Share Your Christmas with those in need at Coastal Bend Food Bank
Hurricane Harvey heightened the need for the newly renamed Coastal Bend Food Bank this year. Once known as the Food Bank of Corpus Christi, the organization rebranded in October to better represent its area of coverage, which goes well beyond the borders of Corpus Christi.
The food bank serves 11 South Texas counties with a food pantry in just about every ZIP code in that area. Many of those counties were hit hard by the Category 4 storm on Aug. 25-26.
“A lot of families in the Coastal Bend won't be able to celebrate like they did in years past,” food bank Executive Director Bea Hanson said. “When this time comes around and they look back, it's not what it used to be.”
By providing turkeys, hams and all the trimmings for families in need, the food bank delivers more than sustenance.
“When a family can celebrate, they can feel hope again for the future,” Hanson told Corpus Christi Business News.
Volunteers to help keep people from going hungry are needed year-round, Hanson said, but more are needed during the winter.
“We distribute 800,000 pounds of food each month, and that amount is even greater during the holidays because there is more demand,” she said. “There are many variables as to why families may not have enough money for food at the end of the month.”
Hanson lists the following ways the community can help during the holidays:
Volunteers, whether individuals or groups, are scheduled to fit their time preferences. Work includes sorting food and food inspection at the warehouse on Krill Street. Every can and box has to be inspected for expiration dates and condition of the container.
“It's very time-consuming, and we have to do all of that before we can even distribute the food,” Hanson said.
Local pantries are managed by local organizations. Approximately 132 volunteer agencies attached to churches and community groups help to distribute food from the food bank to local pantries in 11 counties.
“We either deliver to the pantry or agency volunteers come and pick up the food,” Hanson said. “We send families that need food to the pantry closest to their house. Interested volunteers can contact Cathy Rios, who manages the pantries, and she can tell them which ones need the most help.”
Holiday foods such as frozen turkeys and ham are in high demand and low supply right now. You can either donate the items or the money to purchase them, Hanson said. Although the need is great at Thanksgiving, it is even greater for Christmas.
“During Thanksgiving, many businesses and organizations do a lot for providing free dinners and turkeys to families in need,” she said, “but not as much during Christmas. Families still need something to celebrate this occasion with to give them hope.”
SHARE YOUR CHRISTMAS
On Dec. 8, the Coastal Bend Food Bank, in partnership with KIII TV Channel 3 and H-E-B stores, are holding a Share Your Christmas Food Drive
“After shopping for their groceries at H-E-B, customers can add to their purchase a donation coupon of either $1, $3 or $5 increments, available at each cash register, for the food bank,” Hanson said.” It’s a convenient way to support the food drive.”
H-E-B collects the money and sends a check for the total of all donations to the food bank in time for Christmas shopping.
“Every dollar donated can provide seven meals to a family,” Hanson said.
The Coastal Bend Food Bank is located at 826 Krill St. For more information, contact (361) 887-6291 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the website at coastalbendfoodbank.org for more information.
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