ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Samantha Lapierre, kitchen coordinator at FaithWorks of Abilene, helps provide meals to people experiencing unemployment. With the help of the Food Bank of West Central Texas, she is able to provide healthy meals for those in need.

“We depend a lot on the food bank we survive off of donations,” Lapierre explained.

CEO Ronnie Kidd said for 40 years, the food bank has been able to help organizations like Faithworks plus families in and all around the Big Country.

“In the last few years, we have provided between 4.2, 4.5 million pounds of food each year on average. That translates to providing about 3.75 million meals,” added Kidd.

They continue to help, especially during times of need like the pandemic, severe weather and inflation.

“We talk about the safety net that needs to be provided to the community in times of disaster or times of illness, and that’s what the food bank contributes significantly. Towards that safety net, towards having resources available when people need access to food,” said Kidd.

He shared that the secret to longevity is the volunteers.

“We can’t do it by ourselves. It takes all of us working together to serve our community and we are better together,” Kidd shared.

Without resources like the food bank, Lapierre said she wouldn’t know where to get the food she needs.

“I don’t think we would make it if we didn’t have, we wouldn’t be able to feed our people if we didn’t have their help,” expressed Lapierre.

The Food Bank is going through some big changes soon. Kidd announced at the 40th-year anniversary celebration that they will be adding on an additional building to serve as a drive-thru food pantry. Construction should begin within the next year or so.