Food bank receives two-part donation - Odessa American: Local News

Food bank receives two-part donation

By Royal McGregor rmcgregor@oaoa.com | Posted: Wednesday, October 14, 2020 3:48 pm

About 48 hours after Don Martin departed from Salt Lake City, his semi-trailer packed with 38,000 pounds of food it was unloaded at the West Texas Food Bank in Odessa.

The 65-year-old truck driver delivered the food on Wednesday morning. It marked the first of a two-part donation from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In addition to the 38,000 pounds of food, the church will also make a monetary donation of $10,000 to the West Texas Food Bank.

“Donations like this where we don’t have to worry about shipping cost, the cost to buy it, or are we getting a good deal. It’s just a truck load of food that shows up and that’s important,” West Texas Food Bank Director of Marketing and Communications Craig Stoker said.

Martin said, before returning to Salt Lake City, he will travel to Dallas to refill his semi-trailer.

“This is really the best job I’ve ever had,” Martin said. “The people are super nice. Everyone is very supportive. For a truck driver, it’s a great job.”

The food that was delivered Wednesday was grown on farms owned by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Stoker said the 38,000 pounds of food and the $10,000 donation would roughly translate to 71,000 meals the food bank would provide.

Rachel Hart, 20, of Idaho, said she’s happy the food donation will help families in West Texas.

“It definitely makes serving a lot more meaningful,” Hart said. “We know that we are really fulfilling our time. Our time is being used to help others and that really means a lot to me.”

Stoker said the West Texas Food Bank hasn’t received many food donations throughout the coronavirus pandemic. He noted that grocery stores are having a hard enough time keeping their own shelves stocked.

However, Stoker said he’s pleased the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints could make a two-fold donation to the food bank.

“We are still not really receiving the huge amounts of food from our grocery partners,” Stoker said. “They are working toward a normal operation in a grocery store. There hasn’t been that surplus from the grocery stores that we normally see. We’ve pretty much had to purchase every bit of food that is coming out of our warehouse.”