• September 21, 2019

West Texas Food Bank taking action on hunger - Odessa American: Local News

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West Texas Food Bank taking action on hunger

Month-long event to raise awareness about need in area

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Posted: Tuesday, September 10, 2019 5:01 pm

Throughout September, the West Texas Food Bank is hoping to bring awareness about the effects of hunger in the Permian Basin.

Alongside Feeding America food banks across the country, the West Texas Food Bank is taking part in “Hunger Action Month,” where the food bank tries to not only bring awareness about hunger in the community, but also hopes to recruit new volunteers.

WTFB Director of Marketing and Communications Craig Stoker said food banks hold the event in September because some children returning to school may see some their dietary needs overlooked due to the expenses that come with parents paying for school clothing, gear, and physicals for sports.

While children are able to obtain their meals at school, he added they are hoping to bring the awareness of the meals at home.

In Ector County alone, Stoker said, there are more than 15,000 identified as being at risk of hunger. The West Texas Food Bank also serves 19 counties in West Texas, with more than 48,000 at risk of hunger, Stoker added.

“It’s (Hunger Awareness Month) a great time to bring awareness because people get side-tracked,” Stoker said.

In order to highlight the need for volunteers, the West Texas Food Bank is scheduled to host several different events throughout the month. Residents in Odessa and Midland are asked to participate in “Action Day” on Thursday, where they ask the community to wear orange.

A Kids’ Farmer’s Market is scheduled from 10 a.m., until 1 p.m., Sept. 28, at the food bank’s location at 1601 Westcliff Dr. in Midland.

During the week of Sept. 23 through Sept. 27, Stoker said some restaurants in West Texas will participate in “Restaurant week,” where they offer a set menu and 20 percent of proceeds from those meals go to help the food bank.

“It’s an automatic donation,” Stoker said of paying for the meal, adding the businesses will be the ones taking the donations to the food bank. “You don’t have to think about anything, it just happens.”

Overall, the food bank is hoping to get at least 40,000 actions, or types of involvement, from residents with the food bank. Executive Director of the West Texas Food Bank, Libby Campbell, stated in a news release every interaction helps the food bank spread its message.

“Every action counts,” Campbell stated. “No matter how small, I promise it can have a big impact on hunger here in the Basin. Come volunteer at one of our warehouses, or donate online or through the mail. Remember, just one dollar can help provide four meals.”

Stoker said organizations who partner with the food bank also play a large role in helping the area.

Occidental Petroleum, who has helped with the donation of the mobile pantry, has also donated five new vehicles to help in the distribution of fresh produce to those in need, Stoker said. He added Occidental has also agreed to not only support the cost and maintenance of the vehicles, but also with the cost of fuel for the next two years.

Stoker said the nonprofit is grateful for the assistance from their partner organizations.

“They’re here in the community, they want to make an impact, and they’re doing things to do that,” he said.

Odessa, TX

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