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Kids ‘shop’ for school at St. Anthony’s

August 28, 2015
Christina Gray

More than 200 underprivileged San Francisco school children and their parents went back-to-school “shopping” at St. Anthony’s Foundation on Aug. 7, leaving its Tenderloin location with new backpacks and armloads of school supplies, books and winter clothing.

Benny, an incoming Balboa High School junior, also left with a relieved smile.

“I just got into the law pathway,” said Benny as he headed out of St. Anthony’s annual back-to-School drive for low-income families with school supplies and clothing his family would be hard-pressed to provide for him.

According to data provided to St. Anthony’s by the San Francisco Unified School district, 2,352 students reported being homeless during the 2014-2015 school year. These students and others from low-income families often return to school without basic school needs as the cost of living in San Francisco continues to skyrocket.

In response to the spike in demand for its services, St. Anthony’s, corporate donors and neighborhood volunteers organized the largest back-to school drive for children ages 5-17 in the organization’s 65-year history.

“In a time when tensions are running high in San Francisco between the haves and have-nots, we are fortunate to see overwhelming generosity from people who are eager to make a difference for the poorest families in our community,” St. Anthony’s executive director Barry Stenger said.

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