SA nonprofits look for new solutions to fight food insecurity after summer of record-breaking heat

San Antonio Food Bank said Texas is ranked 2nd in the nation for food insecurity, and nonprofits are trying to change that.

SAN ANTONIO – A record-breaking summer of heat and high temperatures has forced San Antonio nonprofits to seek new solutions to an ongoing problem — food insecurity.

“There’s food insecurity all over,” Eric Cooper, the president and CEO of the San Antonio Food Bank, said. “Food is medicine. It’s culture. It’s tradition. It’s love. When a community doesn’t have access to that, they feel alone. They feel forgotten.”

Food insecurity comes with the lack of access to fresh and affordable food. But with the summer heat and continued drought, food production and sustainability are a growing concern. Nonprofits like the food bank and Gardopia Gardens are working to find long-term solutions to such an issue.

“How do we create the infrastructure and the capacity within our communities to have food sovereignty, meaning that we’re in control of our food system? Because right now, we’re not in control of our food system,” Stephen Lucke, the CEO and founder of Gardopia Gardens, said.

The food bank reports that Texas is ranked 2nd in the nation for food insecurity and that one in six people lives in a food-insecure household. Cooper said the Food Bank serves around 100,000 people regularly. He said identifying where the most food-insecure locations across San Antonio was step one.

“When you think of the 410 Loop, it’s the far West Side sweeping over to the far East Side,” Cooper said. “We’re filling the gaps. We’re trying to make sure that someone who’s food insecure is made secure. But we don’t have the food resources to solve that long term.”

Lucke sees the future as urban farming.

“From an economic standpoint, from a health standpoint, from an environmental standpoint, growing food locally saw as many of these issues,” Lucke said. “Giving people the means of production. So if there’s a vacant lot next to you or in your neighborhood, you and your neighbors could come together and cultivate it.”

If you need help getting access to fresh and affordable food through the food bank, click here.

About the Authors

Avery Everett is a news reporter and multimedia journalist at KSAT 12 News. Avery is a Philadelphia native. If she’s not at the station, she’s either on a hiking or biking trail. A lover of charcuterie boards and chocolate chip cookies, Avery’s also looking forward to eating her way through San Antonio, one taco shop at a time!

Gavin Nesbitt is a photojournalist and video editor who joined KSAT in September 2021. He has traveled across the great state of Texas to film, conduct interviews and edit many major news stories, including the White Settlement church shooting, Hurricane Hanna, 2020 presidential campaigns, Texas border coverage and the Spurs.

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