Food Bank Planning Campaign to Increase Donations

When the economy started its downward spiral in 2008 more people started turning to the food bank for assistance.
    But now, officials say the need continues going up while donations continue going down.

    At the Wichita Falls Area Food Bank, the start of the new year is bringing a realization that officials say is tough to swallow .
"After our holiday distribution was completed, we are about... we have about 70,000 less pounds of dry goods than we did this year at the same time and that is primarily food that is donated to us through food drives," says Mark McKethan, executive director at the Wichita Falls Area Food Bank.

    All of those donations are held in this room before workers and volunteers sort it for area food pantries.
    But officials say that food is it's quickly loaded up and headed out to its agencies in 12 counties.
    In the past, food donations during the holiday season used to be enough to stock the shelves at the Food Bank for virtually the entire year.  But because of the state of the economy, as you can see, that is no longer the case.

    And food bank officials say the impact is disturbing.
"We are looking at a situation where we're either going to have to increase our food donations or increase our purchase program so there's more to donate.  The issue with that is that it drives the cost up for us and it drives the cost up for our agencies," McKethan says.

    McKethan says the new year is bringing new ideas to combat the problem.
    He says they're looking into starting a spring food drive.
    They're also  working on a new campaign to raise awareness and donations for the food bank.
    And McKethan expects to roll out that campaigns sometime next month.

    For more information about donating to the Wichita Falls Area Food Bank click here.

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