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      High Plains Food Bank faces critical need before Thanksgiving holiday

      "Hunger in the Texas Panhandle is reality."

      Mindy Briggs would know, she's the Director of the Washington Street Family Service Center who serves food to more than 200 less fortunate families every week.

      Another scary reality is the High Plains Food Bank facing a critical need for food. In particular, they need green beans, canned soups and bagged rice.

      "Our biggest month ever in our history was July," said High Plains Food Bank Director of Communications Broc Carter. "We sent out 796,000 pounds and then in October we sent out 747,000 pounds, that's our second biggest month ever."{>}

      On top of that, Thanksgiving is right around the corner.

      "Thanksgiving is always a big need because it's a food holiday," said Carter, "so people are constantly thinking of food and then you have to think about the cost of turkeys and things like that and all of that culminates to a huge need."

      When the food bank struggles, so do the agencies that depend on it.

      "If the High Plains Food Bank runs out of food, our agency will have to shut down," said Briggs. "Then there will be an average of 1,000 families a month that come to us for food that will not be able to get it."

      For the first time ever, the High Plains Food Bank went into the month of November without a single turkey, making their need for that particular Thanksgiving favorite that much greater.

      "The need isn't getting any smaller and without the help of the public this need will go unmet", added Carter. "We know that that is not what the people in the Panhandle are all about so the generosity from the people in the Panhandle is what we need at this point."

      So, whether you donate a can of peas or a frozen turkey, you're making sure someone else has enough to eat this holiday -- in the true Panhandle spirit.

      "You'll never know this side of heaven how far that money has stretched", said Briggs.

      Y ou can take your food donations to the High Plains Food Bank at 815 S. Ross during normal business hours, 8:00-4:30, Monday through Friday.