San Antonio Food Bank feeling the dip in volunteers, CEO says

Food bank went from helping 60,000 people a week to now 120,000

SAN ANTONIO – After Monday’s call for help, the San Antonio Food Bank has lessened the need for volunteers this week. But they say they still need more.

The amount of people who rely on the San Antonio Food Bank has doubled since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

The food bank went from helping 60,000 people a week to now 120,000 people. And yet the need for volunteers for the coming weeks and months has stayed consistent.

“There are a lot of people hurting, so I thought I should volunteer and help,” said volunteer Leah Mishket.

Leah Mishket is one of the dozens of volunteers doing what they can to help San Antonio families through this tough time.

“Today I’m doing warehouse and sorting,” Mishket said.

Volunteers can work in a variety of capacities at the food bank. There just seems to be not enough of them signing up.

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“As we are hitting July, mid-summer, it’s hot and there’s a lot of distraction and we felt the dip,” San Antonio Food Bank CEO Eric Cooper said.

So why is there a doubling of need here in San Antonio? And what of the continuous need of more volunteers?

“Families in our city were living just on the edge and the COVID-19 has put so many of them over that edge,” Cooper said.

Cooper said if you are nervous to volunteer, every precaution is being taken.

“We’re doing everything we can to keep them safe working under COVID-19 protocols. Temperature checks, wearing masks and gloves,” he said.

It’s done because the need is very real.

“All we know is people are showing up for food and the food bank is gonna be there to make sure no one goes hungry,” Cooper said.

And it doesn’t look like it’s slowing down any time soon.

“I think it’s gonna be a long term recovery, it could be two, four or eight years before I think families truly transition back to a place of stability,” Cooper said.

The Food Bank doesn’t know when we will go back to the pre-COVID demand, but we do know San Antonians continue to answer the call to help their community.

“And it’s it’s a great opportunity to give back, to know that you’re helping other people who are going through a hard time right now,” Mishket said.

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