We've seen great success recently with area food drives. TISD's "Pantry Raid" alone brought in over fifty thousand pounds of food. But, the East Texas Food Bank remains worried. The need is greater than ever, and the supply just isn't there right now. The bounty looks plentiful for the North Creek Baptist Church of Centerville, as they load up boxes at the East Texas Food Bank. But these volunteers no better. Their demand has increased from serving two families in March, to 91 families today.
"We don't care who they are," said Lucille Skipper of North Creek, "If they are hungry, then they need food."
The problem is, they aren't taking home more food. They're just spreading what they've got a little thinner. The same goes for the Calvary Baptist Church in Brownsboro. Their time volunteering at the food bank means more money spent on food for their pantry, a pantry bursting at the seems.
"We started with 12 families," said Tobey Clements of Calvary Baptist. "Now we're at 284 and growing. This last month we had 19 new families added on."
Joey Morris of the East Texas Food Bank says this is a time of year they normally stock-pile food for the holidays. But, demand has nearly doubled, and this year, the supply isn't keeping up.
"Right now, we're geared up to handle Thanksgiving," said Morris, "But, that's it. We're not going to be able to meet the full demand for Christmas without some new injections of donations."
The food bank used to count on large corporations to bail them out with donations of extra product. But those companies are now forced to sell that excess just to meet their bottom line. That's why it comes down to East Texans helping East Texans.
"If every family could help donate a bag of groceries when they go out and do their shopping," said Morris, "even if it's just once a month, that would be more than enough food. That would be more than plenty to feed the needy in East Texas."