H-E-B representatives visited the San Antonio Food Bank Wednesday morning to present the organization with a $110,000 check and celebrate the success of H-E-B's recent fundraising effort. The San Antonio Food Bank was among 20 food banks in the state to receive funds from the grocer, culminating this year’s H-E-B Help End Hunger Campaign.
The campaign, which began on May 11, invited H-E-B customers throughout Texas to join the statewide fight against hunger by adding a $1, $3, or $5 donation to their bill each time they went grocery shopping. In just 49 days, shoppers raised a total of $749,000 for Texas food banks, with each food bank receiving the donations raised in its respective community.
Eric Cooper, SA Food Bank CEO, received the check from H-E-B public affairs representative Danny Flores with words of gratitude to H-E-B and the San Antonio community.
"It is incredibly humbling to get this support from H-E-B and its customers," Cooper said.
H-E-B always aims "to get our customers engaged in the community," said Flores, commenting on the grocer's various efforts to raise awareness of the challenges facing Bexar and surrounding counties. The annual H-E-B Help End Hunger Campaign is part of the larger philanthropic endeavors being taken by H-E-B through its Food Bank Assistance Program, which serves Texas and Mexico year-round. Last year the nationally-recognized program provided 29.4 million pounds of food to Texan and Mexican food banks – the equivalent of more than 23 million meals.
The $110,000 check, Cooper said, "goes a very long way in the fight against hunger." The funds will allow the San Antonio Food Bank to serve 770,000 healthy meals to underserved children, families, and seniors in San Antonio and 15 surrounding counties. Food purchased with donations like H-E-B's or received at the SA Food Bank from food drives and other sources is sorted and delivered to local soup kitchens, churches, and other food distribution centers in South Texas to be prepared and served to clients in need.
According to a 2014 study conducted by Feeding America, 12.9% of the population across the 16 counties that the SA Food Bank serves falls into the USDA's "food insecure" demographic, highlighting the importance of the work being done at the Food Bank, H-E-B, and other places in the community to feed the hungry.
"It inspires me, gives me hope," said Cooper, speaking to the profundity of community members purchasing meals for others while buying groceries for their own families.
The San Antonio Food Bank will continue the festivities on Thursday evening at the State of the Food Bank Banquet. The event will give attendees a chance to celebrate the San Antonio Food Bank's accomplishments this year and to learn more about the organization’s goals for 2017.
Top image: CEO of the San Antonio Food Bank, Eric Cooper, receives a $110,000 donation from H-E-B representative Danny Flores as part of the grocer's End Hunger Campaign.