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How San Antonians can give (and receive) food assistance this Thanksgiving

San Antonio Food Bank exterior in September 2018.
Brian Kirkpatrick | Texas Public Radio
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Volunteers in the kitchens at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center helped prepare 12,500 meals to deliver to seniors, the homeless, and others in need during the 42nd Raul Jimenez Thanksgiving Day Dinner.

The pandemic again this year is preventing diners from gathering in person at the convention center. In pre-pandemic years, as many as 25,000 people sat down together.

Kitchen volunteers like Wyndy Clark of Aligned Mortage could be seen this week putting meals in to-go containers.

"We're putting together all the traditional Thanksgiving fixings. We have stuffing, turkey, gravy, green beans, yams and cranberry sauce, which is my favorite," she said.

Patricia Jiminez is proud to carry on the tradition started by her late father and restaurateur for whom the dinner is named.

"We're gonna have about three hundred drivers on Thursday, volunteering to deliver all over the city," Jiminez said.

Jimenez added they worked with non-profits and the United Way to identify those most in need of a warm holiday dinner.

More Ways To Give help

Food Bank

The San Antonio Food Bank is running short on turkeys for Thanksgiving meals.

The food bank is seeing near-record requests for holiday help at a time of supply chain shortages and rising food prices at grocery stories.

The food bank asks the public to make nonperishable food donations at any Security Service Federal Credit Union branch... or at the red barrels outside Goodwill stores or H-E-B grocery stories.

The food bank also asks for monetary donations. A $15 donation can provide a turkey during the holidays.

Donation and volunteer information is at SAFoodBank.org.

San Antonio Natatorium

WHEN: Nov. 1-30 during operating hours

WHERE: San Antonio Natatorium (1430 W Cesar E Chavez Blvd), Barrera Fitness Center (5800 Enrique M Barrera Pkwy)

WHAT: Bring two nonperishable food items and receive free entry for swimming at the natatorium during operating hours.

Jacqueline Smith Foundation

WHEN: Nov. 20 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

WHERE: Ella Austin Community Center, 1023 N Pine

WHAT: Volunteer your time or make monetary donations. The organization's goal is to assist 400 veterans, families and community members.

Turkey Tailgate

WHEN: Nov. 24 from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.

WHERE: Sumo Japanese Steakhouse, 8342 W I-10

WHAT: Help smoke turkeys, accept donations and make preparations for Thanksgiving Day. Volunteer shifts can be 1 hour or all day long, and kids are welcome.

Receive Help

Fuerza Unida

WHEN: Monday, Nov. 22, and Tuesday, Nov. 23, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

WHERE: 710 New Laredo Hwy

WHAT: The South Side nonprofit will be offering turkeys and side dishes to create a full Thanksgiving.

San Antonio Food Bank

WHEN: Open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

WHERE: 5200 Enrique M. Barrera Pkwy

Call 210-431-8326 for more information about food assistance.

New Braunfels Food Bank

More food pantries in the San Antonio area:

  • Agape Ministry Emergency Assistance Program: Provides free food to people who reside in the following zip codes: 78217, 78218, 78239, 78209, 78219, 78233, 78244, 78247, and 78154. Located at 127 Lanark, San Antonio, Texas 78218. Open from 10-11:30 a.m. and again from 2-3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • Basic Needs: Provides free bags of groceries, household and personal hygiene items and more. Located at 103 Macrae, Kirby, Texas 78219.
  • CAM Social Services: Provides emergency boxes of food, as well as holiday meals. Located at 110 McCullough and open from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to noon on Friday.
  • Guadalupe Community Center: Provides different levels of assistance programs, as well as holiday meals. Located at 1801 W Durango, San Antonio, Texas 78207. Open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Food distribution runs form 9 a.m. to noon.
  • Senior Congregate Meal and Activities Comprehensive Emergency Assistance: Offers food and other assistance in zip codes 78101, 78108, 78109, 78124, 78148, 78150, 78152, 78154, 78233 (Live Oak) 78239 (Windcrest) and 78263. Located at 250 Donlan, Converse, Texas 78109. Open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays.
  • Inman Food Pantry: Provides emergency assistance from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekdays. Located at 1214 Colima, San Antonio, Texas 78207.

    Provides free food to people who reside in the following zip codes: 78217, 78218, 78239, 78209, 78219, 78233, 78244, 78247, and 78154