A map of the locations of corner stores and markets in Tenderloin District
According to the latest homeless count for San Francisco, the Tenderloin is among the supervisorial districts with the greatest numbers of homeless people. The median household income in 2011 in the Tenderloin was $23,804 vs $69,894 in San Francisco overall. The average rent paid by renters was $755 in the Tenderloin vs $1,361 in San Francisco overall. The percentage of single-mother households (among all households) in the Tenderloin was 38.1% vs 8.1% overall. The percentage of population below poverty level in Tenderloin 35% vs 13.8% in San Francisco overall. These data are to illustrate some of the disparities that exist within this particular SF neighborhood.
The Tenderloin, South of Market and Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhoods far exceed the city/countywide rate and goal for preventable emergency room visits. When examining birth data by San Francisco zip codes, the Tenderloin stands out as having higher than the city/county rate in no first trimester prenatal care, low birth weight babies, and preterm babies. Among women by neighborhood, drug overdose ranks higher as a cause of premature death in the Tenderloin, South of Market and Bayview-Hunters Point compared to San Francisco overall. The leading cause of premature death in the Tenderloin is HIV/AIDS. Residents in the Tenderloin are affected by higher rates of death by homicide, drug and alcohol use when compared to other areas of the city/county of San Francisco. These data illustrate that morbity and mortality in the Tenderloin is largely associated with lack of resources, prevention and primary care.
The Tenderloin is one of the only neighborhoods in San Francisco without a full service grocery store, making it a daily challenge for residents to access the healthy, nutritious foods that communities rely upon to lead healthy lives. At the same time, the Tenderloin neighborhood is San Francisco’s most saturated area in terms of liquor and tobacco retail outlets and is home to some of City’s highest rates of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes, posing some serious public health challenges. The TLHCSC knows that many residents of the Tenderloin are traveling long distances to buy nutritious foods. According to a survey conducted by the coalition of over 640 Tenderloin individuals, many residents go through great lengths and will spend significant money in order to purchase a bag of groceries outside of the neighborhood. Less than 25% of those residents surveyed buy dairy, proteins or whole grains in the neighborhood. Those residents surveyed are spending at least HALF of their grocery money each month OUTSIDE the neighborhood. Therefore over $925,000 is being spent on groceries outside of the Tenderloin every month, or over $11 million every year. Nearly 80% of those surveyed would buy their groceries at a corner store if it sold what they needed and was affordable. The TLHCSC believes that this represents an enormous economic opportunity for Tenderloin small businesses, whose current business models don’t cater to the needs of the Tenderloin’s growing demographic of families and immigrants who demand fresh food. The Southeast Food Access (SEFA) in the Bayview Healthy Retail Model was therefore adapted in the Tenderloin to encourage healthy offerings in corner stores while training food justice advocates to actively engage the community.
 City-data.com 2011: http://www.city-data.com/neighborhood/Tenderloin-San-Francisco-CA.html
 Community Health Status Assessment: City and County of San Francisco, 2012: http://www.cdph.ca.gov/data/informatics/Documents/San%20Francisco%20CHSA_10%2016%2012.pdf
The Tenderloin Healthy Corner Store Coalition (TLHCSC) was created in the spring of 2012. It all began when a group of youth from the Vietnamese Youth Development Center (VYDC) expressed concern over the very high number of corner stores in their neighborhood. The youth decided to conduct corner store assessments and also map the quantity and quality of corner stores in the Tenderloin (read full report). From these results and maps the VYDC youth were determined to make a change in their community, and began meeting with various organizations in the Tenderloin, bringing them together to form the Tenderloin Healthy Corner Store Coalition.
The TLHCSC has grown to include tenant groups, health and nutrition organizations, affordable housing agencies, and even the local mosque. Especially since there is no full service grocery store in the Tenderloin, the Coalition strives to improve access to healthy, affordable food in the community by using the network of corner stores as a resource and by empowering residents to advocate on the issue of food justice. Five residents, known as Tenderloin Food Justice Leaders, have been hired and trained to work on building relationships with store owners, assessing store needs, advocating for policy change, and helping with store redesigns. The TLHCSC has followed the model of the Southeast Food Access working group in the Bayview community of San Francisco and has collaborated with them, along with other partners, to advocate for San Francisco’s adoption of the Healthy Food Retail Incentives Program legislation in September 2013.