Jewish Family and Children’s Services’ San Francisco food bank has become a primary food source for many during the pandemic. (Photo/Gabriel Greschler)
Jewish Family and Children’s Services’ San Francisco food bank has become a primary food source for many during the pandemic. (Photo/Gabriel Greschler)

Koret Foundation to double grants for food aid through 2024

The San Francisco-based Koret Foundation has announced that it will distribute $5 million in emergency funding for seven Bay Area organizations serving the hungry. The funds will help local food banks and meal delivery services cope with increased demand stemming from the coronavirus pandemic’s economic impacts, the foundation said in an Oct. 12 press release.

The grants double Koret’s support in the current fiscal year and provide funding through 2024, with the goal of helping to ensure that food-providing organizations are able to weather the long-term impacts of the crisis.

Recipients of the funding include San Francisco-based Jewish Family and Children’s Services.

“We anticipate that food assistance will remain one of the greatest needs of the Jewish community and the Bay Area overall for an extended period of time, requiring us to substantially increase our services,” said Nancy Masters, associate executive director of JFCS, which serves five counties. “We are working closely with Bay Area synagogues, Jewish Community Centers, and many Jewish and non-Jewish organizations to connect hungry families and seniors with nutrition assistance. Koret’s support allows us to meet the community’s needs now and in the future.”

In recognition of Koret’s dual goals of strengthening both the general and Jewish communities in the Bay Area, these funds will support food banks, as well as congregate meal sites where families can safely pick up meals in socially distanced, outdoor facilities. The funds will also support grocery and meal delivery services for the elderly, the immunocompromised and others who are not able to leave the house or have lost in-home care.

“Koret is honored to work with these critical safety net organizations and grateful for their service to our region’s most vulnerable,” said Michael Boskin, president of the Koret Foundation. “As the pandemic has caused the number of people requiring assistance to skyrocket, we are doubling this year’s support so these programs have the financial stability to serve those who need it most. We hope that stepping up our funding in this way will encourage other donors to do the same.”

The Koret Foundation was organized in 1978 by Stephanie and Joseph Koret, along with Tad Taube, a family friend and chief executive officer of the women’s sportswear company Koret of California Inc. Grounded in historical Jewish principles, Koret’s stated mission is to support the Jewish community in the U.S. and Israel through grantmaking. In addition to supporting culture and education, alleviating hunger has been a foundation priority, and the Koret Food Program has funded major institutions that serve the community’s most vulnerable populations since 1981.

“Today, the need for these organizations is soaring as furloughed or out-of-work Bay Area residents turn to them for help, many for the first time,” the foundation explained in its announcement. “At the same time, providers face new hurdles, such as the need to move away from serving people cafeteria-style and avoid clustering people into lines, due to the pandemic. The new grants will help address these and other issues raised by COVID-19.”