How to help food banks right now

When the going gets tough, the poor are hit first, as reported by this week’s Statesman story and last November’s NYT story. From the Statesman:

“The Capital Area Food Bank, which distributes food to some 350 partner agencies in 21 counties in Central Texas, has seen a 15 to 20 percent increase in demand since January. Bob Craddock, co-director of the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry at St. Ignatius Catholic Church, says his group helped 2,700 people in June, 700 more than in January. Many were asking for help for the first time.”  

According to the New York Times, food banks are being hit in three ways. Farming is doing better, so there’s less leftover crops for the government to buy and then give to food banks. Food retailers are doing better at monitoring their inventory, so there’s less for them to donate to food banks. And more people are hitting up food banks for groceries than ever. Beyond that, says the Statesman, food prices are going up putting some of the most basic needs out of the reach of everyone.

THE GOOD NEWS IS it’s easy to help. Here are a few ways:

1. Add a little to your grocery bill. At HEB, look for the little tear-off “coupons” when you check out at HEB, tear one off and give it to the check-out person before you pay for your groceries. At Randalls, buy a few more less-perishable food items and put them in the purple barrels on your way out the door.

2. Donate online to food bank programs. To help kids who usually get reduced or free meals at school and are now home for the summer, donate online to the Capital Area Food Bank’s Kids Cafe. One dollar provides five healthy meals.

3. Take cans of food to Blues on the Green. You can still catch a show on July 23, August 6 and August 20 at 7:30 at Zilker Park. As long as you’re going, take a bag of groceries and drop it off at the AMPLIFY booth.

4.  Have a food drive. CAFB makes it so easy to have a food drive of your own. If you are part of an organization  – like a baseball team, daycare, professional association or church group – looking for an easy summer project,  see these easy instructions how simple and fun it can be to run a food drive of your own.

Hope this helps.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: