Since 2010, our mission has been to build community through our public and private events, while supporting local businesses (our third-party food Creators).  This has become even more imperative throughout the pandemic. While we’ve been navigating the “new normal” of COVID uncertainty like all of you, a silver lining has emerged – our ability to quickly adapt our services and repurpose our assets to support at-risk communities. Our most recent endeavor to support an at-risk community came through the Great Plates Delivered Program. 

As such individuals, and especially seniors, are encouraged to shelter in place, a dire and recurrent issue arises around losing access to necessities. Great Plates provides state funding to local chapters so seniors in need can receive up to three restaurant meals per day, while local food businesses get much-needed revenue. Because of our prior work with the Department of Emergency Management feeding food-insecure individuals who tested positive for COVID-19, we’ve been able to quickly ramp with the City to help serve our older adults through Great Plates.

By activating our amazing and diverse network of Off the Grid Creators, as well as local restaurants around San Francisco, we’re providing up to 4,000 diverse meals per week to older people while using our experience in logistics to figure out how to deliver each of these meals. Launched on May 18th, the Great Plates Delivered SF program delivered meals to more than 1,500 San Francisco seniors in the first month. Program participants have received 110,000 meals from various local restaurants and food providers—including 40,000 meals from 25 Off the Grid Creators. Of these, 84 percent of these Creators are minority-owned.

Off the Grid remains committed to supporting a diverse Creator community and specifically supporting Black-owned businesses in ways that are both economically impactful and scalable, such as through programs like Great Plates Delivered SF. Four Black-owned businesses have participated in the program to-date, and we continue to work towards our goal of quadrupling the number of Black-owned businesses that are a part of our Creator network in 2020. 

Last week the State of California announced that the Great Plates initiative has been extended through July 10th, giving us the ability to serve and provide assistance to additional seniors and minority-owned small food businesses in the San Francisco area during this time.  

How can you get involved?

– If you’re an older adult or know someone who may be interested in the program and meets the below criteria, call (415) 355-6700 Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or complete the online interest form  (English | Español | 中文)and a representative will call you back.

– If you are a food vendor looking to get involved in Off the Grid programming, please contact us here

– Want Off the Grid’s help feeding those in need? Reach out to us here


Who Qualifies for the Great Plates Delivered SF Program

– Older adults in the San Francisco community who need access to healthy and nutritious meals and meet all of the following criteria: 

– Not currently receiving state or federal food assistance, such as CalFresh or home-delivered meals.

– Aged 65 or older, as well as older adults who are aged 60-64 and in high-risk categories (i.e., people who have received a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, have been exposed to COVID-19, or who have underlying health conditions).

– Unable to obtain or prepare their own meals.

– Living alone or with one other adult who also meets these criteria.

– Earning less than $74,940 for a single-person household or $101,460 for two-person households.