KILGORE, TX (KLTV) - Food pantries in East Texas are finding their shelves missing one important item... protein.
Helping Hands food pantry in Kilgore tells KLTV's Melanie Torre they're desperate for donations.
"Normally we would get quite a bit of meat each week from the East Texas Food Bank but the last two weeks we haven't received any meat because they've had a shortage themselves," explained Amanda Mohn.
Amanda says protein is one of the most important items food pantries carry, "It's just a good balanced diet. It provides energy and strength. It fills you just more than vegetables. Vegetables are great, but it's really important to have meat."
But it's also one of the things hardest to keep in stock
The East Texas Food Bank provides food for pantries like Helping Hands.
They say there are a couple reasons protein is in short supply. For one, it's perishable. Also because it's relatively expensive, meats are not usually donated.
"Assorted meet, hamburger meat, hot dogs, chicken, turkey... We'll take anything. Anything is great,"says Amanda.
Amanda says Helping Hands provides food for about a thousand people a month.
Helping Hands is accepting both food or monetary donations.
They're open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 am to 1 pm, or Tuesday and Thursday from 9 am til noon.