Alum John Meehan Founded Groceries for Seniors Program

Tuesday, June 06, 2017
CATHOLIC SAN FRANCISCO -- A year later, a clean and sober Meehan enrolled in Project Rebound, a program for ex-offenders at San Francisco State University, and discovered a gift for poetry. He made the dean’s list and eventually became executive director of the program. But after a prolonged illness, he found himself homeless and hungry. While living on the streets, Meehan co-founded and for 15 years ran the Haight Ashbury Food Program, still in operation today. He completed his bachelor’s degree in creative writing at San Francisco State and later enrolled in University of San Francisco’s master’s program in nonprofit administration upon the encouragement of his mentor, the late Jesuit Brother Jack Graham. With Brother Graham’s support, Meehan founded an emergency food program for seniors in 1999 which today is known as Groceries for Seniors. In the last decade of his life, Meehan formed a connection to the former pastor of Old St. Mary’s Cathedral, Paulist Father Charles R. Kullmann, who offered the parish hall to the program as an operations center.