AUSTIN, Texas - A truckload of eggs rolled into the Central Texas Food Bank Thursday morning after Cal-Maine Foods donated 1,500 cases to the nonprofit.
Eggs are a rare protein donation the food bank doesn’t receive quite often. One of the largest shell egg producers recognizes the unprecedented retail demand triggered by the pandemic. Matt Whiteman, General Manager for Texas Operations, said as long as Cal-Maine Foods had the ability to provide, they would.
“Just everyday struggles of business continuity, by making it a high priority,” said Whiteman. “We keep our employees safe and deliver high-quality safe products to all of our consumers who really need us now more than ever.”
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Central Texas Food Bank has seen a 220% increase in families in need. Nearly every weekend the nonprofit hosts mass distribution events of 25-pound boxes carrying fresh food and perishables.
While the CTXFB has seen a higher demand, they've received fewer donations from institutions, major retailers, and producers all who struggled to keep shelves full. Ross Sinicropi, Food Procurement Specialist for the nonprofit, said it became difficult just to purchase the food. Every major food bank in the state is in need.
Get breaking news alerts in the FOX 7 Austin News app. It is FREE!
“I bought more food than I had all year just in the last few months. At the beginning it was a little worrisome we were not sure we were going to get all the food that we needed,” said Sinicropi. “But the community has really rallied around us and getting donations like this is how we are able to meet the need.”
Federal programs and assistance have also kicked in but the demand for food remains high. Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller was pleased to see Cal-Maine's donation and said it was a great example of private businesses lending a hand to nonprofits.
"It was just a few weeks ago we couldn’t find any eggs on the shelf,” said Miller.
Commissioner Miller is confident the agriculture industry will bounce back. He said there’s a backlog and beef prices are at the highest it’s ever been. However, corn and milo farmers will soon see some relief.
“China is fulfilling their commitment on their trade negotiations. They just purchased the largest purchase of corn, the largest purchase ever of milo this week. That is going to drive our commodity prices up,” Miller said. “We are used to taking two or three on the chin but we bounce right back off the canvas and go to our job. We will get through this.”
The CTFB will take any assistance they can, monetary donations help the organization purchase items needed. The next mass distribution event will be Saturday, July 25 at the Nelson Field from 8-11 a.m.
FOX 7 Austin is working to keep you up to date with coronavirus, with both local and national developments. You can also get the latest COVID-19 news from around the country at coronavirusnow.com.