DISASTER RELIEF IMPACT REPORT
YOUR GIFT IN ACTION
On a Friday night in late August, most of us went home to await the storm that was projected to land on Texas’ Gulf Coast as a Category 4 hurricane. In San Antonio, grocery shelves were empty, businesses were closed and events were canceled. Weather reports had predicted torrential rains across our city. The San Antonio Food Bank stood ready to respond to disaster.
Around 10 p.m. the hurricane made landfall near Rockport, with wind speeds so high monitoring devices were disabled. On Saturday morning, we awoke to the first photos and footage of massive devastation across the coastal region. Spared from the storm, San Antonio felt a collective responsibility to assist our neighbors who were less fortunate. Your response was immediate and powerful. Volunteers were waiting at our door, the phones were ringing non-stop with offers of assistance, cars arrived filled with food and water, and generous monetary donations came in to fund the huge disaster response effort already underway.
The generosity quickly spread far beyond San Antonio with help arriving from across the U.S. and from beyond our borders. In addition to our Hurricane Harvey disaster relief efforts in Texas, the San Antonio Food Bank was tapped for our logistical expertise to assist in Tim Duncan’s relief project for the U.S. Virgin Islands, ravaged by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, and in Puerto Rico.
WHERE WE RESPONDED
The San Antonio Food Bank functioned as the official coordinator for material and monetary donations for the San Antonio and Bexar County response. We served as the only provider of meals, snacks, hydration, hygiene and more to all evacuees in local shelters. We prepared emergency food boxes for families sheltering in hotels or with local friends or family. The Food Bank was the host donation site for a weeks-long community effort to collect food and supplies for the impacted areas. We deployed truckloads of resources beyond our normal service area to deliver food, water, cleaning supplies and others essentials to the coastal communities. We continue to help evacuees who are living in San Antonio, with no place to go home to.
“Like many Americans, what I’ve seen in the news has me concerned about our future. We seem to be a fractured nation moving further and further apart from each other. A few hours at the San Antonio Food bank helped me find hope in America.” – Cameron Smith, columnist for AL.com
OUR DISASTER RESPONSE BY THE NUMBERS
pounds of emergency food and supplies provided to the Corpus Christi, Beaumont, and Victoria regions
meals served to Harvey evacuees in San Antonio shelters
volunteers per day joined us in our hurricane relief efforts
trailer loads of food secured for hurricane relief
disaster distribution sites in 5 communities served: Galveston, Houston, Beaumont, Corpus Christi, Victoria, and across Southwest and Coastal Texas counties
A STORY FROM THE FLOOD
Our office was closed for the evening when we saw Evelyn step of the bus into the pouring rain. She walked to door of the San Antonio Food Bank with two empty suitcases in tow. We welcomed her inside and learned that she had evacuated from Houston by bus with her three young children. Her first floor apartment in Houston was underwater. Everything she owned was lost in the floodwaters, along with her job. Evelyn was hungry and needed to feed her kids. The FEMA-provided motel offered shelter, a microwave and ice bucket, so we filled her suitcases with ready-to-eat foods, peanut butter, bread, apples and milk, along with hygiene supplies and fresh clothing. Evelyn left with tears in her eyes, a bit overwhelmed by the road ahead and grateful for the support her family desperately needed.
YOU MADE A DIFFERENCE
Two weeks after Victoria and her daughter Anaiya evacuated from their home in Rosenburg, Texas, they found themselves staying in San Antonio while they waited for the water to recede from their home. Victoria felt compelled to help her fellow neighbors in need who could not evacuate their area. “We’ve been watching the news and seeing everyone in Houston taking their boats to rescue people, and I thought ‘what could I do to help?’” She found the answer at the San Antonio Food Bank where she volunteered to help sort donated items in our warehouse. Victoria is one of the thousands of individuals, organizations, school and businesses who made a difference. Your donations of food, time, money and voice helped us deliver food, supplies and hope.
The water rose, but you rose higher – giving, serving, coming to the rescue of families who lost everything and needed help.
In support of local donors with ties to the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, the Food Bank helped facilitate relief efforts in the Caribbean:
Supported Tim Duncan’s USVI relief effort in the US Virgin Islands
– Helping secure and distribute 500,000 lbs of food for emergency relief
– Reaching nearly one-third of the entire USVI population across multiple emergency relief trips
– Helped bring Thanksgiving dinner to more than 10,000 people
Supported the Feeding America food bank of Puerto Rico with:
– Two warehouse and logistics specialists sent for 2 weeks to support relief work