Food Bank drive-through event Nov. 5, 2020
Central Catholic student Marco Flores and biology freshman Hilary Oldenkant watch TRIO STEM director Erica Alvarez as she instructs them how to evenly distribute carrots in bags for each household Nov. 5. Central Catholic student Connor Galvez holds the bag open for Alvarez to fill with carrots. His task involved holding the bags open and distributing them. Rocky Garza Jr.
By Rocky Garza Jr.
The San Antonio Food Bank needs volunteers for food packing and distribution at drive-through events.
Roger Naravez, this college’s case assistant navigator from the Food Bank, said funding for workers ended in October and the Food Bank now relies on volunteers.
The next pop-up event at this college is from 1-5 p.m. in Lot 8 Nov. 24. Volunteers will be counting product, setting up tents and packing food into boxes and bags from 1-3 p.m. Then the distribution process is from 3-5 p.m.
Naravez said during the pandemic, the Food Bank was assisted by United Way to gain partnership with a company named ShiftSmart.
ShiftSmart is a company that uses its digital platform to connect workers looking for more hours with better pay with organizations that need to increase fulfillment, reduce churn and improve work quality.
ShiftSmart was able to use personnel who lost their jobs or hours or were furloughed and sent these individuals to the Food Bank.
The workers got the opportunity to assist the Food Bank during events, and gain compensation for their work and get food assistance if they needed it.
However, in October, the funding for the partnership ended and they lost those individuals who were in the program, Naravez said.
Now the Food Bank has to rely on the community for upcoming events on campuses and throughout San Antonio, Naravez said.
At a drive-through event Nov. 12 at the college, 20 volunteers were needed but only 12 were available.
Even though the event had its hiccups, Navarez and his team pushed through to serve 170 households and about 115 students and faculty from the Alamo Colleges.
There were smiles, fist bumps and waves to the volunteers throughout the event to praise their hard work as they distributed multiple packages to each car in the warm afternoon sun.
For more information on volunteering with the San Antonio Food Bank, visit www.safoodbank.org/ways-to-help/give-time/.