San Antonio Food Bank’s urban farm vital to organization’s mission

Goal for farm is 300,000 pounds of food every year

SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Food Bank serves thousands and thousands of families a year and during the pandemic the need has only grown more and more.

And by growing hundreds of thousands of pounds of food, the food bank farms are vital to the mission. The goal for the farm is 300,000 pounds of food every year.

“It (volunteering) could be planting, but it can also be things like pulling up drip tape or putting down irrigation, cultivating, hoeing, or weeding,” Suzanne Gauch, a volunteer at the farm, said.

Suzanne is a devoted volunteer who started before the pandemic even hit.

“I volunteer because it’s a chance to participate directly in the production of food that goes to see the community. It’s an opportunity to keep active, you’re outside, you’re physically distant, but you’re participating in a larger project,” Gauch said.

Brussel sprouts were showing up in droves Tuesday morning, but there is a lot of vegetation being grown. And it isn’t the only site for the food bank farm.

“We have 40 acres here at the food bank and then we also have 64 acres out at Mission San Juan and about 40 acres of that is under cultivation as well up there so 80 acres of cultivation total,” Darron Gaus, farm manager said.

Anyone that’s grown, cultivated or farmed knows that this is never an easy task, but at the urban farm for the food bank there is more than enough motivation.

“Whatever hard work we have for the day I just keep thinking about what we’re doing for the community and what we do. We provide for the 16 county areas that we serve and it’s what truly keeps me going every day,” Gaus said.

As for Suzanne, she has a message for anyone looking to help out.

“I say come out and give it a shot,” Gauch said.

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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.