It is not unusual for the shelves at the Wichita Falls Area Food Bank to look a little bare this time of the year. With so many people needing food, as soon as donations start to come in they get sent right back out to those who need food.
With about 41,000 people who are food insecure in this area, there are few reasons this time of year puts a strain on the food bank.
“People are having to make tough decisions about heating their home or buying food to eat,” said Emily Kincaid, the marketing and development director. “Also the families who are struggling already have the extra burden of having the kids home more often, so they don’t necessarily have access to those free and reduced price lunches at school.”
It’s not just how busy it gets this time of year that is affecting the amount of food the food bank has.
“We have had more issues in the last few years because retail donations have really changed a lot as they manage waste differently, more efficiently,” Kincaid said. “We are very dependent on that waste, to have food that is perfectly good and get it out to people who need it. But we have seen those donations go down and that is just an added challenge we are facing.”
Canned goods are always associated with food donations but there are other items that can be donated that will help out the food bank.
“Also something that people think of less often are the dry goods like whole grains, rice, pasta, pasta sauce. Things that are still shelf stable but can really stretch and be filling for those in need,” Kincaid said. “Monetary donations help us get those things that aren’t shelf stable, so produce and stuff like that.”
With the food bank having a hard time keeping food on the shelves, any donation would go a long way toward helping the food bank keep those shelves stocked and in turn help so many people who rely on them for help.
On top of more donations the food bank can also use more volunteers to sort the food that comes in and here is more information about making donations and volunteering.