Sacred Heart Cathedral's student-run newspaper. We've got issues.

The Emerald

Sacred Heart Cathedral's student-run newspaper. We've got issues.

The Emerald

Sacred Heart Cathedral's student-run newspaper. We've got issues.

The Emerald

Spotlight on St. Anthony’s Farmers Market with Lasallian Vincentian Youth

Bryan Chauvel, St. Anthony’s Communications Lead
SHC students volunteering at St. Anthony’s Farmers Market.

For students at SHC, the trip to St. Anthony’s Foundation is a rite of passage in their high school experience. Every year, sophomores volunteer alongside their English 3,4 classes to serve their neighboring community for a day. Located in the heart of the Tenderloin, St. Anthony’s is a non-profit organization with a mission to “heal, shelter, clothe, lift the spirits of those in need, and create a society in which all persons flourish.” While sophomore students are introduced to the Dining Room and Clothing Distribution Program, many are unaware of another unique volunteer opportunity at St. Anthony’s – the farmers market. 

Every Thursday afternoon from 2:30-4:15 PM, St. Anthony’s transforms its dining room into a makeshift farmers market. Fresh produce from the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank are spread out along folding tables, offering a variety of colorful fruits, vegetables, meats, canned goods, and more. Each week, St. Anthony’s serves approximately 180 guests, providing essential food resources to the low-income senior citizens living in the neighborhood. Many of these guests rely on the Farmers Market to supplement their daily diet.  

Volunteers breaking down boxes to be recycled after the Farmers Market. (Catherine Tsang ’25)

In fact, one in four San Francisco residents is at risk of hunger due to food insecurity, which can stem from several places, like poverty from unemployment, lack of housing, and even racial discrimination. As a result, some neighborhoods are more affected by hunger than others. Specifically in the Tenderloin, nearly one-third of the population lives below the poverty line. Those who experience food insecurity are more vulnerable to health conditions–including malnutrition, stress, diabetes, and heart disease. Organizations like St. Anthony’s Foundation work to combat the effects of food insecurity before they begin.  

The Farmers Market program runs with the help of their volunteers–a dedicated group of returning helpers, students, and everyday civilians. As a Lasallian school, part of SHC’s mission is to serve the less fortunate members in our community. Embodying that mission, Sacred Heart Cathedral’s Lasallian Vincentian Youth club invites students twice a month to volunteer at St. Anthony’s Farmers Market. The program is led by Selam Aklilu ’24, who has been leading the operation for the past two and a half years. She explains, “There’s a lot of struggling that happens in San Francisco, especially when it comes to affording food.”

Volunteers at St. Anthony’s Farmers Market prepare to distribute fresh produce to guests. (Catherine Tsang ’25)

LVY member Ruby Hernandez ‘25 reflects, “Being a part of St. Anthony’s food distribution is a really great way to respond to the different challenges that our community faces, especially in the community that we go to school in.” 

Ultimately, the partnership between SHC and St. Anthony’s Foundation plays a crucial role in supporting the most vulnerable members within the Tenderloin community. Programs like the Farmers Market not only introduce students to the fulfilling life of service, but also actively addresses the food insecurity crisis in San Francisco. 

Located just a few blocks from SHC, the St. Anthony’s Farmers Market is a great way to spend your Thursday afternoon volunteering with friends. Join the LVY Schoology page for more updates!

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About the Contributor
Catherine Tsang '25
Catherine Tsang '25, Head of Multimedia
Catherine is super excited to serve as the Head of Multimedia this year! Aside from the Emerald, Catherine is involved with the Oracle, Student Council, and LVY. Outside of school, she loves photography, going on walks, and spending time with friends.

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