Food insecurity is at an all-time high here in San Antonio. Throughout the pandemic folks have been doing their part. The San Antonio Spurs continually step up and support the San Antonio Food Bank.
This pandemic has exacerbated hunger, mental health issues, and abuse. In major cities all across the nation, folks are banding together to make a difference.
This week the San Antonio Spurs joined a bevy of local and national businesses to address these issues right here in San Antonio.
After 28 years of putting on their annual Feast of Sharing dinners for San Antonio, the pandemic has demanded that H-E-B pivot to a different way of setting the table for families this year. H-E-B is donating 10,800 H-E-B Meal Simple holiday dinners, along with 40,000 pounds of fresh produce, to add to the San Antonio Food Bank’s upcoming mega distribution at the AT&T Center. H-E-B also will have more than 200 H-E-B Partner volunteers to help distribute the food to the expected 2,000 households that morning.
Earlier this week, local families received 150 pounds — estimated to help feed a family for the next ten days — of H-E-B Meal Simple dinners, fruits, and vegetables.
The Spurs Coyote, along with countless volunteers, was spreading holiday cheer to an estimated 2,000 families, some of who waited overnight in their cars to ensure they were able to obtain meals for the holiday. The team spent over a hundred hours preparing and serving over two days.
In addition to H-E-B and Spurs Give, support was obtained through Frost Bank, Valero, Coca-Cola, EVO Entertainment, Academy Sport and Outdoors, and many others in hopes of lightening the concerns of those facing food insecurity.
With a vast majority of Bexar County students participating in free and reduced lunches through school, the holidays can cause stress as daily nutrition needs go unmet. But the donations of the cities contributors were not just limited to food.
Through generous donations, gift cards from Valero and Academy as well as water bottles, coloring books, crayons, candy canes, chocolate candies, children’s books, movie passes, vouchers to IllumiNight: A Magical Drive-Thru Experience and masks have also been added to the holiday giveaways. Every family who drove through received new blankets.
“The pandemic has seen thousands more hurting in our community. Imagine the anxiety the holidays bring, and then add on top of it not having food. It breaks your heart. H-E-B bring both hope and meal ingredients to our hurting neighbors, and we could not be more grateful.” -Eric Cooper, President & CEO of the San Antonio Food Bank
Cooper also recognized approximately 50% of those receiving support were doing so for the first time. This underscored the need that currently exists in San Antonio.
Spurs Give Executive Director Jennifer Regnier emphasized the importance of volunteer support at the San Antonio Food Bank. January and February often see a drop in people giving time at the Food Bank, but this year would not see a drop in the need to package and distribute food.
The San Antonio Food Bank takes every safety precaution. All staff and volunteers participate in temperature checks, wear the proper personal protective equipment, and practice social distancing.
I am personally pledging time in both January and February to help support these causes and I challenge all who live nearby to join the call. If you can physically volunteer, please sign up through the San Antonio Food Bank here.
In his pregame presser on Tuesday, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich — who is a member the Food bank’s advisory board — described the effort as “more meaningful and satisfying than basketball.”
In times like these, we bond together for the greater good. The Spurs, Food Bank, and many San Antonio-based businesses have laid the groundwork and mapped out a plan to reach those most in need.
No one should be hungry. No one should be alone during the holidays. And no one should suffer. Take a moment to day to support Spurs Give’s mission to address food insecurity, mental health, and abuse head on.
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