A person in need calling the San Antonio Food Bank (SAFB) on Monday, October 31, 2011 would have reached Help Center Representative Gloria Angel or one of 29 others in the Client Services department at the SAFB headquarters facility in San Antonio, TX. San Antonio Food Bank is a non-profit organization that primarily serves as a clearinghouse receiving and storing truckloads of donated food, produce, and other groceries. SAFB distributes these items to over 500 service agencies that help people in need. They also provide assistance in the application for federal benefits, and host educational and building programs to eligible persons; some of which are provided by the United States Department of Agriculture. It starts with a call to the Client Services department. They handle 5,000 – 6,000 calls each month and serve 16 counties in Southwest Texas. SAFB 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.” “We couldn’t do what we do without our partnership with USDA’” said President and CEO Eric Cooper. He continues, “We are privileged in partnering (with the USDA) to feed kids, through the summer, with the Summer Food Service Program, and throughout the year, with the Child and Adult Care Feeding Program (CACFP). To feed seniors, we partner with USDA in the Commodities Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), and the Senior Farmer’s Market (Nutrition) Program. Then work to bring all our (needy) parties together with our Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Outreach.
Once families have access to food we believe it is important to educate them. Through the support of the SNAP-Education Program we are able to educate them during their time of need. With this comprehensive approach we are able to get the right food, at the right amount, at the right time, to needy families throughout our community – which allows us to feed the fifty-eight thousand we do, each week.” USDA photo by Lance Cheung.