Kain Na, managed and operated by TNDC's Food & Nutrition focus area of our Health & Wellness program, is an open market with free nutritious and culturally relevant foods provided by our partners the SF-Marin Food Bank and the Deep Medicine Circle, a women-of-color-led and worker-directed nonprofit. Kain Na is also a community-building space which offers family-friendly workshops promoting food education all while honoring the cultural traditions of Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities.
In the spirit of multi-culturalism and inclusion, Kain Na (pronounced kah-een nah) derives its name from Tagalog, the native language of the Philippines, and means “Let’s eat.” It’s a phrase you’ll often hear when visiting a Filipino household inviting you to feel welcome and share a lovingly and carefully prepared meal together.
Located on the ground floor of 626 Mission Bay Boulevard—an affordable housing building managed by TNDC—Kain Na serves many families in the building alongside the wider Mission Bay neighborhood. In our extensive research and community engagement process for the food hub we learned that the Mission Bay has limited affordable grocery options for residents, so many must travel far to access food they can afford. Residents wanted access to free food near their home so they could both save money to meet other financial responsibilities and eliminate the stress and time of traveling to other grocery stores.
TNDC has a successful and powerful legacy of engaging the community and taking direct action to meet people’s needs,” said Maurilio León, TNDC CEO. “Kain Na is an example of our values and the impact we can make in advancing food and health justice.”
Since Kain Na opened to the public, we’ve already reached capacity, serving 150 households weekly, and began our first workshop in partnership with 826 Valencia. Participating students are enjoying a multi-media workshop centered on food and culture where they will produce writing, photography, and drawings that will ultimately be displayed on Kain Na’s community art wall!
Kain Na also marks an important use of the San Francisco Soda Tax, sponsored by the Community Health Equity and Promotion Branch (CHEP) of the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH), to promote health equity and food security in communities of color and communities with low incomes.
"Everyone deserves access to nutritional grocery options and spaces that honor the contributions of our City’s diverse cultures and communities,” said Mayor London Breed. “Kain Na is the perfect example of how our City can support creating healthier outcomes in our neighborhoods, and I am excited to see the positive impact that this food hub will have on the Mission Bay community for years to come."
Other project partners include Nibbi Brothers General Contractors, Mithun, muralist ChiChai, Wood Thumb, and more.