On Thursday, the United Family donated 26,496 rolls of toilet paper to the West Texas Food Bank in Odessa.
The donation is part of a larger donation of more than 200,000 rolls of toilet paper to food banks across Texas and New Mexico.
Last year, communities saw toilet paper fly off the shelves due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They were reminded of how important this necessity is for everyone.
The donation represents $90,000 in value.
“During COVID, we sourced as much toilet paper as we could,” United Family regional vice president John Jameson said. “There wasn’t a shortage but there was a panic. That’s something that everybody needs and we had quite a bit extra. We were able to donate to the West Texas Food Bank. We know that this will go to people that will really need it.”
It’s not the first time that The United Family has made a big donation to the West Texas Food Bank.
“United is such a great partner of the West Texas Food Bank,” Craig Stoker, West Texas Food Bank director of marketing and communications, said. “They’ve helped us stock our shelves and keep our pantries full for years. As far as food donations go, they’re one of the top donors of the West Texas Food Bank. You look at donations like this, there are items that people may need but don’t have the budget to shop for so we’re happy to have donations like this because it helps people extend their budgets so they can put more food on the table. We want to make sure that they’re getting their families fed.”
Jameson said he was surprised by how much toilet paper they had to donate.
“We love giving back to the communities that we serve,” Jameson said. “We’re here because of the communities and anytime we can give back, we love it because we love serving our community and this is one great way to do it.”
The West Texas Food Bank was just one of 13 other food banks to receive a donation of toilet paper from The United Family.
The other food banks receiving the donations included: South Plains Food Bank in Lubbock, the High Plains Food Bank in Amarillo, Give Hope in Abilene, the Food Bank of West Central Texas in Abilene, Minnies Food Pantry in Plano, Tarrant Area Food Bank in Fort Worth, the North Texas Food Bank in Plano, the Concho Valley Regional Food Bank in San Angelo, the Wichita Falls Area Food Bank, the Food Bank of Eastern New Mexico in Clovis, N.M., the Roadrunner Food Bank and Storehouse New Mexico, both located in Albuquerque, N.M.
Despite not being in short supply anymore, Jameson said that toilet paper is among one of the items that are harder to acquire for some people.
“These items are harder to come by,” Jameson said. “Paper towels, toilet paper, those are harder to get…You can’t buy toilet paper with food stamps so this will help those who can’t buy toilet paper. We thought at least 26,000 individuals will be taken care of with this donation.”
Stoker says the donation will also help people put more of their grocery budget into food and not have to spend much on paper goods.
“It’s those kind of forward thinking things that we’re able to get through our warehouse that’s not food but still something people need,” Stoker said. “If you don’t have to buy paper goods, that puts money back in your budget to get food back to your family. It helps people extend their budget and that’s our main goal.”