San Francisco Opens First Taxpayer-Funded ‘Free’ Food Market—What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Let’s not beat around the bush, and instead just get down to brass tacks.

San Francisco has opened its first $5.5 million free food “market” in an area where many grocery stores have left due to high crime. Approved residents simply show a benefits eligibility card, load their carts with whatever they want, check out — to keep track of outgoing inventory — and leave without paying a dime. 

As I asked in the headline, what could possibly go wrong? And worse, why should already-strapped taxpayers who don’t live in high-crime areas be forced to fund those who do and who continue to support politicians who refuse to clamp down on out-of-control crime? They shouldn’t. 

But this is San Francisco Mayor London Breed’s city and California Governor Gavin Newsom’s state.

Here’s more:

The Bayview-Hunters Point facility aims to be a food pantry alternative that replicates the supermarket experience in an area where many grocery stores have come but few have remained due to high crime. The 4000-square foot District 10 Market is the first of San Francisco’s food empowerment “markets” funded by the San Francisco’s Human Services Agency. 
Eligible individuals receive a Costo-like benefits card that allows use of the facility once per month. Eligibility is limited to individuals who live within one of three zip codes, are verified social services clients, have dependents under 25 or a qualified food-related illness, and be referred by one of eleven community organizations in the market’s referral network. 

Geoffrea Morris, who spearheaded San Francisco’s Food Empowerment Market legislation in 2021 and is a senior consultant for the District 10 Market, said the program is meant to supplement food stamps — Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) — that run out towards the end of the month, especially due to rising food costs from inflation. (We need one of those “Joe Biden Did That!” stickers.)

This is a supplemental source for food. Food stamps should be the primary source. This is a supplemental source especially close to the end of the month when families are facing the pain, especially with inflation. If we didn’t tell you it was free you’d think you’d have to pay.

It’s not “free,” Mr. Morris.

District 10 is not only one of San Francisco’s poorest communities, it’s also home to some of the city’s largest public housing projects. Due to the high-crime rate, grocery store chains are reluctant to open stores in the district.

Morris promotes the food market this way:

If you’re having food insecurity you’re having other issues as well and you need to be engaged with the services the city has put in place to improve your life and the life of your children.

As a country, we have a long history of taking care of our fellow citizens who cannot take care of themselves. That said, the controversy starts with those who will not take care of themselves. 

In addition, when cities and states refuse to crack down on rampant crime that destroys neighborhoods and businesses — and virtually nothing is done to prevent it — we see depressed areas in Democrat-run cities across the country where hope has been lost and despair has set in for far too many people.

According to The Center Square, the Bayview-Hunters Point community has 40,495 residents, yet in the first six months of 2019, the area had reports of 143 robberies, 129 assaults, 195 burglaries, 308 motor vehicle thefts, and 889 larceny thefts. 

Those numbers declined significantly in the first six months of 2024, with 78 robberies, 120 assaults, 174 burglaries, 353 motor vehicle thefts, and 431 larceny thefts reported, but business organizations say apparent crime reductions as reported in San Francisco and much of California are from less reporting of crime, not less actual crime.

Concerning the underreporting of crime in California, Matt Ross, Communications Director for Californians Against Retail & Residential Theft, told the outlet: 

We know that there is underreporting. Since Prop 47 was passed, murder, rape and robbery increased by more than 20% in the number of crimes. Same holds true for motor vehicle theft which is up 19.8% since the passage of Proposition 47. The only significant drop is burglary at 30%  So either California is doing an amazing job at stopping burglary when every other crime stat is on the increase, or there is underreporting.

You’re kidding me. Would Gavin Newsom do that? 

The question is rhetorical. 

The Bottom Line

Let’s boil it down to taxpayers funding a “free” grocery store, again. That’s wealth redistribution, no matter how you slice it. Where will it end? The deeper a country gets, or in this case, already out-of-control San Francisco slides into wealth redistribution, the worse the chances for recovery get. Then what? Good question — but the answer never is.

History has shown the reality from the beginning of socialism. 


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