'The dam is breaking': Federal workers flock to SA Food Bank during shutdown

By Jessie Degollado - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - After not getting their first paycheck since the partial government shutdown began, the San Antonio Food Bank reports it has been contacted by hundreds of local federal workers.

“The dam is breaking,” said Eric Cooper, its president and CEO. “More federal workers are coming our way to meet the basic need of nutrition, to get food.”

But the longer the shutdown continues, Cooper said, “My worry is that we’ll start seeing thousands of families.”

He said typically, the San Antonio Food Bank has a 10-day supply of non-perishable food and other items on its shelves, but it goes quickly, distributed to individuals and local food pantries.

Cooper said he’s appealing to the community for donations of food and money to help meet the expected demand.

On its website, the federal shutdown is front and center with information about how and where to donate, and its top 12 most-needed food items.

“We would hope the support would equal the demand, that we would have enough deposits in the Food Bank to meet the withdrawals,” Cooper said.

He said many federal workers know the San Antonio Food Bank helps people who are low-income or on fixed incomes.

“They don’t want to add to that pressure,” Cooper said. “But now they’re finding themselves without food.”

He said, “There is an opportunity to give back. But let us give to you. Let us serve you.”

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