Biking Volunteers Rescue Food

Customer Stories, Food Runners of San Francisco -

Biking Volunteers Rescue Food

Food Runners Biking Food

With the help of their generous donors, Food Runners of San Francisco purchased two new CycleTote trailers to move food in the busy city center from restaurants, groceries and businesses to local donation sites.  For the past 27 years the food has been going from those who have too much to those who need it.


San Francisco is home to many tech industry companies.  Many tech companies serve in house meals daily.  Most of them are in SOMA (South of Market), the most traffic congested area of town, especially around rush hour.  All the major arteries to the Bay Bridge and the Peninsula have their main access into and out of SOMA.  Volunteers using bike trailers can pick up food in congested downtown areas where car parking is non-existent.

Food Runners Schedule

“The pick up requests pour in after lunch, starting around 1:30-2 thru 3:30-4.  You can’t get near most of the donor locations in a car after 2PM due to traffic and/or late afternoon parking restrictions. You can’t even pull over to the curb and wait for someone to bring the food out. ” says Nancy Hahn, the Director of Operations for Food Runners.

She continued by saying “Last fall,we thought bikes with trailers would be a good solution.  We started in December with a trailer cobbled together by our first courier.  When it was stolen , a former Food Runners volunteer donated her Cycletote Trailer.  The Cycletote trailer turned out to have just the perfect dimensions to fit the large foil trays that the food is often packed in. Hence the beginning of a beautiful partnership!”

Food Runners 3

CycleTote full of Food Runners’ donations

Food Runners then purchased two more trailers.  Volunteer couriers generally make 2-3 ’rounds’ per shift (approx 4 hours).  A trailer can fit 15 of the large foil trays and the couriers have gotten clever about stacking whatever comes their way. ” We estimate that a trailer is picking up 1,000 pounds per week or approximately 750 meals,” Nancy explained.

Food Runners volunteers who are biking food are only a part of their food collecting.  In all, Food Runners estimates  volunteers deliver over 15 tons of food a week to agencies feeding people in need.  CycleTote is proud to be a part of there effort.  Their mission statement says it best, “Food Runners is a volunteer organization dedicated to alleviating hunger and preventing waste in San Francisco.”