Jim Sánchez/ Conexión San Ángelo 

SAN ANGELO – The West Texas Hunger Summit, kicked off their 5th annual meeting with this morning’s first keynote speaker, Eric Cooper, President and CEO of San Antonio Food Bank. Cooper’s theme was “Food for Today, Food for Tomorrow, Food for a Lifetime.”  

The San Antonio Food Bank serves 16 counties and feeds approximately 58,000 on a weekly basis.

“When families come to the SA Food Bank it starts today with a referral for assistance to the emergency food pantry that is nearest.” “Tomorrow is about enrolling in public benefits such as SNAP.” Food for a Lifetime is really about workforce, job training and job placement” stated Cooper.

“We truly believe that people should work according to their ability but receive according to their need.” That comes through people’s needs being met while also providing an opportunity for them to move toward self-sufficiency and self-reliance.”

Another component around “Food for a Lifetime” is about nutrition education and making sure people get access to the best possible nutrition or learn how to get the best nutrition for the dollar. 

In Cooper’s 15-year tenure, the SAFB has grown to more than 180 employees, increased food distribution from 10 million pounds to more than 65 million pounds last year. In 2007, The organization was awarded Food Bank of the Year by Feeding America, the national network of 200+ Food Banks, info per SAFB's website.

The 4 p.m. keynote speaker, was Jimmy Dorrell, Founder and President of Mission Waco. The organization has established many programs and ministries for the marginalized population in Waco and beyond.  A few of those include: the World Cup Café, the Church under the Bridge, Urban R.E.A.P. (renewable energy and agriculture project), etc.

The WTHS, presented by The Texas Hunger Initiative – San Angelo Region & The Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health was held from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. at the Region XV Education Service Center, 612 S. Irene St.

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