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Coastal Bend Food Bank struggling to keep shelves stocked

Government assistance and public donations have decreased in the last year
Food Bank bare shelves.jpg
Posted at 5:59 PM, Sep 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-19 23:43:49-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — On Thursday, the Coastal Bend Food Bank posted on Facebook that it was struggling to keep food on its shelves.

“Food prices increased by 66.5 percent, and funding and food donations dropped by 35.7 percent.” the post read.

“We are not getting donations like we used to get,” said Bea Hanson, the Executive Director of the food bank. “So, even though the demand is up, because families are struggling to keep food on the table, it’s getting harder and harder as we’re now facing empty shelves as well.”

In the 2021-22 fiscal year, the food bank received 35-40 percent less from the USDA in food commodities compared to the previous year. The food bank purchased more than 1.3 million pounds of food, a 66.5 percent increase, to meet client needs.

“When they come to us for food, we’re committed to make sure they at least get enough to make meals,” Hanson said. “We are referring them to food stamps as well, we are only emergency food.”

The issue at the Coastal Bend Food Bank is trickling down to other organizations the non-profit helps.

Every week, Casa de Dios hosts a food bank at its location on Ayers St.

“We get less food so we serve less families,” said Rosalinda Yanez, a volunteer with the Casa de Dios Food Bank.

Over the last several months, Yanez has seen more people coming to the food bank.

“What we’ve seen is an increase in elderly people coming by,” she said. “Just the increase in gas, utilities, rents, they don’t have enough money; either they eat or pay what they have to eat. So, a lot of people come through this line for that reason.”

Hanson said she is concerned about what the issue could mean for the holiday season.

“Turkeys are looking very expensive this year, if there are enough turkeys, that’s what they tell us,” she said. “We’re still preparing for the holidays, making sure families don’t have to do without.”

Though the shelves are lacking, and assistance is less than reliable, the Coastal Bend Food Bank can still provide to those in need locally thanks to monetary donations.

“As long as we’re getting donations, we’ll be able to go out and purchase food if we don’t get the donations we need,” Hanson said.

Hanson is asking the community for donations to help the food bank purchase any food it does not receive. One dollar can provide four meals to a family in need.

Donations can be made as a one-time or monthly gift on the Coastal Bend Food Bank website.