SAN ANTONIO — If the Franciscan Fryers who helped establish the Missions around San Antonio knew those Missions were still providing for our community, they would smile. They help feed a lot of people in ways not everybody knows.
Around Mission San Juan, for example, there are 55 acres of produce and fruit trees that help fill the San Antonio Food bank. Some of that land is still farmed and watered the way it was back then.
Even the help comes from a similar method, volunteers. "We have 500 to 9000 volunteers throughout the year" says Angela McDermott. She's basically the head gardener for the Food bank.
McDermott says they grow "everything from radishes and lettuce, to cauliflower, turnip, beans and beets." With only 3 paid staffers, most of it is done by volunteers from the 29 county area the Food Bank serves.
The land helps provide fruits and vegetables that feed more than 375,000 people a year. "I had no idea it was of this scale" says volunteer Jeremy Fortune. A Financial Consultant for Charles Schwab, Fortune was volunteering for the day.
He and more than a dozen of his colleagues were helping prepare the land, to help the peach orchard being established on the land. With our mostly mild winters, a variety of crops are grown on the land, pretty much year round.
If you are interested in helping out, click on this link to the San Antonio Food Bank and look for the volunteer program information.