The Texas Food Bank Network (TFBN) urged concerned Texans to give more than traditional canned goods and turkeys during this year's holiday season. While the food banks need and welcome gifts of food, financial donations and public support for the nation’s safety net can have a greater impact on the struggling families they serve.
“We want to thank everyone who supported our efforts this year to feed hungry Texans by donating to food drives and volunteering at their local food bank,” said Celia Cole, CEO of TFBN. “Last year, our food banks fed over three million Texans, but only a fraction of that food came from can drives. We rely on financial donations, as well as friends who are willing to raise their voices in Austin and Washington, D.C. to meet the need in our communities.”
One in five Texas households struggles to afford food. According to the national food bank network Feeding America, these households report an annual food budget shortfall of $1.86 billion.
Concerned Texans can help fill this “meal gap” with a financial contribution. The USDA estimates that ten pounds of food can provide six meals to a family in need. In contrast, a ten-dollar donation helps food banks provide eighty meals, because of their industry partnerships and purchasing power.
TFBN also urged supporters to raise their voices against proposed cuts in Congress to public food assistance and other safety net programs that are helping Texas families during bad economic times. Cuts to programs like SNAP (AKA Food Stamps) threaten to take 6.5 billion meals off the tables of Americans in need.
“It will take more than private charity to win the fight against hunger,” said Cole. “We must combine our charitable giving with a unified call for strong public investment in our nation’s safety net.”
Concerned Texans can support public nutrition programs by signing up at HungerActionCenter.org. Those who would like to donate money can do so by finding their local food bank at TFBN.org, or have their local donation matched by Bank of America at FeedingAmerica.org/BankofAmerica.
Donors who prefer to give food are still very welcome at any food bank. Food banks report that the most needed items include peanut butter, tuna, canned meats, cereal, beans, canned soup, canned fruit, canned vegetables, pasta/sauce and rice.
The Texas Food Bank Network provides a unified voice among food banks in support of their common mission to end hunger in Texas. Learn more at TFBN.org.