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Monday, March 23, 2020

San Antonio Food Bank, Others Ask for Emergency Assistance During Coronavirus Pandemic

Posted By on Mon, Mar 23, 2020 at 1:58 PM

  • Courtesy Photo / San Antonio Food Bank
In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, Feeding Texas — a 21-member statewide network of food banks — has reached out to the Texas Division of Emergency Management and FEMA for help with feeding the growing number of food-insecure households.

“Last week we fed about 80,000 people, and we are projected to feed well over 120,000 people this week,” said Eric Cooper, CEO of San Antonio Food Bank. “But we are moving through a lot of food, and we’re a little anxious that the demand is outpacing the supply.”

Feeding Texas previously worked with TDEM to provide food to those displaced by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The spread of the novel coronavirus has put additional strain on individuals and families who have lost jobs or access to school meal programs.

“We are hoping to work with them again, and we will be asking for additional food support from the governor,” Cooper added. “We just hope that the state of Texas is able to help us here in San Antonio.”

  • Courtesy Photo / San Antonio Food Bank
To maximize outreach and lower safety risks, the Food Bank will condense its food distribution activity this week, shifting to fewer but larger events. In the meantime, it's also encouraging residents in need to apply for food assistance and for those with resources to donate or volunteer.


Families in need of food assistance should apply for help online. The Food  Bank will help individuals navigate the steps, while allowing them to apply for both food pickups and federal benefits.


The Food Bank is encouraging residents to donate funds rather than food items to help feed those in need. “We don’t want to stress the current grocery system any more than it already is,” Cooper said.


The Food Bank is asking for pre-qualified volunteers who haven’t traveled to or been exposed to sites affected by COVID-19. All volunteers will be temperature-checked at the door and practice social distancing as they pack boxes or make meals.

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