San Antonio Food Bankâs (SAFB) Community Kitchen Chef de Cusine Ronaldo Pautin holds up two high quality pumpkins in the SAFB Agency Storeâs walk-in refrigerator, in San Antonio, TX, on Monday, October 31, 2011. The pumpkins are destined for a new recipe for the SAFB Community Kitchen. Produce in here is available to human service centers that distribute and/or prepare meals for the needy.
âWe couldnât do what we do without our partnership with USDAââ said President and CEO Eric Cooper. He continues, âWe are privileged in partnering (with the USDA) to feeding kids, through the summer, with the Summer Food Service Program, and throughout the year, with the Child and Adult Care Feeding Program (CACFP). Then in our approach to feeding seniors, we partner with USDA in the Commodities Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), and the Senior Farmerâs Market (Nutrition) Program. â¦With this comprehensive approach we are really able to get the right food, at the right amount, at the right time, to needy families throughout our community â which allows us to feed the fifty-eight thousand we do, each week.â
SAFB serves 16 counties in Southwest Texas and states, âNearly one out of every four children and one out of every five adults in Southwest Texas lives in poverty and has difficulty meeting basic nutritional needs.â According to SAFB, sixty-five percent of the people requesting emergency food have children. âAdditionally, the senior citizens and those living on a fixed income generally have limited funds for a consistent grocery budget.â
San Antonio is the seventh largest city in the nation with surrounding farms and ranches near its rivers and water supplies. When available they provide fresh surplus produce. Other commodities come from the food industry and manufacturers. The major food brand companies that for various reasons have surplus commodities donate it to SAFB.
The United States Department of Agriculture donates commodities through programs such as The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), while Texas farmers supply fresh produce to their Fresh Produce Program. Public donations come in the form of money, food, volunteer time, and advocacy. USDA photo by Lance Cheung.
May 18, 2014