SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Food Bank is a crucial resource for thousands of families across our community, and the summer months are some of its busiest.
Eric Cooper, president and CEO of the food bank, joined Leading SA on Sunday to discuss the current need and how you can help out.
“We’re still seeing about 105,000 people each week throughout 29 counties here in southwest Texas. And it’s had us incredibly busy, I think, as families are struggling with inflation across the board. They’re coming in there. They’re looking for the essential staple food items to nourish themselves and their families,” Cooper said. “We’re also seeing an increase over this last quarter, I think, with just rent going up and, and utilities, I mean, really seeing a lot of families that oftentimes have never turned to the food bank but are needing just a little bit of extra help to get through this crisis in their budget.”
With schools out for the summer, it can be a challenging time for local families trying to provide meals for their children and the food bank preparing to meet more needs.
“... As summer is hitting, we’re hearing from moms worried about what they’re going to do for childcare costs. They’re worried about that demand for that extra food. And then they’re also worried about their utility bills. The summers get hot and utility bills get high. And so just struggling to make ends meet,” Cooper said. “We’re also seeing concerns with our seniors, interestingly enough, with, with just property taxes going up, worried that they won’t be able to make rent and be able to buy food. They traditionally struggle with a lot of health care costs. So it’s been a difficult time for us as a food bank.”
If you can, donations are appreciated and there is one item really in high demand.
“The number one needed item right now is peanut butter. You know, with kids getting off school, we feed so many children. Peanut butter is a great protein. It’s shelf stable. If you’re not allergic, it’s universally loved. And honestly, for a lot of these homes, it’s an older sibling that’s actually preparing the meal for a younger sibling while parents are working,” Coopr said. “But anything that a family would enjoy, you can donate whatever your family enjoys. A family in need would enjoy that just as much, though.”
The food bank is also accepting volunteers over the summer.
Anyone who is interested in lending a hand can visit its website here for more information.