Mazon grants help feed the hungry in Bay Area

In the last 15 years, the San Francisco Food Bank has gone from distributing several hundred thousand pounds of food a year to nearly 20 million pounds.

"But even with growth like that, we are not going to be able to feed everyone unless government programs work well and complement what we do on the private side. The Mazon money allows us to be more active evaluating government programs and advocating to make them better," said Paul Ash, the food bank's executive director.

The S.F. Food Bank is specifically using its $10,000 Mazon grant to advocate for eliminating the fingerprinting of food stamp recipients, in order to save time and money, and to persuade San Francisco to expand the federally funded summer-school lunch program.

Founded in 1985, Mazon, which means "food" in Hebrew, allocates donations from the Jewish community to alleviate hunger among all sectors of society. It has granted more than $30 million in the past 18 years.