SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Food Bank is asking the community for support as it helps provide meals to area families and persons affected by layoffs and unemployment related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following September’s successful Hunger Action Month efforts, San Antonio Food Bank organizers are still looking toward community donations and financial support as the holiday season approaches to keep shelves stocked and bellies full.

Related: How you can help support the SA Food Bank for Hunger Action Month

Eric Cooper, president of the San Antonio Food Bank, said he was proud of the community for stepping up to help those in need and looks forward to a similar effort as the holiday season nears.

“When we put the need out, San Antonio always responds,” Cooper said.

Cooper said 120,000 regular clients, twice as many as before the COVID-19 pandemic struck the country and state, now depend on the food bank.

The new wave of people looking for help includes individuals who were hit by hardships related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cooper said.

“Their unemployment benefits don’t cover all of their expenses, so as they are trying to hold on to their home and their car, they are coming to us to get food,” Cooper said.

As the holiday season nears, Cooper said the food bank will have to keep up with area demand and fill a new need: a hot meal for the holidays. However, organizations across town that open their doors for people on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day will be limited in what they can offer this year.

“Now you have families that are ultra stressed financially. They want to be able to have those wonderful experiences that we all want to have on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day,” Cooper said.

Providing meals will also be tougher this year due to supply chain demands. Cooper said that means the food bank is now dependent on community donations and financial assistance.

“It’s really relying on our city to donate financially so that we can buy product,” Cooper said. “For us, it’s a challenge because it is so expensive right now.”

Related: The Big Give 2020: San Antonio Food Bank feeds 120K South Texans per week

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