The Slow Economy Affecting Donations to the South Texas Food Bank
There is no clear relief in sight when it comes to the struggling economy. These tough times seem to now be taking a toll on the meals provided to thousands of families in and around our community. Pro 8 News reporter Brenda Medina tells us how the South Texas Food Bank is struggling, but still managing to ensure families aren't left without a hot meal.
There is less food to give those in need, but an increasing amount of people seeking assistance. Alfonso Casso Jr., Executive Director at the South Texas Food Bank, says the culprit for the low supplies is the spiraling economy and major changes in government funding. One of those programs is the U.S. Department of Agriculture where they receive the majority of their donations, such as pasta and vegetables, which go to the 85 agencies that they distribute food to. Mr. Casso says, donations overall have decreased at least 50%, completely wiping out their shelves. "Inventory levels have dropped from January till now–about 77%–on the USDA products." A decrease of more than 100,000 lbs. of food impacts 16,000 families in our community and places some of those from the Adopt-a-Family program on the waiting list. Casso says the budget isn't the only factor, as a lot of it is based not solely on the budget but on surplus food that is not available this year. The severe weather and drought are also taking a toll on the surplus food given by the USDA.
As the holidays near, Casso is asking the entire community to come together. He says as long as the donations remain low, some families will remain on the waiting list and others will, unfortunately, be given a smaller amount.
If you'd like to make a food or monetary donation, you can stop by the South Texas Food Bank on the 1900 block of Freight Street.