‘We’re praying for shorter lines,’: SA Food Bank CEO says food bank still seeing high demand amid pandemic

“We started serving about 120,000 people a week, and that demand has stayed consistent...”

SAN ANTONIO – With coronavirus cases surging in and around San Antonio, some families are going through tough times, or have been since the start of the pandemic.

In addition to virus concerns, some are also experiencing financial woes, which is why the San Antonio Food Bank has become a lifeline for local families in the midst of this health crisis.

President and CEO of the San Antonio Food Bank Eric Cooper joined Leading SA Sunday to discuss how the demand for assistance from the food bank is still consistent, even eight months into the pandemic.

“We started serving about 120,000 people a week, and that demand has stayed consistent. We’re praying for shorter lines. I think that will happen as the economy strengthens and more individuals are able to go back to work. The stimulus package could be a huge part of shortening our line and then just good state policy. I mean, we could do more to help families apply for SNAP and we hope that our state legislators make those decisions. But ultimately, we’re going to be here as long as there’s a need and continue to do what we can do for families,” Cooper said.

With the holiday season in full swing, Cooper said the food bank’s mission is even more important this time of year.

“We want to make sure families get those nourishing meals. I mean, I think of those meals during the holidays as much more than just physical nourishment, but nourishes the soul, the spirit. You know, we need a good dose of strong mental health nutrition,” Cooper said. “...Continuing to go the extra mile and helping us make sure folks have a great holiday season is going to be critical.”

The food bank is always looking for more support, and if you’re interested in lending a hand, Cooper said there are many ways to get involved.

“If you want to give help, you can donate financially. For every $1, that could equal seven meals to those in need. You can volunteer, learn about how to, you know, fill one of the shifts on the front lines in our kitchens, warehouse garden. You can also donate food if you’d like to donate non-perishable food items, see where we have our collection points. But if you’re needing help this holiday season, you can also get help via our website. There’s information for those that need to be able to get the resources they need,” Cooper said.

You can watch the full Leading SA interview with Eric Cooper in the video player above.

To learn more about the San Antonio Food Bank, visit its website here.

RELATED: How San Antonio Food Bank became lifeline for South Texas during COVID-19 pandemic

About the Authors:

Max Massey is the GMSA weekend anchor and a general assignments reporter. Max has been live at some of the biggest national stories out of Texas in recent years, including the Sutherland Springs shooting, Hurricane Harvey and the manhunt for the Austin bomber. Outside of work, Max follows politics and sports, especially Penn State, his alma mater.

Cody King is a digital journalist for KSAT 12. She previously worked for WICS/WRSP 20 in Springfield, Illinois.