AUSTIN, Texas - Jeanne Torres is one of thousands whose life changed in the blink of an eye two months ago. “I haven't been at work since March. We all lost our jobs. Hopefully we will be getting back to work soon,” she said.
She's been coming to some of the Central Texas Food Bank's mass distributions since they started having them.
“It's been helping us out pretty good. We come together, pick up each other and go to different ones. We give out to neighbors that need it also,” said Torres.
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The food bank served 1,076 households at the Toney Burger Center Thursday.
“It's going to help our family a lot. Every little bit helps,” said Vicki Vargas.
They have been holding mass distributions in various parts of town in addition to their regular drives. They see anywhere from 1,000 to 2,400 households per event. The demand remains high.
“In April we served about 345,000 households. In a normal April, we would see about 180 or 185,000 households,” said Paul Gaither, director of marketing and communications.
But the food bank also needs some help. They say due to interruption in supply during the pandemic, they are having to buy lots of food.
“Normally the vast majority of our food is donated by grocers, manufacturers and farmers. We are just not seeing that as much right now, unfortunately. We are having to buy most of the food we are distributing at market value,” said Gaither.
The food bank is planning on sustaining these distributions through the month of June if money permits. They hope to continue to be a beacon of hope for a community trying to jumpstart an economy.
“The sad fact is, this isn't going to let up anytime soon. We are in this for the long haul because we are here to help the community,” said Gaither.
If you wish to donate money, become a volunteer, or learn where to pick up food, visit the food bank's website.
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