Worcester County Food Bank: Thanksgiving by the numbers

Worcester County Food Bank: Thanksgiving by the numbers
Empty shelves at San Antonio Food Bank days before Thanksgiving
Feeding America notes that they can stretch each donated dollar to cover 10 meals. Food banks get donations and discounts from food producers, and they can buy food in bulk from wholesale suppliers. Some organizations can use government subsidies to make their money go even further.

A communitys needs also go beyond canned beans and boxed stuffing. Food banks can use your money to buy fresh produce, or nutritional shakes for seniors, or baby food—whatever is most needed in the community they serve.

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That doesnt mean food drives are useless, but theyre more about awareness than direct help. This month, my kids elementary school gathered up a ton of food donations, purchased at full price by their families. The food bank got some great photo ops, and everybody went home heartwarmed. But next time I want to help out the food bank, Ill just head to the food banks website and click donate.

The food bank does the giveaways for people in need in the three days before Thanksgiving. Each person will receive a box with the items to cook a traditional Thanksgiving meal.

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Hundreds of families are expected to get free Thanksgiving turkeys and side dishes at the Community Food Bank in Fort Worth.

“To say that Im not nervous, or that Im not anxious, Id be lying, said SA Food Bank President Eric Cooper.

People began lining up as early as 5 a.m. on Monday, many bringing their heavy coats and a chair to sit in while they wait.

“As we walk and see these empty shelves, I know that we arent going to be able to make all of these orders with as much as we anticipated, said Cooper.

Donations of turkey, cranberry sauce, and stuffing can be dropped off at the food bank’s location on Galvez Ave.

On average, the Food Bank feeds roughly 58,000 people per week. This week, many of those recipients are receiving meals for Thanksgiving.

“I have a lot of brothers and sister, said Eric Cuellar, a Food Bank recipient. Id like them to come down for Thanksgiving. Now I actually got the meal to invite them to Thanksgiving. It actually blesses me a lot.”

When you combine efficiencies in the market place, and a little bit of donor fatigue, it creates empty shelves, said Cooper.

Although half of the shelves are empty, Cooper assures us that all Food Bank recipients will still be fed. He also wants to encourage more people to sign-up for assistance, and to donate.

“We need to get a big swell of support to help stock the shelves at the Food Bank, so as we get into the Christmas holidays we wont be back here looking at the same empty shelves, said Cooper.

Posted in Worcester