“Neighbor Helping Neighbor” relief effort being launched
After a two-week effort to front-load low-income households with groceries and household supplies, the San Antonio Food Bank is launching a new phase in its coronavirus response: the Neighbor Helping Neighbor relief effort.
The core components of this effort are two-fold: 1) ensuring every kitchen table in Southwest Texas has the core food items needed to get through this crisis; and, 2) ensuring that all our neighbors who might be elderly and living alone get a visit.
Eric Cooper, President & CEO of the Food Bank, commented, “This great city of ours has always been a city of compassion, and our state is known for its hospitality. The crisis in our midst is an opportunity for us to shine and lend support during a neighbor’s season of need. We may have a neighbor near us without food or without a family member to visit and check on them. “Neighbor helping Neighbor” is about stocking the shelf and filling the heart.”
The Food Bank will be adding mobile, grab-and-go meals and food distributions daily throughout Southwest Texas. Their website has up-to-date information on how and where individuals can get help: www.safoodbank.org/cvrelief
With the economy suffering, and San Antonio already struggling with the highest poverty rate in the country, the Food Bank is prepared to grow with the expanded need. “If we go from 2% unemployment to 20% unemployment, you can be assured the Food Bank will muster all resources possible to stay up with the growth in need,” said Cooper.
The Food Bank’s website is also the best place for information on how to give help. Volunteers are still in need, and one doesn’t need to leave their house to be a good neighbor: every $1 provides 10 pounds of food/supplies to “Neighbor helping Neighbor.” The Food Bank is also emphasizing that money donations are preferred over food donations; this allows the Food Bank to target specific items in specific quantity.
As for visits to the elderly and making sure that social isolation is minimized for our older neighbors, Cooper admits it’s been something they started to do in the last year, thanks to funding from Humana, and that they learned a lot: “We have been setting the tables for seniors for years, but making home visits to thousands of seniors in the last year or so has reminded us that a table full of food can be empty of love if someone doesn’t have a friend or neighbor. We want our relief effort to be a kitchen table filled with both food and love.”
“We don’t have the strength or the financial capacity to horde. We only have money for groceries for the next 2 days. When someone asked me to open my trunk and your employees start filling it up with groceries, I started to cry. Thank you for helping us even though you don’t know us.”
– Elsa and Joe Soto