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Southeast Food Access (SEFA) Workgroup

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SEFA Food Guardians Roles Pillars
Southeast Food Access Survey Participating Organizations History and Operations


SEFA is a collaborative of residents, community based organizations, city agencies, education etc. The role of SEFA is to serve as the catalyst that facilitates communication, advocacy, and accountability across city and community agencies as well as neighborhood residents to ensure that healthy, fresh, local, sustainable, and affordable produce is accessible to all residents of the Bay View Hunters Point and neighboring areas, utilizing existing venues and supporting transformation and /or creation of new ones.

For more information about SEFA, please contact Tracey Patterson at or 415-581-2444.

SEFA working group members - January 2009

Roles (back to top)
  • Provide leadership
  • Reawaken the historic role of BVHP in foodshed
  • Support efforts to train residents to grow and process locally grown food
  • Support culturally competent approaches to the BVHP food system 
Pillars (back to top)
SEFA Proposed Pillars (PDF)

Food Access is the pillar that focuses on how and where people are able to access food. It covers:

  • The retail environment (full service markets, corner stores, farmers markets, );
  • Food distribution for low income populations (Women, Infants and Children [WIC], food stamps, pantries, food bank, soup kitchens, etc.);
  • Urban agriculture as a source of food for individuals and community (community gardens, Community Supported Agriculture, direct marketing/ delivery [e.g. Something Fresh]).
  • Restaurants

Potential stakeholders for the food access pillar include:

  • Residents who live in SE sector and shop for food
  • City agencies that govern and support any aspect of food access (Mayor's Office of Economic and Workforce Development, Mayor's Office of Community Development, SF Redevelopment Agency, Department of the Environment, Department of Public Health, Human Service Agency and others)
  • Community Based Organizations (SF Food Bank, Quesada Gardens Initiative, Literacy for Environmental Justice (GN Stores), Girls 2000, Bayview Hunters Point Foundation for Community Improvement, Network for Elders, and others)
  • Business (Wholesale Produce Market, Supersave, FoodsCo/Kroger, Tesco/Fresh N Easy, corner markets and others)

SEFA's role as it relates to food access could include the following components:

  • Development and creation of Market Watch - a 10-12 member community based advocacy committee, that will be formed and trained to monitor activity of new (e.g. Fresh and Easy) and existing markets serving the BVHP community. Market Watch will conduct two reviews of at least 3 food retailers in BVHP and report on findings to SEFA and other relevant community groups.
  • Supersave continue to support and encourage City efforts to work with Supersave to improve venue for local residents.
  • FoodsCo continue to work with FoodsCo representatives to ensure their efforts meet needs and desires of residents
  • Shape Up BVHP continue to identify funding to support Bret Harte Elementary students' participation in the Double Rock Garden and bring seniors to the garden as well. Also to support efforts of Quesada Gardens Initiative in building community gardens that provide food, community building and safer environments.
  • Food Bank
  • Support LEJ's work with GN stores (other than Supersave)

Nutrition Awareness & Education is the pillar that, assuming residents have access to healthy food, promotes eating and cooking fresh produce and accompanying nutrition information. It covers:

  • Nutrition education (cooking demonstrations, nutrition classes, etc)
  • Community awareness campaigns (campaigns promoting Good Neighbor, farmers' markets, communal/familial meals, the history of food in SE, translating nutrition for community members: culture, ethnic foods etc)

Potential stakeholders include:

  • Residents who live in the SE sector
  • City agencies that govern and support any aspect of nutrition (Human Service Agency, Department of the Environment, Department of Public Health, and others)
  • Community Based Organizations (SF Food Bank, Literacy for Environmental Justice, Network for Elders, and others)
  • Business as potential venues for awareness and education activities (Supersave, FoodsCo/Kroger, Tesco/Fresh N Easy, corner markets and others)
  • Faith community
  • Communal eating sites

SEFA's role as it relates nutrition awareness and education could include the following components:

  • Identify site and funding for a community kitchen, to be used as a site for teaching youth, community run catering business, community canning sessions, nutrition education, etc.
  • Support and promote cooking demonstrations conducted by SEFA partners
  • Develop program to recruit and train regular stream of interns from local culinary programs (California Culinary Academy or City College Culinary program). Promote interns to local organizations (CBOs, schools, health clinics, etc) as a resource for their programs to conduct nutrition awareness, cooking demonstrations, etc.
  • Support existing nutrition awareness campaigns conducted by SEFA partners.
  • Conduct community awareness about importance of nutrition, supporting sustainably produced foods, backyard gardens, etc.
  • Creating opportunities for community members to prepare and share a healthy meal together on a regular basis. Communal meals help celebrate culture through food; honor community history and promote foodshed history of BVHP. This includes promoting family meals. e.g. Communal eating and cooking/ dinner and a movie
  • Promote health literacy – literacy around food, nutrition. Promote positive aspects of various cultures' ethnic foods. Promote healthier adaptation of those meals
  • Work with restaurants to educate around healthier way to cook. (e.g. Temaca in Oakland. )
  • Link to physical activity by promoting walking/biking to shop for food, instead of driving

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Food Guardians at Sunday Streets in Bayview Hunters Point, June 12, 2011.

