This January my Grandma Jean, Nana, passed away. The last time I saw her was at our Thanksgiving Giveaway here in San Francisco, which was only fitting because that’s who she was-- always taking care of people, always bright and happy to talk, always strong and vibrant. She spent a lot of the giveaway perched on a chair, talking to all sorts of people about all sorts of things. She even had a few friendly heckles to toss at me, as I stood atop the giant pallet of watermelons to make announcements about Food Day “quality control” and produce portions for the boxes. But I don’t mean to imply she sat around the whole time, far from it. She headed up the green bean bagging and joined us at our giveaway in the Mission-- with us from start to finish.
The weeks following her passing have been intense and heart-wrenching, but I have also felt so much gratitude. I feel grateful for her life and for the way she touched people, I see her lifespan as this enormous web that spiraled out and made contact with so many of us, and so many in our Free the Need Family. We love you Jean Mueller, thank you for all the goodness you have put into so many.
Erma Jean Morris Mueller January 12th, 1936 - January 17th, 2017
Since Free the Need started in 1989, we have fed and clothed over 100,000 families and given away over five million pounds of food. At its conception, Free the Need volunteers collected surplus food, assembled and distributed food boxes from our volunteers’ driveway. In our 27 years of distributing surplus, our programs have expanded from beyond what a driveway can accommodate.
Free the Need wants a warehouse!
We now serve over 200 families on a weekly basis and require a space of our own in order to continue expanding.
What we are looking for in a warehouse:
We will also be starting an ongoing program for creative people in our community, whether it’s dancers, musicians, yogis, artists, or anyone with a skill to share, to teach free classes to participants in our surrounding community. With a permanent warehouse space to call our home, Free the Need could expand not only our food and clothing programs, but we could change the way we interact with our community and the service we provide.