DEL VALLE, Texas - Hundreds lined up in the parking lot of Del Valle High School on Saturday for the Central Texas Food Bank food distribution.
According to the Central Texas Food Bank, 2,256 households were served, the second-highest total for an event like this.
The winter storm has left thousands in Central Texas without some of the most basic essentials. While the company said they experienced loss this week as well, when they saw the demand for need and help in the community, they knew they needed to help.
"We spent the last couple of days trying to get operational, just a skeletal crew, just a few trucks that we can get going because we had not planned to do this event," said President and CEO Derrick Chubbs.
Boxes of food, cases of water, and jugs of milk were all loaded into cars on Saturday. "It makes me feel good that we're able to do this, and we will continue to do this as long as there's food in the building and we will do everything we can to put food on the table," Chubbs said.
The line for the distribution was more than a mile long at one point with some waiting for more than an hour before the event even started. Austin city councilwoman Vanessa Fuentes said to see that was heartbreaking. "It is not okay that we have families that are waiting hours to get a box of food," she said.
Fuentes, who represents District 2, said more needs to be done. She said she is working with city partners to bring in more resources and provide public distribution sites.
"The need is going to continue for several weeks and we have to scale up our operations, we have to scale up our services, we have to scale up our support to address high need areas," she said.
For Chubbs, he said this last week has been difficult, but this community is tough.
"We've seen disaster events hit this community over the years and this is one of the most resilient communities I've ever been in," he said. "We have neighbors helping neighbors, this community comes together - that's what makes us very special. I have no doubt while the recovery may be lengthy, just like it will be for the pandemic, we will figure out a way to help each other through this."
For more resources, visit the Central Texas Food Bank online.