Councilwoman Ana E. Sandoval, District 7 directs vehicles of victims effected by last week's storm and receives a box of food from the San Antonio Food Bank at Woodlawn Lake Park on June 11, 2019.
Councilwoman Ana Sandoval (D7) directs vehicles of residents affected by last week's storm and receives a box of food from the San Antonio Food Bank at Woodlawn Lake Park on June 11, 2019. Credit: Stephanie Marquez / San Antonio Report

A long line of cars formed at Woodlawn Lake Park Tuesday as the San Antonio Food Bank distributed food to families affected by the storm last Thursday. Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Councilwoman Ana Sandoval (D7) helped hand out boxes.

According to CPS Energy, more than 50,000 of their customers lost power Thursday afternoon. Many remained without power for the duration of the weekend. Sandoval’s office spoke with customers in the neighborhoods hardest hit by the storm, such as Monticello Park and Woodlawn Lake. They heard there was a need for food because, without power, food in refrigerators spoiled.

“Our office fielded hundreds of calls during the storms,” Sandoval said. “We did not realize how extensive the damage was going to be.”

Mike Garcia, a resident of District 7 with a family of three, was in line for the distribution. He said he had been without food and power for the weekend.

“We are trying to gather some money to buy food, but all the help counts for us,” Garcia said. “I am not just speaking for myself; this is a lot of help for a lot of people, like my neighbors.”

The need for food is still present in the community, especially in low income areas where it is difficult for residents to replenish their supplies. After just two hours of distribution, supplies ran out, and the staff had to turn people away. The San Antonio Food Bank provided 250 boxes of non-perishable food items and 150 bags of produce.

The district office held two other food distributions at St. Luke Catholic Church and St. Paul Catholic Church in collaboration with The Society of St. Vincent de Paul and H-E-B.

District 7 Office’s final distribution is on Thursday, June 13 at St. Paul’s Community Center, 1201 Donaldson Ave. The first 500 residents will receive food on a first-come first-serve basis beginning at 5 p.m.

The San Antonio Food Bank aims to meet not just the daily needs of the community, but also needs that arise in unexpected events, like last week’s storm, said Mario Obledo Jr., chief of government and public affairs at the food bank.

Several community members also helped the food bank distribute food. Marcy Gutierrez, a board member of the Woodlawn Lake Community Association, volunteered that evening because she saw a desperate situation in her neighborhood.

“We were very concerned about our community,” Gutierrez said. “We all came out and pulled together. There were so many neighbors saying ‘What do you need? Can I help you?’ Everyone was out there helping each other out.”

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Laura Morales

Laura Morales is a freshman studying journalism at the University of Texas at Austin and a contributor to The Daily Texan.