API Council has mobilized to address food justice and sovereignty for the API community in San Francisco with a grant from the Stupski Foundation. The Council is focused on eliminating inequities that fuel food insecurity and ensuring that the API communities’ needs are communicated to city leaders, as it is estimated that the API community makes up nearly 60 percent of San Francisco’s food bank participation. The Council also undertook a landscape analysis report, which outlined a need to shift away from a focus on traditional charitable food giving to addressing the root causes of food insecurity. 

This work has led API Council and its member organizations to join the City’s food security task force; several members are chairing the Reimagining Food Coordination subcommittee to help transform food policy in San Francisco. The subcommittee is preparing to deliver recommendations for a new food policy entity in the city to help create stronger infrastructure for food security and to ensure that food programs are better funded and streamlined. This proposed model will go before the food security task force in May 2024. 

API Council is also a member of the Food and Agriculture Action Coalition Toward Sovereignty (FAACTS) which was formed after the City proposed a $45 million budget cut to food security funding. Those cuts would have left over 70,000 families across the city without access to food and nutrition services. FAACTS works across communities to connect the food systems of San Francisco, and it is now working to build a unified approach that inclusively meets the food needs of its neighbors. In March 2024, FAACTS launched the first Food Action Summit to bring together stakeholders across the city to imagine and plan a food system that works for all. 

FAACTS Summit (photo credit: Lisa Frare Photography)

Within the API Council, we are also building community capacity for members to take on food justice work. Projects include the development of a community garden at the Samoan Community Development Center that will teach the community how to grow their own food and bring them back to nature in keeping with indigenous traditions.  API Council is partnering with Richmond Neighborhood Center’s to expand outreach to food businesses in the Sunset district to increase acceptance of EBT thereby enabling API residents to be able to use their benefits at restaurants within their community. Through this program, the Richmond Community Center  will help support 150 small businesses with the EBT process.