‘VIA Cares’ partnership delivering meals and aid to those in need
VIA and the San Antonio Food Bank are partnering to help make sure homebound residents don’t go hungry during these challenging times.
VIA operators are delivering meals and supplies prepared by Food Bank staff and volunteers to homes and distribution points throughout San Antonio, Monday through Friday beginning March 31.
Since VIA joined the Food Bank’s mission to “fight hunger and feed hope,” operators have distributed more than 650 food packages to nearly 500 locations throughout the city.
“As part of the San Antonio family, VIA mobilizes when our community is in need or in crisis to keep people moving with essential service and offer a lifeline for those who need it,” VIA President and CEO Jeffrey C. Arndt said. “The COVID-19 crisis has made access to food and other basic necessities even more challenging for everyone, not just VIA riders. Making that connection—to food or work or critical services—is how we can show we care about the community we serve.”
VIA has continued to operate transit service in a safe environment as part of its COVID-19 response that includes a fare-relief period for all VIA services through April 30, and safe capacity limits on its buses and vans to help maintain social distancing for passengers and operators.
The San Antonio Food Bank serves an estimated 60,000 individuals each week in one of the largest service areas in Texas. That was before the coronavirus shuttered hundreds of businesses and thousands of jobs, leaving many with little resources and few options.
The immense need for local food assistance became abundantly clear when 10 thousand people formed long lines and waited several hours to receive rations from the Food Bank’s popup distribution at Trader’s Village on Thursday, April 9. One million pounds of food was handed out by volunteers and City staff that day — just one of several distributions the Food Bank staged last week.
“So many are suffering and struggling in this new environment of COVID-19. Our partnership with VIA and VIAtrans will ease the hunger pains of seniors and those with disabilities by bringing grocery products and household supplies right to their doorstep. This type of innovation and partnership is San Antonio at its finest,” Eric Cooper, President/CEO of the San Antonio Food Bank said.
VIA’s collaboration with the Food Bank marks the launch of its VIA Cares Program, an extension of its effort to connect our community by organizing available resources to help make ends meet for neighbors in need. Other VIA Cares initiatives that kicked off this month focus on providing Wi-Fi access for students through a partnership with the City of San Antonio, San Antonio Housing Authority and San Antonio ISD, and matching VIA volunteers with opportunities to serve. To learn more about VIA’s crisis response, visit VIAinfo.net/covid-19.
VIA will continue to deliver food bank supplies as long as resources are available. If you are home bound and in need of food, please call the San Antonio Food Bank at (210) 431-8326 to pre-register or click the link at the Food Bank’s home page and sign up online. Learn more about the Food Bank’s mission to fight hunger at SAFoodBank.org.