WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — It’s a happy time of year as family and friends gather to stuff their faces with turkey and treats.

At the Wichita Falls Area Food Bank, the nonprofit is making sure community members get that chance to have full bellies, especially as North Texas’ food insecurity rates are much higher than that of the rest of the state.

“We still have people asking us for more turkeys,” Wichita Falls Area Food Bank CEO David O’Neil said.

Turkeys fill the freezers at the Food Bank and they’ve ordered 3,200 for the year — about 500 more than last year, according to O’Neil.

“That’s up 16 percent from last year. And, as I said, what’s interesting about that is the need’s even greater than that. There’s still people out there that are going hungry each and every day,” O’Neil said.

Even Christmas hams saw an uptick in the amounts purchased, up 20 percent for the year.

“You’ve got food inflation. You’ve got the high cost of energy. You’ve got all of the other economic factors that are going on,” O’Neil said. “It just compounds upon that.”

Not only is it a busy time, but it is also a great time for volunteers to give back. Even though they’re essential all year, the holidays make it easier for the food bank to accomplish its mission.

“Anybody that has the ability to be able to give back to those that have a need, please do so. We couldn’t do what we do without our volunteers,” O’Neil said.

As the Food Bank works to keep people fed for the holidays and beyond, they have additional opportunities for Wichitans to stock their pantries prior to Thanksgiving.

There are two mobile pantries scheduled before the Food Bank closes for Thanksgiving:

  • On Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2023, a pantry will be held at Ben Donnell from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
  • On Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2023, the second pantry will be held at Legacy Church from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Click here to learn more about volunteering.