Leading SA: San Antonio Food Bank President, CEO discusses Hurricane Ian relief efforts

The food bank is accepting donations online on its website, as well as non-perishable items in-person

The east coast continues to feel the impact of Hurricane Ian as much destruction was left behind; some local organizations are stepping up and helping out.

SAN ANTONIO – The east coast continues to feel the impact of Hurricane Ian as much destruction was left behind; some local organizations are stepping up and helping out.

Eric Cooper, President, and CEO of the San Antonio Food Bank, joined leading SA this weekend to discuss the organization’s efforts.

“Texas knows about hurricanes hitting our Gulf Coast, and many throughout the country have helped us. This is our opportunity to help those victims impacted by Hurricane Ian... We will be sending truckloads of food staged here in San Antonio to Fort Myers and those communities affected by the hurricane,” said Cooper.

Accepting nonperishable food items in-person and online donations, the San Antonio Bank Food will soon head to Florida to assist fellow food banks.

“We will be sending some of our operations team to help the food bank locally there in the impacted area meet the demands that they’ll see for the weeks and months to come,” Cooper said.

As September was Hunger Action Month, there was a big community push for food donations. Cooper thanked the residents of San Antonio for their help in taking action against hunger as the food bank saw a rise in donations and volunteers.

“We owe a lot of gratitude to RBFCU for their support opening their branches. They became very convenient drop off locations for people that wanted to take action in the month of September and help us fight hunger. We also saw a huge increase in the amount of volunteers... So food volunteers and then financial contributions also were contributed there at the branches. And so we just want to thank San Antonio for helping us to go orange and taking action in the fight against hunger,” Cooper said.

Cooper visited the White House last week, talking to national officials about the need across the country and programs.

“There is a lot of recommendations that came from the conference, specifically around increasing SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to support college kids. There was an effort to expand the National School Lunch Program to make it more universal so that kids, while learning, wouldn’t have access to nutrition, expand senior programs to increase senior nutrition, and really dial in with the Department of Defense... And the recommendations that really investigated what the compensation looks like in our military families able to put food on their own table... We have some high hopes coming off of the conversations that we’ll be able to do more for families in their time of need,” Cooper said.

As we see inflation and rising costs seemingly everywhere, the need for help and donations is not going away anytime soon. Cooper shared information on opportunities to donate.

“Our number one needed item is peanut butter really going a long way to help nourish kids? But, you know, any time anyone can donate a nonperishable food item, please do so. There’s going to be lots of opportunities through October and November and December to help someone in need. Take action, do something. We will have lots of food drives that will have different drop off locations. And you know, take your kids, go shop at H-E-B,” Cooper said.

For more information on the San Antonio Food Bank, CLICK HERE.

About the Author:

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.