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This week in civics: Buy local, eat imperfect food, figure out inflation

San Francisco Food Waste Week

Spark Social SF, 601 Mission Bay
May 16 – 22 

In America, 30% to 40% of food is wasted, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That leads to billions of pounds of uneaten calories and lost dollars and contributes to 170 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

The immensity of this problem may feel too big to tackle—even in compost-conscious San Francisco. But SF-based Imperfect Foods challenges San Franciscans to celebrate the “small wins” in the bigger fight against food waste this coming week with its program of food-focused events and partnerships with local restaurants. 

Kicking off today and going through May 22, Imperfect Foods’ San Francisco Food Waste Week is meant to start the “conversation” around food waste, foster community connections and encourage people to fight food waste even in small “imperfect” ways, says Rachel Skeen, a brand and marketing manager of experiential partnerships at Imperfect Foods.

Courtesy Imperfect Foods

During Food Waste Week, you can help fight food waste in a few ways.

  • Try eating gem strawberries (considered too small by traditional grocery store standards to sell) from smoothies served up at Imperfect Foods’ pop-up at Spark Social SF this weekend or from a plate at a partnering restaurant. Five dollars from every dish sold during Food Waste Week benefits the Bay Area-based food recovery nonprofit Food Shift.
  • Or connect with a local org at one of the week’s upcoming events. This year’s week of awareness features discussions about the environmental impact of food waste, bioplastics, food access and talks with local farmers and food nonprofits.

But there’s also fun to be had as well. During Food Waste Week’s pop-up at Spark Social, you can immerse yourself in a life-size Imperfect Foods box to learn more about food waste interactively, sample dishes from local food trucks and play A Price Is Right-style Plinko game to win groceries or smoothies.

“You don’t have to be zero waste,” said Skeen. “It’s all about taking the small steps and the imperfect steps to be doing it together as a community because more people doing things imperfectly is going to be more impactful than just a few people being perfectly zero waste.”

—Christina J. Campodonico

San Francisco Decides: The District Attorney Recall

Taube Family Auditorium, 110 The Embarcadero
Tuesday, May 17, 6 p.m. | $5 – $15

Chesa Boudin attends a press conference in Potrero Hill on November 23, 2021. | Camille Cohen

As we approach the month of June, the buzz around the city is all about District Attorney Chesa Boudin’s recall. In 2019, Boudin was elected under a progressive promise of criminal justice reform and decarceration. But since then, residents fear that San Francisco is turning into Gotham City. You don’t have to pretend like you know which side of the recall you’re on at the next dinner party because the Commonwealth Club of California welcomes you to participate in a conversation equipped with voices from both views: 

  • Opposing the recall – Lara Bazelon, a professor of law and the director of the Criminal Juvenile Justice and Racial Justice Clinical Programs at the University of San Francisco School of Law.
  • Supporting the recall – Brooke Jenkins, former assistant district attorney under Boudin.

If you cannot attend, you can virtually submit questions to the panelists through this form. Most importantly, register to vote before May 23. (RT)

What’s Going on with Inflation? w/ San Francisco’s Chief Economist Ted Egan

Manny’s, 3092 16th St.
Monday, May 17, 7 – 8 p.m. | $5 – $12

With these gas prices, San Franciscans aren’t leaving home unless it’s really worth our time. Not only gas, but the price for many things continue to rise faster than during the Great Inflation in the 1980s. Covid 19 not only disrupted supply chains but with the world returning to “normal,” there is now a surge in demand. Manny’s is hosting a discussion with Ted Egan, San Francisco’s Chief Economist, to unpack what inflation means for our city and how you can prepare for the future. In an already expensive city, you’ll want to hear what this expert has to say! (RT)

Sankofa Makers Market

Hunters Point Blvd.
Saturday, May 21, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. | Free

Courtesy Livable City

Redevelopment efforts in Bayview-Hunters Point are displacing the residents of one of the last historically Black neighborhoods in San Francisco. As a push to regain space in Bayview-Hunters Point, the Sankofa Makers Market aims to put your money back into the community and buy all sorts of goods from local BIPOC-owned businesses while getting out and enjoying the sun! This Saturday is the last opportunity to come through this season. The Sankofa market is part of San Francisco’s India Basin Equitable Development Plan to ensure the waterfront park provides economic prosperity and environmental well-being for residents. (RT)

Indonesian Bazaar

La Cocina Municipal Marketplace, 332 Golden Gate Ave.
Saturday May 21, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. | $5

Courtesy Friends of Indonesia

A ticket from SFO to Indonesia can go for $2,000, but a quick MUNI ride to Mid-Market will get you an Indonesian cultural experience well worth the trip. Share food and art with Friends of Indonesia at the Indonesian Bazaar. For AAPI heritage month, La Cocina Municipal Marketplace will transform its halls into stalls with Indonesian food, coffee and art. The Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia in San Francisco will give opening remarks and while you top off your aromatic foods with delicious sambal, enjoy a batik fashion show and traditional dance performances during lunch. (RT)

Sunday Streets Comes to Bayview 

Bayview Neighborhood
Sunday, May 22, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. | Free

Courtesy Livable City

Sunday Streets SF brings car-free enjoyment in the streets of Bayview this Sunday, partnering with local stakeholders and neighborhood-based organizations. The event will debut a new route that runs from Oakdale Avenue at 3rd Street onto Lane Street, with extensions onto Revere Avenue and Underwood Avenue into Keith Street, with additional stops at Bay View Park and the Martin Luther King Jr. Pool. There will be activities and guided exercise programs for youngsters and older adults, wellness and job services, pop-up recreation facilities, and opportunities to support Bayview-based food and retail in their shared outdoor living room. (MM)


Help A Mother Out: Free Diapers

Bay Area, Various Family Resource Centers
Mondays – Fridays, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. | Free w/ Eligibility RequirementsDiapering one child every day until potty training costs about $2,850. That’s expensive for any mother. These costs aren’t covered for the 12% of Americans relying on SNAP assistance. In a joint effort to “Help a Mother Out,” the SF Human Services Agency and family resource centers citywide created the San Francisco Diaper Bank. Families eligible for CalWORKs, CalFresh, and Medi-Cal with children under 3 years old may receive a month’s supply of diapers. Find your nearest source here. (MM)

Christina Campodonico, Rosalie Tapavalu and Meaghan Mitchell contributed additional reporting for this story.

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