st anthony's logoMiddle College at Skyline College students Arisbe Benavides, Stephanie DeAlba, Josue Guardado, Paolo Jimeno, Jasleen Kaur, Patricia Martinez, and Sarah Rosario volunteered 10 hours of community service at the St. Anthony’s Padua Dining Room in Redwood City as part of their Nutrition 310 course.  St. Anthony’s Padua Dining Room is the largest soup kitchen between San Francisco and San Jose and the only organization serving on average 500 meals daily throughout the year. The Dining Room tackles food shortages impacting the residents of surrounding local communities of Redwood City, East Palo Alto, and East Menlo Park.  The Dining Room provides hot, nourishing meals Monday to Saturday year-round to all who come seeking meal and a safe place to eat. It serves all without regard to age, sex, race, religious beliefs, national origin, or disabilities.

The students had the opportunity to serve a wholesome lunch of pasta, chicken, vegetables, eggs, bread, salad, milk, juice, and fruit dessert.  Other students sorted basic foodstuffs, fresh fruits, i.e., persimmons, tomatoes, strawberries, and fresh vegetables, i.e., avocados, mushrooms, carrots, along with a variety of bread products that the patrons selected to supplement their meals at home.  A tour of the surrounding communities gave the students a visceral experience of the socioeconomic disparity and social justice issues confronting those families and individuals being served at the Dining Room.

One student remarked “less than a quarter mile away you have $10 million dollar homes fenced off from the people coming to the Dining Room, many of whom are homeless and mentally challenged.”

Another student said “I plan to return with my cousin to volunteer, it was an awesome experience.”

A goal of the Middle College at Skyline College is to have students participate in internship/community service experiences that address social justice issues in their communities.

Article by Raymond Jones