High Plains Food Bank needs help stamping out hunger

A reduction in monetary donations from the community is leading to a big shortfall for the High Pains Food Bank in Amarillo (Drew Powell ABC 7 News)

The High Plains Food Bank in Amarillo is dealing with a shortfall of $300,000 in donations from the community. This year’s spring and summer donations from the community are down compared to year’s past according to Emily Bell, communications & marketing manager at HPFB.

“With summertime financial donations being low we would absolutely begin to see the ripple effect impact directly impact feeding,” said Bell.

“When the food bank is effected it effects 29 counties in the Texas Panhandle,” said Zack Wilson, executive director of High Plains Food Bank. “It also effects all the folks, individuals and seniors that live in our community. They’re all effected.”

To stamp out that ripple effect, the High Plains Food Bank is pleading with the community to increase monetary donations. There are a number of shelves inside the food bank that are empty and some are half full or less than half full. A decrease in donations has the food bank scrambling to meet the needs.

“We can’t delay another day in reaching out to the community,” said Bell. “We have to come and share and say were needing that dollar donation. If you have enough food and housing for your own family we ask that you consider the one in seven that is less fortunate.”

“Rural food banks including the High Plains Food Bank and others around the state are really struggling with the same thing right now,” said Wilson. “There is an increase in need especially for our seniors and a decrease in food and funds.”

Help in the form of a new Farm Bill may come once United States Congress and the United States Senate agree on new legislation that is favorable to food banks in rural communities. For that to happen, both parties have to agree on and pass new legislation and have President Donald Trump sign it into law. The HPFB is trying to overcome what it calls a critical shortfall in monetary donations.

“The High Plains Food Bank distribution is up,” said Bell. “Summertime meals are up while summertime funding is low. That’s why we’re being transparent with our community and asking for help.”

HPFB provides food to 8,100 to 8,200 families in the Texas Panhandle. They distribute food to all 29 counties in the Texas Panhandle. ABC 7 News and the High Plains Food Bank have partnered for a telethon on August 7 that Bell says is going to be called “Feeding the Panhandle.”

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