SAN ANTONIO -

Volunteers lugged large bags of onions and other produce, filling up shopping cart loads of food for over 150 families Friday morning at the Salvation Army's location at 521 W. Elmira.

Everyone received supplies to feed a family of four for three days.

"This is food for people who are in need, people whose pension checks or other income just doesn't reach and they really need food because they don't know where their other meal is coming from otherwise," said Monica Ramos, Salvation Army spokeswoman.

The start of the school year traditionally sees the need for help rise as many families stretch their discretionary income where it's needed most.

"Parents and grandparents will spend their money on school supplies and back-to-school clothes for their children and what they'll wind up doing is cutting back on food servings for themselves or they'll go without eating altogether," she said. "So we do what we can to have food ready for those folks to pick up so they can go ahead and eat so they won't go without."

"When that financial margin goes away for an event like a car breaking down, an extra bill because of a medical (issue) or back to school, that's when those families are really struggling," said Michael Guerra, of the San Antonio Food Bank. "So they may lean on a food pantry in a way that they don't in the rest of the year because maybe they're having a tough time for two months."

The Food Bank supplied the Salvation Army with most of the food handed out Friday morning and has plans to double their impact.

Construction is nearly complete on a warehouse and cold storage area that will increase their storage space to 210,000 square feet.

"The shelves are empty so we hope to get a big swell in October through December of donations that will get us through the January-February time when people aren't donating as much," said Guerra.