Some hungry volunteers are anxious to meet their fundraising goals for a west side non-profit as 20 hardy souls are doing a bread and water fast to raise enough money to run the Inner City Development food pantry for an entire year.
They call the campaign “Thanksgiving 365,” saying hunger is a year-round challenge in the local community, not a one day a year problem.
Every week a big pallet full of food arrives at the west-side organization from the food bank, but it is not enough to satisfy the hunger in San Antonio's poorest zip code, where the group provided 40,000 meals last year.
“We're doing just a little something here,” said volunteer faster Rose Garcia, who will live on bread and water until the fundraising goal is met. “We can go home and look through our pantry and we have choices and some people aren't as fortunate so it's just my way of helping."
"We have 20 fasters who are working on this and that adds up to $20,000, so we've got another $20,000 to go,” group leader Patti Radle said.
Sal Ornelas attended the kickoff rally for the campaign.
"You need to get out and do more. Okay? Prayer is not enough. Prayer with action to help people is what it's about,” said Sal Ornelas, who attended the kickoff rally for the campaign.
“Our friends and family are helping and we're asking for the public's support as well,” Garcia added.
Rod Radle, who also leads the group, said that a warm up campaign they launched by mail and on internet a couple of weeks ago has led to a good start. Just a couple of hours after their Wednesday launch party, Radle said that they already have $10,000 in hand.
Organizers said that in its 49 years of service, the group has provided food for over 3,000,000 meals to families in crisis.
They hope to reach their goal within the next two weeks so that everyone will have a happy holiday.
In addition to the food pantry, Inner City Development offers a wide variety of grassroots services. Their next major project is a Christmas Toy Sale in which parents are allowed to buy their children presents at a deep discount. The non-violent toys are offered for sale at a 90 percent discount so parents have the pride of providing for their own.