The West Texas Food Bank recently unveiled a new trailer that will help them to provide disaster relief and food to afflicted areas.
West Texas Food Bank Executive Director Libby Campbell said the trailer would be able to be used during situations such as hurricanes or fires to help distribute supplies and food to first responders and volunteers.
When it isn’t responding to disasters, Campbell said the trailer would be used in the community, going out to the 19 counties supported by West Texas Food Bank to provide food to the community as a mobile pantry unit.
“A lot of our little communities are seeing some stress and some of our smaller pantries don’t have the capacity to hold as much,” Campell said. “This is something that we can do to pull alongside those agencies and help distribute food to our rural community.”
The trailer is designed to act as a solo pantry, able to carry thousands of pounds of food. It is equipped with three refrigeration units, specially designed shelving, a generator, a weather station, a HAM radio, air conditioning and is handicapped accessible.
During its first run last week, Campbell said the trailer distributed around 2,000 pounds of food to around 200 families in about two hours in Andrews.
“We are excited that the mobile pantry is scheduled to go out one or two times a week,” Campbell said. “Hopefully, we will not need it for a hurricane. If there is, we’re ready for Feeding Texas to help us go out to those in need.”
The West Texas Food Bank had previously gone out to the southeast coast of Texas to help during Hurricane Harvey last August. They went to cities up and down the coast from Houston to Corpus Christi, working with sister food banks and volunteers to provide thousands of pounds to hurricane victims.
“If we said we needed something, we had tons of that product come in,” Campbell said. “We had tons of volunteers. We had people donate trucks, fuel, it was really an amazing thing to watch.”
West Texas Food Bank was able to acquire the trailer with the help of Occidental Petroleum, who made a donation of more than $50,000 for the trailer.