A local food bank that serves an average of 2,600 meals each day to anyone in need of a meal is asking for food and clothing donations this holiday season. The St. Anthony Foundation’s food and clothing drive for the Thanksgiving holiday is running through Thanksgiving Day and is offering curbside service for donation drop-offs, communications manager Francis Aviani said.
Aviani said that volunteers and staff will be wearing red jackets and will be unloading donations from cars so visitors do not have to park. Canned and dried food will be accepted and will be part of the daily meals as well as the Thanksgiving and Christmas day meals that draw more than 3,000 visitors, Aviani said.
The Thanksgiving Day meal begins at 10:30 a.m. and is served until every person has been given a meal, which is usually around 3 p.m., according to Aviani.
In addition to food, St. Anthony’s is accepting clothing and cold-weather essentials. St. Anthony’s is asking for donations of clean and unused socks and underwear, so that each person served in the dining room Christmas Day will receive a clean pair of socks. The drive for socks began Monday because the high volume of diners on Christmas Day means that St. Anthony’s will need 3,500 pairs of clean socks to reach their goal of one pair per person, Aviani said.
Aviani also stressed that all warm, clean and well cared for clothing is needed. Garments will not be handed out on Thanksgiving Day but are handed out through St. Anthony’s clothing program, she said. Warm blankets, sleeping bags, and anything else a person may need in the coming winter months are also needed, she said.
Those hoping to volunteer at St. Anthony’s during the holiday season are no longer needed as the positions were filled early, but volunteers and donations are needed every day and are always welcome, according to Aviani.
“We are asking people to think about the needs throughout the year. We are open 365 days a year. The need does not go away after the holidays,” she said.
Roadside donations are accepted through Thursday. The roadside drive will begin again Dec. 15 and run through Christmas Day, according to Aviani. Donations can be made from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends at St. Anthony’s, at 119 Golden Gate Ave. near Jones Street.
Monetary donations are also welcome, Aviani said, as St. Anthony’s is run entirely on personal donations. Donations may be made online at www.stanthonysf.org.
— Bay City News