Healthy Living Reinvented in Pandemic San Antonio

By  | 
Tony Maples Photography


Sometimes, life throws a curveball. Occasionally, it’s a wrecking ball. What comes next is a personal choice: lie in the rubble or rouse? In today’s world without much precedent, take an example from an accomplished Army veteran. Rubén Ayala, owner of San Antonio Healthy Vending, was operating a successful healthy living enterprise which supplied regional schools and office vending machines with healthy options. He was doing so, that is, until March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic forced such public gathering places to shutter.

Healthy Living Reinvented in Pandemic San Antonio

Photo: @travelgurlbeam via Twenty20

First, Ayala handled the immediate issue which all food handlers are familiar: ensuring consumables do not spoil. In April, San Antonio’s VFW Post 8541 and San Antonio Healthy Vending teamed up to reduce the potential waste of remaining inventory and feed local middle schoolers. Community donations covered the company’s costs and volunteers exchanged completed homework for delicious, healthy treats, much to the delight of receiving students.

Healthy Living Reinvented in Pandemic San Antonio

Photo: @manjurulhaque via Twenty20

Next, Ayala addressed the long term business plan. Starting and running a business since 2014 will teach an entrepreneur a thing or two; letting a dream die and the livelihood of his staff wither was not an option. Drawing inspiration from his three kids and their all-day “ravenous” appetites, Ayala started a home delivery service that provides meals, snack packs, beverages, and household essentials. It’s a healthy living reinvention.

As of August 1st, anyone looking to simplify their errands can setup a wide range of deliveries, including meat, snack boxes, cold press juices, and yes, even toilet paper. Since school has begun, new customers are realizing this invaluable time-saving potential. San Antonio Healthy Vending hears you, they have an option called “The Answer”: three days’ worth of lunch box fillers such as entrees, Sun Chips, fig bars, fruit snacks, and organic juice boxes.

Examples abound of those finding new paths yesterday and today. Do you have a story about reinvention?