The Salvation Army has been making the offer for years, but lately, the agency is noticing more San Antonians willing to accept the cartload of groceries given out during its regular food giveaways.
Spokeswoman Monica Ramos said she expected about 100 families to show up for the giveaway Friday morning. Each person in line, she said, would take home enough groceries to feed a family of four for about a week.
"We're giving out meat. We're giving out vegetables, We're giving out some starches, pastas," Ramos said.
During a regular month, Ramos said, the offer would usually draw about 50 to 75 people. That number has grown significantly in the last two months, she said.
Ramos suspects it has something to do with the financial burden families are feeling due to the start of a new school year.
"Parents are starting to spend their dollars on back to school supplies and children's new clothing, so a lot of times, they're cutting back on their food budget," Ramos said. "What that means is that they're skipping meals or cutting back on servings so their children can eat."
Although she doesn't have school-aged children, Irma Burghart, who's disabled and lives on a fixed income, has felt the financial pinch when it comes to buying food.
"The meats are so expensive. It's ridiculous what they're charging for chicken, nowadays," Burghart said. "The stuff that (the Salvation Army) gives us is helpful and it lasts."
Epifanio Flores said he has noticed the longer lines, and arrived at 4 a.m. Friday to get ahead of the crowd. Flores said the food giveaway was an opportunity he couldn't afford to pass up.
"Because I wouldn't know where to go, where I can get some food around here," Flores said.
Thanks to the Salvation Army, Flores and others said they have one less worry during uncertain economic times.
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