“You should never be too prideful to ask for assistance …” said Olivia Hernandez (second from left), on Monday, October 31, 2011, in the San Antonio Food Bank (SAFB) Outreach Office, when asked about what others should keep in mind when faced with a crisis such as the one Cesar Trevino (second from right), daughter Lana (right, 1 yr. old) and she did the prior evening, when a distant apartment unit caught fire, spreading smoke and flames throughout the building, eventually consuming their Texas apartment as well. Left with the clothes they are wearing they were referred to the San Antonio Food Bank where they sat down with Outreach Specialist Seth Villalobos (left) who listened and determined what their immediate needs were. Villalobos talked about the programs that could address their needs, and benefits that could help them rebuild their lives. During this initial visit, they applied for Children’s Medicaid and Women, Infants & Children (WIC) benefits, later they were briefed about the United States Department of Agriculture’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Federally funded, state administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Benefits (TANF) as well as other Federal and State programs. At the end of their meeting Hernandez said, “It was super-easy, very friendly staff.” And Trevino added, “great service.” Later that day, Villalobos made a personal trip to this family’s temporary home to deliver a box of groceries to make their first evening a little easier. In the box were provisions from the USDA and other contributors to SAFB.
San Antonio Food Bank is a non-profit organization that serves as a clearinghouse receiving and storing truckloads of donated food, produce, and other grocery. SAFB distribute these items to over 500 service agencies that help people in need.
“We couldn’t do what we do without our partnership with USDA’” said President and CEO Eric Cooper. SAFB serves 16 counties in Southwest Texas and states, “Nearly one out of every four children and one out of every five adults in Southwest Texas lives in poverty and has difficulty meeting basic nutritional needs.” According to SAFB, sixty-five percent of the people requesting emergency food have children. USDA photo by Lance Cheung.