Urban Agriculture is the pillar that includes urban agricultural efforts that can help create a local food shed. It includes venues in which food can be grown:

  • Community gardens
  • School gardens
  • Backyard gardens
  • Urban farms
  • Green rooftops

Potential stakeholders include:

  • Residents who live in SE sector
  • City agencies that govern and support any aspect of urban agriculture (Mayor's Office of Economic and Workforce Development, Mayor's Office of Community Development, SF Redevelopment Agency, Department of the Environment, Department of Public Health, Department of Public Works, Department of Recreation and Park and others)
  • Community Based Organizations (Quesada Gardens Initiative, Literacy for Environmental Justice, Girls 2000, Bret Harte Elementary, Willie Brown Jr ??. Garden for the Environment, Green Schoolyards Alliance, California Alliance of Family Farmers, and others)
  • Business?

SEFA's role as it relates to urban agriculture could include the following components:

  • To support the goal of 30% by 2015: produce in the BVHP 30% of the food consumed in the BVHP by 2015. Reinstate the SE sector as the historic foodshed for the City.
  • Become the center of commercial food production.
  • Support communication and collaboration of entities focusing on urban agriculture.
  • Continue SEFA's role in mapping edible gardens and updating (please see for a map of gardens in SF)
  • Ensure that urban ag/garden space is included in all plans for new developments in the SE. For example, it was mentioned that there are acres and acres of space near candlestick & .it is important to ensure that some of this is available for food production. There are at least 4 housing developments being planned.
  • SEFA continue in role of facilitating conversations about urban ag issues.
  • Support QGI project to do a history of food in the BHVP through the library.
  • Support Bayview Farmer's Market" as both educational opportunity and retail opportunity.
Southeast Food Access Survey (back to top)

SEFA Survey Press Release (PDF)
SEFA Survey (PDF)
SEFA Spanish Survey (PDF)
SEFA Chinese Survey (PDF)
SEFA Survey Final Report (PDF)
SEFA Survey One-Pager (PDF)

SEFA Food Guardians (back to top)

The Food Guardian Project is a community mobilization and awareness project that seeks to educate, motivate and inspire positive change in the community food environment in the Bayview Hunters Point (BVHP) neighborhood in San Francisco. 

The Food Guardians are BVHP residents who provide a voice for the community by raising awareness about food issues and advocating for healthier food access, food security, and sustainable food systems.  The BVHP is the area in San Francisco that faces the greatest challenges in terms of healthy food access and that suffers from disproportionate rates of diet-related disease; the Food Guardians work to reduce these diet-related health disparities.

The Food Guardian Project emerged from SEFA in December 2009.  The Food Guardian Project uses a community health worker model (aka lay health workers or promotores), which research shows as a successful strategy to create community-driven change based on popular education and systems change models.

SEFA Food Guardians work to help create a robust, healthy and sustainable food system in BVHP by addressing SEFA’s three pillars: nutrition education, urban agriculture and food access.  There are currently four Food Guardians employed part-time on this project. In less than a year and half, the Food Guardians have accomplished a great deal to raise awareness and advocate for improvements to the community food environment.

Food Guardian Presentation (ppt)

Meet the Food Guardians.

Participating Organizations (back to top)

Bay View YMCA
Bayview Hunters Point Foundation for Community Improvement
Beautiful Communities
Boys & Girls Club of SF
Bret Harte Elementary
BVHP YMCA – Family Resource Center
California Alliance of Family Farmers
Department of Public Health
Hunters Point Family
Literacy for Environmental Justice
Mayor's Office of Economic and Workforce Development
Network For Elders
Quesada Gardens Initiative
Reach out for the Rainbow
San Francisco Wholesale Produce Market
SF Bike Coalition
SF Environment
SF Food Bank
SF General Hospital
SF Redevelopment Agency
Slow Food Nation
Southeast Health Center
Third Street Corridor Program
Tipping Point
UCSF School of Nursing

History and Operations: (back to top)

The Southeast Food Access (SEFA) Working Group evolved out of the April 2006  Shape Up San Francisco Summit where community food justice organizations and city agencies met in a work group and identified the need for regular communication among all entities working on food issues in the BVHP. In January 2007, the first SEFA meeting was held and the group has met monthly since to address food systems in the Southeast sector. SEFA co-chairs are Jacob Moody, Executive Director of Bayview Hunters Point Foundation for Community Improvement and Michael Janis, General Manager, SF Wholesale Produce Market.  SEFA is staffed by the Department of Public Health Community Health Promotion and Prevention Branch’s Christina Goette and Susana Hennessey Lavery, and Tracey Patterson of Bayview Hunters Point Foundation. SEFA recieves private and public funding (SF Environment, UCSF, and RWJ) to support its work on the 3 pillars and to implement the SEVA and Food Guardian projects.


Last updated: 12/27/2013 9:46:39 AM