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San Antonio Food Bank CEO on the state of local food insecurity and expanded efforts to help people out of poverty

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Eric Cooper at a mass food distribution at the Alamodome May, 2020
Paul Flahive
Eric Cooper at a mass food distribution at the Alamodome May, 2020

The level of food insecurity in San Antonio has waned from its worst point during the pandemic, but demand is still considerable as area residents continue to be negatively impacted by economic fallout related to COVID-19.

SAFB fed around 60,000 people a week pre-pandemic and 120,000 at its peak. Now, they’re feeding 90,000 people weekly.

How has the food bank pivoted to meet this long-term, ramped-up demand? What resources are being utilized? What is the state of local food insecurity this holiday season? Which items are most needed right now? How else can the community help?

In 2021, the San Antonio Food Bank also became the first of its kind in the nation to launch an affordable housing project focused on families with small children. What inspired this more holistic approach? Why was it important to expand the definition of what a food bank does?

Beyond food distribution, what SAFB projects are in the works to help lift people in San Antonio out of poverty?

Guest: Eric Cooper, president and CEO of the San Antonio Food Bank

"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. Leave a message before the program at (210) 615-8982. During the live show, call 833-877-8255, email thesource@tpr.org or tweet @TPRSource.

*This interview was recorded on Tuesday, December 21.

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