East Texas Food Bank and Green Acres Baptist Church hold ‘Feed our Friends’ event
TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - With Thanksgiving right around the corner, millions are preparing for their own feasts with family and friends. However, the high cost of groceries is making it difficult for some to have enough for the holiday.
The East Texas Food Bank and Green Acres Baptist Church stepped in through their annual ‘Feed our Friends’ event, as thousands of cars lined up in the parking lot to receive shelf-stable food and meat. They expected to serve about 1,400 families.
East Texas Food Bank CEO David Emerson said that number is pretty consistent with previous years, “but there is more need this year. We’ve never seen the need go down from the pandemic, actually, and so, with inflation being like it is right now, there’s just a lot more people who are food insecure.”
The food bank has had to adjust to meet that growing need.
“We’re trying to provide more food. We try to order a lot of food, you know, months ago being ready for this time of year, and so it’s just something that we’re all focused on well ahead of the time,” Emerson said.
Donna Gouwens, of Tyler, is one of the many people in line. She came with her family. “Things are kind of tight with everybody right now, and we’ve inherited a nice big family right here, with my daughter and her family. We decided that we’ll need a little extra to have food, and I really appreciate the church doing this for us,” said Gouwens.
Oliver Handy came all the way from Athens. “This means a whole lot. It means a whole lot. Right now, I get like four to five dollars on food stamps,” said Handy.
Emerson said, “Our mission is to fight hunger and feed hope, and so today that’s what we’re trying to do is to help people have a good meal for Thanksgiving and during this season, but also just to give them hope.”
According to the USDA, food insecurity increased last year for the first time in more than a decade.
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