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Food distribution to South Side students provides for bountiful holiday meal

Food distribution to South Side students provides for bountiful holiday meal

December 19, 2020

SAN ANTONIO – Food giveaways are critically important every holiday season. Due to Covid-19, the need is even greater this year for many food-insecure families and some local schools are making sure their students don’t go hungry during the winter break.

A total of 175 students at Texans Can Academies two San Antonio locations are getting much-appreciated food bags today and tomorrow at their campuses.

“With the holiday meal coming up, we know how expensive that can be to provide a meal like that,” says Rachel Castro, the academies’ development director. “The population that we serve struggles and the pandemic has been especially hard on them.”

Turkeys, hams, mashed potatoes, green beans and rolls were distributed today.

“I’ve never had a turkey on Christmas,” says Joshua Barragan, a junior at the charter high school on Centennial Blvd., “so that will be something nice to have.

“It definitely helps a lot more than I think they realize.”

Barragan lives in a household of six.

“Not only does it feed the whole family but there will be a lot of leftovers, not only for me, but my siblings as well,” he says.

Joshua Barragan is a junior in high school. (SBG photo)

His father, Jesus Barragan, was delighted the school was able to partner with H-E-B and IBC Bank to provide the two bags of food to the students.

“This school has done a lot for us. It makes me feel all warm inside,” he says. “We’re going to eat good on Christmas.”

Jesus Barragan is grateful his son’s school is providing a holiday meal. (SBG photo)

Last year, Texans Can Academies provided about 20 holiday meals to its students.

That number has grown dramatically this year after a survey was distributed to students at its 14 statewide campuses.

“Food insecurity was the No. 1 issue among them,” Castro says.

That’s why the food event is so important.

“It definitely helps a lot, especially for people like me,” Joshua Barragan says.

He heaped praise on his school for all it does to help with both in-school and extracurricular concerns.

“It’s a mixture of challenging and rewarding at the same time,” he says. “If you are having problems at home, they can help you.”

That meshes with Texans Can’s philosophy, Castro says.

“Education is what we do, but almost equally important is to serve the whole student,” she says. “We hear stories of the need all the time here at Texans Can with the population that we serve.

Food bags lined up for distribution. (SBG photo)

“It’s very important to us that our students are fed and clothed and they have access to medical care. Any resources they need, we try to provide to them so they can do their best.”

The school also has a food pantry that students can access. It has other items that come in handy when needs arise.

“We will continue to meet those needs during breaks,” Castro says. “The majority come from the urban core, from the southside side, southwest side. Those are the students that in general are underserved but have been particularly affected by the pandemic.”

San Antonio ISD also had a massive holiday food event today – distributing meal bundles at 33 locations.

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