Marshall Elementary Pantry Helps Families Make Ends Meet

Nestled in the Marshall Elementary School garden is one of the Food Bank’s 59 Healthy Children Pantries. Against a backdrop of vines and plants, community volunteers pass out bags of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins such as chicken and eggs, and staples like rice and beans.

Miriam and her seven-year-old son Eljer, pantry participants

Neighborhood resident Miriam and her seven-year-old son Eljer are at the pantry, selecting plums, carrots, and even a large watermelon. Eljer is excited because fruit is his favorite. Miriam, a single mom who works doing housekeeping and elder care, is excited because she knows they will not go hungry.

“Before the pantry, I used to skip meals so that my kids could eat,” said Miriam. “But now, I have this security, and we have everything we need for the week. I make healthy soups, and we love the fruit.”

Miriam’s family is one of 5,500 families per week who are served by our Healthy Children Pantries. The pantries are located in public schools so parents have easy access as they drop off or pick up their kids.

Marshall Elementary is located in San Francisco’s Mission District and has many low-income families struggling with skyrocketing rents and childcare costs. Most are Latino immigrants who look to the pantry as a place to connect with community.

Marshall is one of the school-based pantries that are open all summer long, and parents come from other neighborhoods where the pantries are closed. They rely on the Marshall pantry to get through summer when free and reduced-price lunches are not available.

“It’s been a life-saver this summer,” said Miriam, who travels from Potrero Hill. “I don’t know what I would have done without it and probably would have gone hungry.”

As the summer draws to a close, and other pantries open for the school year ahead, families will return back to their regular neighborhood pantries with full bellies, and many with new friends they’ve made at Marshall.

As the summer draws to a close, and other pantries open for the school year ahead, families will return back to their regular neighborhood pantries with full bellies, and many with new friends they’ve made at Marshall.

Feeling inspired? Sign up for more stories like this.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.