mixetto/iStock(SAN ANTONIO) — The San Antonio Food Bank, which has given away millions of pounds of food in the last 40 years, is ready to help Texas residents in need.
The food bank, which services 16 counties in the southwest Texas area, is set for Friday’s event at the Toyota Field soccer stadium starting at 10 a.m. local time.
Food bank organizers require participants to pre-register online or by calling 210-431-8326. The elderly and disabled can request a delivery service.
At the food bank’s giveaway last Thursday, 6,000 people pre-registered but 4,000 more lined up in their cars and waited for hours to receive their free 120-pound packages of fresh fruits and vegetables donated from local farms as well as bread, non-perishables and at least one meat.
The items are expected to last a family of four for a full week, Michael Guerra, the chief development officer at the San Antonio Food Bank, told ABC News.
For Friday’s event, the organizers are capping the pre-registration at 2,000 people.
“We are trying to do more frequent and moderate-sized efforts. After last week, we decided to go smaller — more of an effort to better serve the people and not have to wait in long lines,” said Guerra.
He is, however, concerned about the next few months.
“It looks like FEMA may be offering some food help, but we may also see donor fatigue,” he said.
San Antonio Food Bank says that every dollar donated equals 10 pounds of food or seven meals for one family.
The food bank usually services 58,000 people a week and has ramped up efforts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Guerra noted that San Antonio has surpassed Detroit last year for the highest poverty rate in a major city.
Under normal operations, it costs $3 million a week to service the community, Guerra said.
“Now we are up to $6 million we have to raise a week,” he said.
Unemployment rates have skyrocketed across the country as businesses were forced to close in order to abide by health guidelines to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. More than 20 million people have filed unemployment claims in recent weeks.
But Guerra is hopeful “our community is great and everyone is pulling for us to get through all this.”
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