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Volunteering at St. Anthony’s Dining Room

St. Anthony’s Dining Room, also called the miracle on Jones Street, is the only free meal program in the city of San Francisco that serves a warm meal 365 days a year.  At almost 3,000 meals per day, we serve over 1 million meals per year. For many, the Dining Room is their main source of food. Some of our guests have shelter, some homeless, some have families, some are all alone. Some are employed, some not. Some have a college degree, some never finished grade school. But the thing that all of these people have in common is their need for a meal. And that is our job. To provide all those in need, regardless of their life situations, with a warm meal that was made and served with love. And much of what makes this all possible are the thousands of volunteers that give their time to serve. We have almost 500 regular volunteers (some of which have been serving here for over 25 years!), and almost 10,000 people who volunteer with their school, work, or church.

Sean Chester, a summer intern who spent a lot of time volunteering in the Dining Room as well as some of St. Anthony’s other programs, remembers “my work in the Dining Room included being a bus boy, serving food, directing servers, and eating food. Among all the work and action, I made an infinite amount of friends that inspire me, believe in me, and respect me. I soaked up the experience, embraced the memories, and had such an amazing time.” Theresa Martin, another intern who spent one day/week volunteering in the Dining Room said “The relationships I’ve formed with the guests in the Dining Room, the volunteers and guys from the [Fr. Alfred Center, St. Anthony’s Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Program], and the other interns have been awesome. I feel like I have been welcomed into the community at St. Anthony’s and become a part of the family that it is. For that, I am grateful.” Much like Sean and Theresa, our volunteers often get more out of the experience than they gave. They find themselves embraced by the community here at St. Anthony’s, and quickly feel like they are part of the family.

So we would like to thank all of our volunteers, whether you have been here once or one thousand times. Your work has left a lasting mark on our Dining Room and the thousands of guests who call it their home.

If you or your group (school, company, church, club, etc.) are interested in volunteering, click here.

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