By Sarah Seeley
Vega, Texas - Rural communities are leaning on the High Plains Food Bank even more as need grows there.
Just last month, 48% of the 446,000 pounds of food distributed by the Food Bank was delivered to rural communities.
They say the lack of agencies or facilities in Armstrong, Hall, Oldham, and Hansford counties makes it difficult for the residents there to get the help they need.
So they bring boxes of fresh and pre-packaged foods directly to residents in those communities through the Direct Mobile Distribution Service.
The Food Bank says they hope this program will show those communities that they are there to help if churches or other groups are willing or able to become an agency that gives away food.
"We are going to continue to increase our rural distribution [service] agency or no agency because we know there are people who live out in our rural areas who really need it," said Zack Wilson, of the High Plains Food Bank.
He says the rural area's needs have jumped almost 25 percent since the beginning of the year.
"We're 2,183 people in Wilderado, Vega, Adrian, and Boys Ranch and so when you can see the impact of over 100 people [that use the service] involved, that is a pretty large percentage compared to the size of the community, said Oldham County Judge Don Allred.
These communities and their residents are cutting budgets to help with rising costs and fewer residents.
"Our small rural communities are slowly but surely shrinking in population as people leave or as the younger people leave and go on to college," said Zack Wilson of the High Plains Food Bank.
Judge Allred says many of those still in the communities are older and retired.
He says many of them are hesitant to ask for help.
He's trying to change that.
"I try to tell them, this is not a give away, it is not just a welfare type program," said Judge Allred. "It's a program to assist you in trying to stretch your dollar to go further to give you better living opportunities."