Bay Area Charities Find Strength Through Mergers

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS/AP)- Taking a page of the corporate world, non-profits are using mergers to help more people.

For example, in San Francisco, The Haight Ashbury Free Clinic and Walden House have just announced the merging of their mental health and drug abuse treatment centers.

The Marin Food Bank has been taken over by the San Francisco Food Bank.

KCBS’ Rebecca Corral Reports:

“The San Francisco Food Bank has been serving Marin County for over two years,” said Paul Ash, executive director of the San Francisco Food Bank. “The Marin Food Bank obviously serves Marin County as well, so we thought it made a lot of sense to talk about a way we could cooperate and do this job better together.”

”This is a true merger, so the Marin Food Bank Board of Directors have joined our board and we’re one organization, so we’re going to approach the problem in the most efficient and effective way we know how,” said Ash.

The merger will put 50 percent more food on the shelves at Marin’s Food Banks, and they will also see more frequent deliveries of food.

”Previously, many of the pantries in Marin County were only distributing once a month because they didn’t have enough food,” said Ash. “We’re going to be able to change that to weekly distributions because we think families who need food assistance probably need food assistance every week.”

Another advantage will be fresh fruits and vegetables, which smaller food banks are less likely to be able to source.”

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

More from Rebecca Corral

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