After holidays, S.F. meal kitchens at their neediest

The holidays are nearly over, and the leftovers are in the fridge. But organizations that provide food to the poor are needier than ever.

Despite San Francisco's reputation as a place where the needy can find ample free food, charities struggle mightily to fill the need in the week between Christmas and New Year's, according to representatives for St. Anthony's Dining Room.

Volunteers are harder to find and stretched food budgets are nearly blasted. That means that some meal-providing charities close entirely — and those that do stay open have to serve more meals amid staffing and menu troubles, along with a serious emotional letdown.

“The post-holiday blues are a serious reality for many people, and especially those who are struggling to make ends meet,” St. Anthony's spokesman Barry Stenger said in a statement.

The dining room issued a clarion call for volunteers Thursday, the “unsung heroes” who “serve meals, drop off donations and keep spirits high.”

Everyone is welcome to volunteer between 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. daily through New Year's at 150 Golden Gate Ave. in the Tenderloin, Stenger said.

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