Grupo de la Comida began in August 1985, under the sponsorship of the San Francisco Jewish Sanctuary Coalition and was also subsequently sponsored by the Noe Valley Ministry, Catholic Charities, and Lutheran Social Services. Grupo de la Comida grew from serving 50 Central American Refugees to an immigrant and refugee population of 2,000 people weekly, serving war refugees from Central America, Mexicans fleeing femicide and extreme circumstances, disenfranchised Russian Jewry, Chinese and Filipino immigrants, and refugees from Iraq, and South America as well as feeding several local San Francisco shelters, most especially shelters housing San Francisco women fleeing domestic violence. The huge growth of the population that Grupo de la Comida served and anti-immigrant hate mongering made funding extremely difficult, and hence Grupo de la Comida needed to create its own sponsorship, which resulted in the creation of BACPAJE. Grupo de la Comida provided fresh fruits and vegetables, beans, rice and tortillas as well as referral services to other “spokes” of the wheel of sanctuary: counseling for legal and health services and employment.
Grupo de la Comida
Grupo de la Comida also distributed USDA supplementary food, clothing, and gave weekly nutrition education and annually provided a huge holiday party where approximately 600 children received gifts donated by the community touched by Grupo de la Comida. Thousands of San Francisco residents, including many students from local schools, volunteered to help pick up and distribute food, bake cookies for Grupo’s huge holiday parties, and wrap and give gifts to thousands of deserving children during Grupo’s 27 year history. Additionally thousands of tons of food were rescued which would have otherwise been wasted as landfill. Grupo de la Comida was forced to close its doors at the end of June 2012, leaving behind a 27 year history of service, love, learning and sharing.