© 2024 Texas Public Radio
Real. Reliable. Texas Public Radio.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

$15 Million Christmas Miracle For San Antonio Food Bank

With the help of a handful of partners, the San Antonio Food Bank will no longer have to use existing funds to pay for its warehouse expansion project.

A combined $15 million – the largest campaign ever conducted by the food bank – will completely fund the project, leaving the food bank leaders to use existing money to meet the day-to-day needs of people.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who also contributed to the goal personally, joked about his presence at the press conference to announce the news.

"It's nice to be invited, even though we lost a couple of games," he said.

However, on a more serious note said it’s embarrassing that hunger exists in a place like San Antonio.

"Hunger for us is having a late breakfast or skipping lunch and that's a little bit ridiculous when you compare that to one in four kids in our city are hungry when they go to bed," Popovich said.

San Antonio Food Bank
San Antonio Food Bank

The various partners include HEB and Valero, which each donated $3 million. USAA donated $1 million. Local businessman Harvey Najim, representing the Harvey E. Najim Foundation, handed over a personal check for $2 million.

The expansion project will double warehouse space, triple refrigeration capacity, and quadruple the parking lot for volunteers; construction is expected to be complete by next summer.

Valero spokesperson Bill Day, who will join the Texas Public Radio board of directors after the first of the year, said that when Food Bank president Eric Cooper asked for help with the project, making a contribution was a ‘no brainer.’

"We know the need is increasing in San Antonio," said Day. "Valero wants to be a part of the community. This is an important part of that."

As Cooper introduced guests from the partnerships to say a few words, he seemed dazed from the overwhelming support by business leaders who made the capital improvements project possible.

It’s the most money ever raised in the Food Bank’s history, and the biggest display of support in Cooper’s 12 years with the Food Bank.

Cooper surmised it’s no coincidence the goal was reached this close to Dec. 25.

"It’s a Christmas miracle," he said.

Ryan Loyd was Texas Public Radio's city beat and political reporter. He left the organization in December, 2014.