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On any given day, one may enter the warehouse at the Food Bank of Corpus Christi and find faithful workers and volunteers diligently unloading, organizing and assembling packages of food. One may also find a local business presenting a generous supply of canned goods on behalf of employee donations. The operation found at our local Food Bank is a meritable display of partnerships at work within our Coastal Bend community- at work to reach the same goal and provide a sustainable meal to those most in need.
September served as “Hunger Action Month” and brought awareness to the reality of food insecurities. Anyone who walked through the door was asked, “What could you not do on an empty stomach.” Common answers were, “I can’t focus at work,” “I can’t ride my bike,” or “I can’t take care of others.” It’s a simple but powerful question. Many of us have felt our tummies rumble a time or two but most have never felt the true physical and mental pain of going days without substantial food.
To understand the vast impact the Food Bank has in our community is truly humbling. They are the hub to receive and supply over 8.5 million pounds of food each year. The Food Bank has built relationships with area retailers and wholesalers to rescue excess perishable foods from their shelves. Logistics and careful planning play a tremendous part to move food quickly and avoid going to waste. Notably, retrieving the unsold food is both ethically and economically favorable. Based on orders placed by the 133 local programs within the 11 county area served, food is packaged, paired with client needs, and delivered respectably. Recognized as the first in the nation to provide diabetes nutrition education, the Food Bank can also provide guidance to help manage one’s health.
The “Backpack Program” is an incredible project that ensures no child goes the weekend without having access to nutritious food. School officials identify high-risk food insecure children. They are given a nifty pack of food supplied by the Food Bank to take home on the last day of the school week. No child should return to school on a Monday morning with an empty stomach.
The Food Bank of Corpus Christi works daily to close the gap of those affected by hunger. However, continued support from volunteers and donations is crucial to the continued efforts to provide stability in our community. As the holidays approach and you find yourself in the spirit of giving, think local.