H-E-B, USAA give millions to aid San Antonio nonprofits responding to coronavirus
By Patrick Danner and Madison Iszler
Two of San Antonio’s largest private employers are donating millions to local nonprofits to support their response to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
USAA said Monday it has donated $1 million to organizations that include the San Antonio Food Bank, South Texas Blood & Tissue Center, Meals on Wheels, Haven for Hope and United Way of San Antonio.
The San Antonio financial services and insurance firm said the nonprofits will use the proceeds to provide food, housing, blood and other essentials.
H-E-B is giving $3 million to local nonprofits, including $1.2 million to 18 food banks throughout Texas, $500,000 to groups focused on mobile feeding services for seniors and low-income families, and $300,000 to Texas Biomedical Research Institute, a San Antonio organization with a team working on coronavirus research.
The remaining $1 million will go for grants that Texas nonprofits providing emergency services can apply for. H-E-B will also deliver 15 truckloads of food and household supplies to various food banks.
“H-E-B’s donation comes at a critical time as food banks across the state are stepping in to provide emergency food to the people and communities impacted by COVID-19,” said Celia Cole, CEO of Feeding Texas, a statewide network of food banks.
USAA also said it will match employee donations of up to $500.
“Considering the enormous challenges from the health emergency, we know our local community needs help, especially those organizations serving our most vulnerable residents,” USAA chief executive Wayne Peacock said in a statement.
“We have been in close communications with local nonprofits to understand their specific needs in responding to this pandemic,” Peacock added.
The company declined to provide an update on the San Antonio employee who tested positive for COVID-19. Spokesman Matt Hartwig said in an email USAA had no comment beyond a statement Sunday to protect the person’s privacy.
The employee is out of state and under the care of medical professionals. The employee had not been at USAA’s San Antonio campus since March 6, at which point the employee had not experienced any symptoms, USAA said.
Several employees who had “previous significant exposure to the affected individual” are in self-quarantine until March 21, it added. None of them, however, has shown any symptoms of having the virus, however.
USAA also issued a statement on its website Monday morning, saying it’s “prepared for a wide range of possible scenarios — focusing on the health and safety of our employees.”
With school and daycare closures, USAA said it is providing employees up to two weeks “emergency pay” if they are unable to work from home. This also covers workers who have to stay home to care for immediate family members.
USAA employees will not be expected to use paid time off for absences related to COVID-19 from Monday through April 30.
USAA has closed its campus fitness centers and café self-service lines. It also closed a financial center in West Point, N.Y., for the “foreseeable future.”