SAN ANTONIO – As the Texas economy tries to get back on its feet, a group of local volunteers are working behind the scenes to help San Antonio restaurants recover from the pandemic and feed healthcare workers at the same time.
The group launched the San Antonio chapter of Frontline Foods on April 12. The goal of the grassroots effort is to keep local restaurants running and employees working while showing gratitude for frontline workers.
“The main mission is to save local restaurants that have been impacted by shelter in place while supporting those on the frontlines,” said Amanda Acuna.
Acuna is one of six volunteers in the San Antonio chapter. Other team members include Paul Chaveriat, Nia Clements, Kim Nguyen, Alex Pelczynski and Raisa Velez. They are a mix of full-time college students, recent graduates and professionals.
They raised more than $5,000 in their first three weeks and have made two deliveries. The first delivery was to University Hospital with food from Los Barrios Mexican Restaurant.
“Whenever somebody donates, 100 percent of that is going towards the local restaurants,” said Acuna. “That helps them to prepare the food and then deliver it to hospitals.”
Frontline Foods is a national non-profit organization that started in San Francisco. It has received national attention for the work it has done during the pandemic from celebrities such as Ellen DeGeneres and Melissa McCarthy, to publications such as Time Magazine.
Acuna said the goal of the San Antonio chapter is to raise $500,000 in the upcoming months. They would like to begin serving meals to area police officers, firefighters and other workers that have helped fight COVID-19.
“That can really help us feed the different hospitals in our San Antonio area as well as help local businesses,” said Acuna. “Even grocery workers because they have all been on the frontlines. They go to work with a smile on their face and do not really ask for much.”
The San Antonio chapter also hopes to get more restaurants and hospitals on board in the near future.
Acuna said they are looking for more volunteers, and people that donate on the website can win prizes from participating restaurants as an incentive.
That tax-deductible donation goes directly to restaurants preparing meals for healthcare workers.
But more than anything, what drives Frontline Foods is the opportunity to see San Antonio return to normal.
“I never thought that I would see San Antonio so quiet and it’s sad to see that. But it it helps to know that we can make a difference,” said Acuna.