SAN ANTONIO – Over the past few years, KSAT Community has partnered with the San Antonio Food Bank for Hunger Action Month in September, and now the call for support has increased drastically due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Since March, the Food Bank responded to the COVID-19 crisis by serving 120,000 people per week across 16 county service areas with 80% from Bexar County. 29.8 million pounds of food has been provided, 300,000 cars have come through the food distributions and 8,260 home deliveries have been made.
“The COVID-19 crisis has dramatically increased the demand for food,” said Eric Cooper, president and CEO of the San Antonio Food Bank. “An additional 125,000 people are now food insecure. These struggling families are now without employment, without food, and without hope. Donated food and funds allow us to provide the much-needed nourishment for their bodies and minds. Truly we are fighting hunger and feeding hope.”
The economic crisis and high unemployment resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic has created a “hunger crisis” across South Texas.
San Antonio Food Bank is anticipating 124,430 new individuals will face hunger sometime in the coming year, along with an additional 56,720 new children.
Individuals projected to face hunger in South Texas in the coming year total 435,500, an increase of nearly 40% compared to pre-COVID numbers, according to San Antonio Food Bank projections.
Click here to give in the KSAT Community fundraiser for the SA Food Bank.
SA Food Bank asks for additional support through COVID-19
The Food Bank is projecting they will need an additional 28,000,000 pounds of food over the next 12 months to meet the needs of the new individuals facing hunger across South Texas.
This equates to nearly 22,000,000 additional meals needed to close the hunger gap associated with the new individuals facing hunger in South Texas over the coming year. This puts the annual total food need for those at risk for hunger in the region at a staggering 100,000,000 pounds of food.
“The COVID-19 environment has caused us all to sacrifice,” said Cooper. “We had to change our routines and work harder to protect what is most important. In past years we had the privilege of activities far and wide. This year we are choosing to go deeper and focus on what is most critical. Deeper into the data of who is now food insecure in our community. We hope to bring a deeper understanding that will increase compassion. Once people understand we hope they are moved to action.”
How you can support the SA Food Bank:
The most wanted items the food bank is looking for include peanut butter, beans, chili, soups, cereal, rice, tuna, canned lunch meats, pet food, macaroni and cheese, full meals either canned or boxed, baby food, diapers and pop-top food items.
San Antonio Food Bank is carefully monitoring developments regarding the community spread of COVID-19 and is partnering with Feeding America, the network of 200 food banks, and local partners to ensure the safest handling of food and distributions to our communities while assessing innovative ways to meet the evolving needs.
“Roughly half of the families and individuals that are coming to get food have never had to ask for food assistance,” Cooper said. “They enjoyed secure employment and lived independently. Now they are relying on the San Antonio Food Bank to feed themselves and their children. If we are going to be successful in putting food on the table them and others we have always served, we will need the community to all they can. Donating food, time, money, and voice will help us ensure no one goes hungry.”
If you are interested in donating items to the SA Food Bank, you can drop food off at 5200 Enrique M Barrera Pkwy, San Antonio.
KSAT Community operates in partnership with University Health System, Energy Transfer and Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union.