The High Plains Food Bank serves the top 26 counties of the Texas Panhandle, and according to 2012 data from the Department of Agriculture, there are an estimated 63,960 people in those counties that are food insecure. The majority (57%) live at less than 130% of the poverty line.
And today (Dec. 7), the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum did what it could to lend a hand to those in need.
For the last 37 years, the museum has been hosting their Christmas Open House, a family-friendly event with games, music, and activities for participants of all ages. And since 2010, the museum has been accepting donations for the food bank in lieu of admission. The results have been exceptional.
Stephanie Price of the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum says last year, the event raised 56,000 pounds of canned food.
â??Weâ??re a nonprofit, and itâ??s our way to give back to the community, who helps us so generously throughout the year," said Price. "So we get that can of canned food and we donate it to the High Plains Food Bank and last year, over all of the events in the Panhandle, we collected the most canned food, so weâ??re hoping to do that again this year - and then some.â??
Texas has one of the highest rates of food insecurity in the nation at 18.7 percent â?? and Potter County is right in line with the state average (18.5%), with a little over 22,000 people who donâ??t always have enough to eat.
On November 1
of this year, the federal government cut the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps, by 5 percent. What that means for Texas is a $411,000,000 reduction in funding. Almost 4 million Texans receive SNAP benefits.
Price says giving is reciprocal, saying, â??This community wouldnâ??t survive without our friends and neighbors who are our members and our donors and our visitors, and so we want to give back.â??
If youâ??d like to learn how you can help or find the help you need, or if youâ??d like a better understanding of food insecurity or how SNAP works, follow the links attached to this story.