KENEDY – Precisely 185 Karnes County families benefited from a quarterly San Antonio Bank Food Fair held March 18 at the Karnes County Youth Showbarn.
With concerns of COVID-19 (coronavirus) spreading around San Antonio, the SA Food Bank strives to continue supplying 16 surrounding counties, including Karnes County during this time.
“It’s a total privilege to serve the 16 counties outside of Bexar County, but the people in Karnes County are special,” SA Food Bank President and CEO Eric Cooper said.
On an average delivery for a food fair in Karnes County has 8,000-10,000 pounds of food, but the food bank donated more than 12,000 pounds recently.
“There was additional food added to the order because of COVID-19,” Cooper said.
“Wanted to make sure we added that volume and continue monitoring what that need is, so the event might be more than once a quarter. We wanted to stock up
As of March 18, San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg announced nonessential businesses remain closed for one week but mentioned a possible 30-day closure.
Cooper said the SA Food Bank has a plan in place for the coronavirus effects.
“It hasn’t reached the level of high spread pandemic with leaving trucks off the road as of yet,” he said March 19.
“We are working with the state to clarify our essential services. If the governor mandates safety measures the food bank will have to continue working.”
Hosting the event during the conditions was necessary, according to Cooper.
“Every child and family is important to us,” he said. “We are now under unprecedented times. Families have to fight daily disaster of poverty, but when a pandemic occurs it can devastate a community. We want to help anyone affected.”
The SA Food Bank has a three-phase plan in place for the coronavirus pandemic.
“The three phases: ready, response and recovery will help us stay focused,” Cooper said.
“We knew families needed to be prepared. We have moved to response mode and want to reach as many families as we can at this time.”
With changes happening everyday, Cooper assured service will still be provided.
“Future, we don’t know how it might be done,” he said. “We can delivery with a home-bound strategy, and we will get through this together.”
Volunteers practiced safe guidelines while distributing the food.
“At the Karnes County event, they did the best methods with social distancing,” Cooper said.
If residents are in need, Cooper encourages them to go to the website safoodbank.org, or call 210-431-8326.
“It’s important for residents that if they are in need they want to go to our website, and there is a place they can make a request,” he said. “A call center representative will follow up and help them find resources.”
Residents can call Monday-Friday until 8 p.m. and 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday.
“The call center will monitor how many calls in rural communities to determine deliveries,” Cooper said. “We know its going to be a longtime recovering effort for families, and we need to do more for them in the months to come.”
The SA Food Bank welcomes volunteers looking to help in any fashion.
“There are lots of ways to help, and information for volunteering is on our website,” Cooper said. “We want to thank those that volunteered at the Karnes County event.”