SAN ANTONIO – September is Hunger Action Month and our KSAT Community partners hope to help bring food, money and awareness to the needs of people in San Antonio and around South Texas.
Since March, the San Antonio 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.
More than 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.
“We are so grateful because when we put the need out, San Antonio always responds,” said Eric Cooper, president and CEO of the San Antonio Food Bank. “Obviously in the COVID-19 environment, it was a little bit different for us this year. We went deep into some of the numbers to help families understand what we’re dealing with. With the onset of COVID-19, we went from feeding 60,000 people a week to 120,000 people a week, and that need is what’s motivated us to take action, and San Antonio did.”
The economic crisis and high unemployment resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic has created a “hunger crisis” across South Texas.
“We saw so many companies, churches and clubs doing food drives collecting food for us," Cooper said. "We saw a tremendous amount of volunteer support whether from individuals or churches. We’re starting to see some of the companies come back to volunteer. People give financially, for us to meet the need it has been huge and those dollars have gone a long way in making sure we have the inventory to meet that 120,000 people that we are feeding.”
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.
“San Antonio has been stepping up in a big way,” said Cooper. "We are just going to need San Antonio to continue to support so that we can make sure no one goes hungry.”
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.
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.
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.