Holiday food drive benefits area foster children

The war against hunger is an ongoing battle, and you can join the fight by helping feed area foster children.

It takes a lot to feed a family â?? especially when that family has twenty kids.

â??Throughout the week, weâ??re going to the grocery store a lot,â?? said Keith Howard, State Director of Arrow Child & Family Ministries in Amarillo. â??We go to local grocery stores in addition to Samâ??s Club and Walmart and United. Weâ??ll buy twenty gallons of milk, several boxes of cereal, dozens of eggs, several packages of sausage â?¦ it takes quite a lot of food to feed these children.â??

So this year, Arrow is partnering up with The Crave Factory, a local catering company, for their first-ever â??Pack the Pantryâ?? food drive. From now until December 20, you can bring donations to The Crave Factoryâ??s new location at 4925 S. Western to help feed the children at Arrow.

Most foster children come from abusive homes, and Howard says hunger and abuse go hand in hand, so the psychological impact of food is enormous.

â??Most of our children are in survival mode,â?? said Howard. â??Theyâ??ve learned how to survive; theyâ??ve learned how to get by in the midst of abuse and neglect. So food is just a simple thing to put in place to say, â??Hey, youâ??re safe, we care about you, and thereâ??s plenty of it.â??â??

Foster homes operate on a combination of state funding and public donations, and even a small contribution is enough to make a difference.

â??I think the general perspective about foster care is, â??Why do I have to take a kid into my home?â?? The reality is, you donâ??t have to take a kid into your home. You can donate a case of green beans or a couple boxes of cereal or a couple bags of apples. And by that, youâ??re taking care of kids in foster care.â??

According to data from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, there are 272 children in foster care in Potter and Randall Counties.

To learn more about Pack the Pantry, Arrow Child & Family Ministries, or foster care in general, follow the links attached to this story.