Ten thousand cars waited hours in line for emergency food aid in San Antonio last week. A drone photograph of the packed parking lot went viral. Two thousand more showed up for another distribution today.
These were some of the more than 20 million unemployed Americans, many of them recently laid off because of the pandemic.
The San Antonio Food Bank operates a huge, 200,000-square-foot warehouse on the outskirts of the city. It is stacked four stories high with apples, oranges and watermelons; potatoes, tomatoes and onions; chicken, ground beef and tater tots.
A quartet of forklifts—working like soldier ants—fills a truck with pallets of carrots, while the boss watches.
“We stock refrigerated, frozen and nonperishable food items so it moves through our facility at a fairly rapid pace,” said food bank CEO Eric Cooper. “Obviously, now in the midst of COVID-19, the demand far outpaces the supply.”
In addition to feeding the hungry in this city of more than 2 million souls, the food bank supplies 500 food pantries throughout South Texas. In a normal week, the food bank feeds about 60,000 people in its region. Today, that number has doubled.
Last week, they knew they’d be busy. A record 6,000 families had preregistered for food distribution at…