The early morning sun was just starting to shine through the windows of the multipurpose room at Daniel Webster Elementary School in San Francisco’s Potrero Hill neighborhood, but that couldn’t hide the smile on Ana’s face. The mother of two was picking up groceries at the Food Bank’s weekly Healthy Children Pantry at her daughter’s school when she came upon something she didn’t quite expect.
“Take a look at this honey – there’s fish today!” she said to her youngest daughter, 4-year-old Genesis. “Yes, fish! Bring it on!”
Ana has been coming to the pantry at Daniel Webster since her 7-year-old older Xochitl was in kindergarten – not out of choice, but out of necessity. “Especially living in a place like San Francisco with high rent, sometimes it’s like ‘if we pay rent we don’t eat’ … and unfortunately, that shouldn’t be that way. But that’s how things are right now.”
Not being able to get ahead isn’t for a lack of trying. Ana’s husband puts in long hours as a construction worker. She’s working hard too, volunteering at the school in the mornings before heading off to her full-time nonprofit job, then returning to school to get her girls. She spends many evenings volunteering with the school’s PTA and ELAC – English Learners Advisory Committee. “I do it all because I don’t care about just my children, but all children in the school and the district,” Ana says.
SAVING FOR KIDS’ EDUCATION
She hopes for a day when rents aren’t so high in the city, allowing all families to thrive. Until then, she’s glad for the little things, like finding fresh fish at our Healthy Children Pantry and fresh fruits that make her young daughters smile when they bite into them. To her, it’s about making sure her kids live a better life than hers.
“This pantry helps us save money, especially with the housing crisis. I mean look at this milk,” she says, pointing to the gallon she’ll take home today. “It would probably cost $6, and the fish would probably cost about $20. We know this all adds up every month to big savings that I hope I can use for a healthier future for my kids.”