An event is set for this week at Sanitkos Entertainment Cibolo, but it won’t be all fun and games.
Another of the New Braunfels Food Bank’s Guadalupe Mega Distributions is scheduled for 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Thursday at Cibolo Crossing, 18124 Interstate 35 in Cibolo.
Santikos Entertainment Cibolo is a complex that boasts a movie theater, bowling center, arcade and more, but serious work will take place Thursday morning, Guadalupe County Emergency Management Coordinator Patrick Pinder said Friday morning.
“This will be the third food distribution in the area since the winter storm,” he said. “[Thursday] was one at New Braunfels’ Tree of Life Church, Saturday is one at Navarro and [this] one is the third one. It shows there’s a need in the area and that the food bank and multiple jurisdictions are meeting those needs by getting the food distribution sites set up.”
Guadalupe Medical Center and the New Braunfels Food Bank are funding the event and Santikos Entertainment Cibolo is supporting the efforts along with the city of Cibolo, city of Schertz and Guadalupe County, Pinder said. He minimized the county’s role saying his office is only coordinating assistance as needed.
The event is a lot like nearly a dozen or so others Guadalupe Regional Medical Center has presented to the community, Guadalupe Regional Medical Foundation CEO Elaine Bennett said. However, following the frigid cold weather that wreaked havoc on this area accompanied by snow, ice, power shortages, water shut offs and empty grocery store shelves, this one might be needed a little more than others.
“We’re reaching out to people that are in situations where they are in need of food,” Bennett said. “With this last weather snap we went through, there may be more people that find themselves in a situation where they need food. Anyone who that finds themselves in a situation where they need food assistance, they are encouraged to sign up and show up.”
Volunteers will distribute boxes of food to attendees and registration before hand is encouraged, she said. Preregistration, while not required, makes things more efficient and allows volunteers to more quickly serve recipients in the drive-thru line for the event, Bennett said.
Those receiving food won’t have to get out of their vehicles. They’ll be able to drive up and have volunteers place packages in the beds of their pickup trucks or in the trunks of their vehicles, Bennett said.
Making the event go smoothly takes lots of coordination among lots of people and entities, she said.
“This is a concerted effort with many, many parties to make this event successful,” Bennett said. “You’re feeding close to 800 families in two hours. You’ve got to have law enforcement, and Guadalupe County’s sheriff’s department has been very supportive of all distributions as well as the Seguin Police Department and now Cibolo and Schertz police departments.”
GRMC and the food bank have successfully operated 10 similar food distribution events in the county, she said. During those, they have served 7,926 families about 1.16 million pounds of food, Bennett said.
“We started in May of last year,” she said. “We’ve been having them once a month.”
The partnership is expected to continue. All involved know the need remains and they pledge to work to help end that need, Bennett said.
“We want to do this because it’s important,” she said. “Food is essential for everyone’s health and well-being. We have many people in need, and we are blessed to provide this vital part of health to our community.”
Anyone interested in registering to receive food should do so at bit.ly/3bGKMLa . To sign up to volunteer, visit sforce.co/2NZQmQF .