat, Alex met with representatives from two charities hoping to mitigate the repercussions of social distancing in OKCoin’s home city, San Francisco.

  • Jim Oswald — Director of Marketing & Communications, Meals on Wheels San Francisco
  • Jena Hayashi — Manager, Strategic Partnerships and Communications, San Francisco Unified School District

COVID-19 Initiatives in San Francisco

We’re tabling today’s crypto topic to discuss pressing needs in San Francisco: supporting Meals on Wheels and the Unified School District.

We love to see the crypto community support these pressing needs, whether through fiat or bitcoin contributions. You can listen to our entire conversation above, but here are a few highlights:

Meals on Wheels is ramping up meal distribution to account for closures

Meals on Wheels is one of the most beloved food delivery services available, and with good reason — the San Francisco brand alone delivers two million meals each year to homebound seniors. With restaurant closure and self-isolation in place across the city, feeding the elderly is more important than ever.

“Ultimately, you know, how we’re being affected currently is just in our core meal production,” Jim explained. “We normally produce about 8000 or 9000 meals a day out of our kitchen in the [Vin Debut Wine Bar & Kitchen]. And those are then distributed.”

“We’re now doing 10,000. And the reason being is we’re trying to amass a good number of meals. So should we have to close down temporarily due to the pandemic, we can still deploy meals stored off-site to older adults. So our mission, for us, is making sure that our clients are taken care of.”

The SF Unified School District is creating remote learning opportunities

One of the biggest challenges of addressing COVID-19 is the uncertainty. It’s still not clear if lockdowns will be in place for weeks, months, or even a year. For students, this is especially difficult because it will disrupt their spring semester and has no clear end in sight. In response, Jena is working with the SF Unified School District (SFUSD) to implement remote education options and meal plans that can benefit all families.

“Initially, we closed through April 7, and then we pushed it to May 1. And now there’s a very real possibility of keeping schools closed through the remainder of the school year,” Jena said. “So I would say over the next month, and possibly longer, our true focus is really on just developing and implementing a distance learning plan for our students which will mean getting technology into their hands, especially the students who need it most which also includes access to Wi-Fi, which many families don’t have.”

Though there’s still a long way to go, the SFUSD is making great progress. SFUSD has set-up “free grab and go meals,” which are available for pick-up Mondays and Wednesdays, providing 5 days worth of breakfast, lunch, and supper for students. Since this recording, SFUSD has also launched phase 3 of its distance learning plan. “We’ve estimated that up to 10,000 students across our district need access to a device to support learning at home. And we’ve already loaned more than 5200 devices to students over the past two weeks,” Jena noted.

Jim and Jena’s work continues, but they need support to address their respective challenges. You can support Meals on Wheels San Francisco and the SF Unified School District by donating through the linked websites.

We want to thank Jim and Jena for taking the time to speak with us! Be sure to subscribe on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.

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