50+ food pantries across the area provide free food and necessities to those in need

Community First Health Plans actively seeking partners who would like to adopt pantries

Community First Food Pantry. (Community First Health Plans.)

There are people all over the world who struggle to feed themselves and their families and Bexar County is no different.

According to Feeding America, the average rate of food insecurity in Bexar County was about 14% as of 2021.

Fortunately, members of the community have access to food pantries throughout San Antonio and surrounding counties.

To address food insecurity concerns, Community First Health Plans began its Food Pantry initiative in July 2021.

Community First Food Pantries are easily accessible and designed to provide anyone facing food insecurity a judgment-free place where they can get essential nonperishable items at no cost.

The food pantries are strategically placed near churches, schools and community organizations like Any Baby Can, Gardopia Gardens and Autism Community Network.

[Related: Find a food pantry near you by clicking or tapping here.]

What’s in a Community First Food Pantry?

Food pantries are stocked with nonperishable food, canned goods, and dry, packaged items, including:

  • Peanut butter
  • Cereal
  • Beans
  • Rice
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Baby food
  • Canned meats and goods
  • Dried meats
  • Dried fruit
  • Pop top food items
  • Pet food

Some non-food items include:

  • Diapers and wipes
  • Soap
  • Shampoo
  • Deodorant
  • Feminine products
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Sunscreen
  • School supplies
  • Small toys

People within the community who would like to donate any of the above items can simply stop by the pantry of their choice at any time and place their donations inside.

A Community First Food Pantry is stocked with food. (Community First Health Plans.)

How do Community First Food Pantries work?

The food pantries are designed with several unique features to help Community First provide nourishment and goods to as many people as possible.

Here are five things to know about Community First Food Pantries:

  1. There is no cost, registration or sign-up required to access a pantry. You can take what is needed and then give back when you are able.
  2. Most of the food pantries are open seven days a week, 24 hours a day and are freely accessible to anyone, removing all barriers to food access.
  3. They are freestanding, weatherproof and conveniently located. Community First maintains and repairs pantries as needed.
  4. Though most pantries are located within San Antonio city limits, Community First has also installed pantries in Bandera, Comal, Atascosa and Wilson counties and hopes to expand further into more rural areas in the future.
  5. Due to the unmanned nature of the food pantries, Community First cannot always guarantee there will be donations available. The Food Pantries are intended to be a catalyst for change and an opportunity for individuals, groups and organizations to get involved and keep them well stocked.

How can I help?

Currently, there are 50 Community First Food Pantries across San Antonio and the surrounding counties. Community First is actively seeking partners who would like to adopt pantries.

Adopting a pantry means visiting the pantry at least once per month, adding donations so that the pantry remains stocked, and checking for and reporting damages back to Community First.

If you aren’t able to adopt a pantry but want to contribute, you can stop by one of the food pantry locations whenever it’s convenient for you and drop off needed non-perishable donations.

You can also contact Community First Health Plans at info@cfhp.com for other ways to help.

If you or someone you know needs items not available at a food pantry, contact one of the following resources:

Click or tap here for resources in your area that may offer reduced or no-cost services like food, housing, job training and more.

To learn more about Community First Food Pantries, click or tap here.

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