Hundreds of veterans get Memorial Day meals at St. Anthony's

SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) -- Memorial Day is time to honor those who have served, and St Anthony's Foundation in San Francisco is hoping volunteers will do that by offering to serve a warm meal to veterans.

Memorial Day is actually the busiest day of the year for St. Anthony's. On an average day, they serve about 2,500 meals, but on Memorial Day, they serve 3,500 to 4,000 with 1 in 5 going to a veteran.

"Memorial Day makes for a perfect storm in our dining room," explains Executive Director Barry Stenger, "Volunteers can be hard to find, it's the end of the month so our people are low on funds, and other meal programs are closed."

Homeless Veteran Stanley Oats says the day is important to him. It's a day to remember his service and the men and women who gave their lives for this country

"If it's only one day out of the year, at least you get the recognition that you served and somebody respects that," said Oats.

KTVU met Oats as he sat at a table with two other veterans. They all come to St. Anthony's fairly regularly and say they are thankful for the good meals and the people who are there to serve them.

"I appreciate them a lot because they are doing what they don't have to do and I always say thank you thank you," said veteran John Henry Spencer.

The men all spoke of their service with pride. Oats told KTVU he would sign up again if they'd let them.

"I sure would, without a doubt. This is the greatest thing floating. I know that," said Oats.

People interested in volunteering at St. Anthony's or making a donation can get information at the foundation's website.

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