Even with the holiday season, the North Texas Food Bank says food insecurity is high. The group fills the need as some families struggle to keep up with inflation.
Businesses and families drove truckloads of groceries to the North Texas Food Bank on Thanksgiving Eve. It was a welcome sight.
North Texas Food Bank chief external affairs officer Erica Yaeger says the need is greater than it has been in years, even surpassing food insecurity at the height of the pandemic.
“I don’t think anyone anticipated the need,” she said. “So many of our neighbors are feeling the effects of record inflation. The most vulnerable in our community. So they have to make tough decisions about whether to put food on the table or pay for higher living expenses.”
The numbers paint a much clearer picture. Before the pandemic, the North Texas Food Bank distributed an average of 7 million meals a month. At the peak of the pandemic, about 10 million meals were being distributed each month. The panel currently distributes about 12.4 million meals a month.
Yeager said that now more than ever it is understood that hunger has many different faces. During the peak of COVID, people found themselves in food distribution lines for the first time in their lives. She said the trend is likely to continue.
“It could be a colleague. It could be a student in your child’s classroom. It could be a neighbor,” Yeager said.
Even budgeting has changed. Before the pandemic, the food bank budgeted $5 million for grocery purchases. That number has more than quadrupled.
“I think what’s even more alarming is that we need to buy more groceries than ever before,” she said. “So this year we have budgeted $30 million to have food on our shelves that will serve those in need.”
It’s a testament to their commitment to making sure people have a very basic human need. For more information on how to donate or volunteer with the North Texas Food Bank, click here.