Hoping to fill the empty bellies of residents in the area, the Guadalupe County Attorney and the San Antonio Food Bank teamed up for a program aimed at arresting food insecurity with a mobile food bank.
Residents from all around the community gathered on Wednesday at the Seguin High School parking lot to pass out food and clothing to those in need.
Cars lined up across the lot and out the entrance as passengers eagerly waited to receive donations comprised of t-shirts and food like poultry, carrots, eggs, bread and various other morsels.
At the helm of the event was Guadalupe County Attorney Dave Willborn, who could be heard throughout the lot calling out to volunteers telling them which recipients needed what, all while loading up cars with goods in the process.
“I think it’s been a great turn out,” he said. “We’ve probably served up to around 200-250 cars today. My wife and I believe it’s important to help the community during these hot summer months, and in the future, we definitely plan to do something like this again.”
The San Antonio Food Bank provided the food thanks to a donation from Willborn and his family.
“Dave has been doing a lot of community work providing nourishment to folks that struggle to put food on the table,” said Mario Obledo Jr., chief of government and public affairs at the San Antonio and New Braunfels food banks. “He and I have been working together on advocating for Guadalupe County to help support these efforts. On this effort, Dave and his wife donated a sum for food distributions like this in the community. So he’s trying to advocate funding for us so we can work together on these things.”
About 25 volunteers from Seguin and the surrounding areas pitched in for the cause. Several high school volunteers from Seguin Youth Services were among those lending a helping hand.
“We’re here because we like to help out,” Seguin Youth Services Director Sheryl Sachtleben said. “We just saw that the event was coming up and our kids like to do community service projects and this was a good one for us. I think I have about eight high school kids out here today and those kids know how to give, they like it, they enjoy it.”
One of those young volunteers was 16-year-old Christian Flato.
“I like to help out,” Flato said. “And (Sachtleben) asked me if I wanted to come and help with giving out food for families and all that and I was like, ‘Yea, I want to help out,’ just to make other people’s days happy and everything.”
However, it can be difficult when some cannot be helped, the young humanitarian said.
“Earlier, we ran into a guy who couldn’t get any food and he has a child so I felt bad,” Flato said.
Although the recent event was a success, County Commissioner Greg Seidenberger hopes that the mobile food pantry is the first step in providing continued help to those in the community with empty stomachs.
“I really believe in this program,” Seidenberger said. “I was shocked to hear that Texas is ranked third from the bottom in hunger. We’re trying to get a cooperative effort between the school, the county, the food bank, and a couple other entities so we can combine our efforts and be more effective. We have the support, but I think we need more of a unified effort, someone at the top running it.”
Seidenberger said that his previous efforts of getting edible support for the community fell on deaf ears.
“For five years I’ve been advocating for the food bank but our county budget turned me down,” he said. “When we had our budget meetings I asked for $6,000 which would be $500 a month to feed the people of our county. Hungry people are hungry people I don’t care if they live in the city or they live in the suburbs, they’re our citizens. If you’re hungry, you’re hungry and that’s why we have to fight.”