ABILENE, Texas (PRESS RELEASE) – In the Food Bank’s 13-county service area, approximately 55,000 people live in poverty, miss meals, or experience extreme hunger. The Food Bank of West Central Texas helps feed low-income, working families; senior citizens on a fixed budget; and thousands of food-insecure children who might otherwise go to bed hungry each night. With our Food Assistance Program and the help of our partnering community agencies and mobile pantries, we are able to move perishable and non-perishable food items quickly to families and individuals throughout the West Central Texas area.

Our Backpacks for Kids program provides child-friendly, nutritious foods for chronically hungry children over the weekend at no cost to the child or the family. We work through our local school districts, often in conjunction with concerned citizens, churches and civic groups to provide financial and volunteer support to make Backpacks for Kids a successful endeavor.

Our Senior pantry partners with local senior centers, providing vulnerable seniors with additional food assistance. We are currently serving over 200 senior households twice a month and hope to continue to expand the program.

In 2020, as we responded to the Coronavirus pandemic, we distributed about 24% more than pre-pandemic levels.

We distributed a total of 5,526, 514 pounds of food in 2020. This included 1,144,546 pounds of fresh produce.

Average Monthly Stats for 2020 include:

· 6,200 families served at agency pantries, reaching 13,100 persons. The age groups of these folks reflect 28% children, 48% non-Senior adults, and 24% seniors

· 65,303 meals per month were served through member agency feeding programs. Of the total meals provided each month, 28% were breakfast, 51% lunch, and 21% dinner.

· 26,163 snacks were served each month, on average.

Backpack for Kids served an average of 2,163 weekend bags per month during the school year.

Of our total food receipted in 2020, 37% was donated, 17% purchased and 46% from government commodities programs. This reflects an increase in government commodities of about half and about three times in procured product over pre-pandemic sources of food.