I had the unique opportunity to spend the day with Glide's executive directors learning about all the programs that they offered, as well as spending time with clients and staff members. I also volunteered during lunch service. The entire staff is incredibly dedicated and passionate about what they do and the people they serve. The amount of work and the breadth of services they offer is staggering, and to think they are only serving one neighborhood in SF (albeit one that needs a lot of support). I heard first hand stories about Glide saving lives...heart wrenching and so inspiring. A truly amazing organization.
I had the amazing opportunity to work with Glide in the Communications Department to raise awareness for the wonderful services that the foundation brings to the tenderloin area of San Francisco. Glide's work is a constant uphill battle because of the raising problems of homelesness in San Francisco. Overall it was a great experience.
Glide provides such a wonderful service to the community. I helped serve dinner there one night, and the staff's dedication was phenomenal. It was hot and people kept pouring in for dinner, but everyone was smiling and singing and having a good time. It's a great atmosphere where people can feel safe.
Serving dinner at Glide is no small feat...the organization receives as many as 1,000 people per meal and making this happen within the 2-hour time period allotted takes an efficient system and committed workers. Luckily, Glide has both. The team I worked with was one of the most enthusiastic and friendly I have ever encountered in a soup kitchen, and their assembly-line system of plating and serving enables them to meet their high demands effectively and quickly. I was part of the crew putting food on the trays and was impressed not only by the sheer numbers that Glide received for dinner but also by how helpful and welcoming the staff was to our group. I really enjoyed being a part of this organization's work. Their drop-in meals are a great way for those in need to come and get food without any other questions asked. It's one of many important services that Glide provides.
I've worked at other soup kitchens before and they do fantastic work serving the community. Glide is no exception. The staff are hardworking and dedicated to the people that they serve, but they do so with a welcoming attitude and a good sense of humor, really making the clients feel comfortable in the space. There is no pressure and no solicitation--basically no questions asked. They do great work serving this area.
I really appreciated my experience at Glide! After a brief orientation the staff wasted no time in dressing the volunteers in plastic aprons and gloves and putting us to work. I was the lucky lady on gumbo duty and was in charge of pouring a ladle of gumbo onto the trays in the dinner assembly line. One of my favorite parts of the experience was interacting with the enthusiastic staff while they fed us slices of peach and eagerly helped switch out the empty food bins with new ones. I also loved the music playing in the cafeteria that kept the volunteers singing and staying positive and added energy to the busy room. I really appreciate the glide policy where individuals receive meal tickets without having to answer any questions about their identity or why they were there-- this allowed for an accepting organization that served all different kinds of people. My only concern was that the kitchen could get very hectic at times with gumbo sloshing and rice flying-- I'm not sure how to tighten up an already extremely organized assembly line but i worry that someone could slip or get burned.
I helped serve dinner here last week, standing in the "assembly" line putting peaches and nectarines on the meal trays. It's fantastic that Glide has this First Meals program, where clients can come have a hot breakfast, lunch, or dinner anonymously, without fear of needing to register or be solicited in any way, in a dining hall. If clients are still hungry after receiving their first meal tray, they can ask for another meal ticket and get another tray. The kitchen staff are friendly, welcoming, hardworking, and speedy, and they try to create meals that are as nutritious as possible with the food that they receive from San Francisco Food Bank. However, the dinner shift runs from 3:30pm-5:30pm, which may be more convenient than a more standard dinner time for the servers and volunteers, but seems to be too early for the clients. Something like 5:30-7:30pm seems to be more reasonable, especially during the summer when it doesn't get dark until 9pm (if safety is the concern).