San Antonio, Texas, January 23, 2018.
“It was a huge relief when I saw that there was food out there that I didn’t have to go out and buy,” says Karen, a single mother of two who runs a food pantry in the city’s Central District.
She and her husband, an auto mechanic, are hoping to raise $10,000 for a food bank in the next couple of weeks.
“We were looking for a way to support people who were struggling, and we thought this would be a perfect opportunity to help,” she says.
Karen and her co-workers set out to make their own food using local ingredients and a few leftover ingredients from the pantry’s pantry.
“This is something we’ve always wanted to do and it was a dream come true,” says Kathy, a retired nurse who started the kitchen in her home, adding that she would donate the profits from sales of the food to a food assistance program for the hungry.
“A lot of people are struggling,” she adds, “and they’re looking for ways to survive.”
Karen, who’s been helping her family in San Antonio for a decade, has a background in cooking, but says she had never done it this way.
“I don’t know why I’m not good at cooking,” she said.
She made several batches of soups and a pasta dish and served them to people, who loved them.
“That’s how we made it.
We made the soup with just a little bit of cornbread, and it turned out so good that it was the perfect meal,” she told NBC News.
The couple had to buy fresh ingredients from local farmers in order to get it started.
“The prices for all the ingredients were very reasonable,” Karen says.
“Some of them were really good.
We couldn’t get any of the other stuff.
We got a little over $1 for a pound of corn bread, which is way cheaper than what we used to pay.”
The couple’s other favorite thing to do is cook for friends and family.
“If you’ve got a lot of family and friends, it’s so nice to make some dinner for them,” Karen said.
“And then we can have dinner after that.”
She also helps others by helping them cook.
“When people have been looking for food, I think it helps the community because you know that there’s someone who has food in their freezer, and they’re having it,” she explains.
“You get to feed your family and your community.”
They hope to have a food drive on January 26th, and hope to raise another $10K by that time.
The food drive will benefit a local food bank called the San Antonio Food Bank.
“People are coming out here for the most part, because they’re so hungry,” Karen explained.
“So I think this will help us.
This is something that we’re very excited about, so we want to do it for the community and help them out.”
They’ve also set up a Facebook page and are accepting donations.
“Thank you so much for your generosity and support,” Karen wrote on the page.
“Food is the lifeblood of our community, so it’s our goal to give back to the community to help them get through this tough time.”