The High Plains Food Bank just wrapped up their "Together We Can" food drive on Friday, but despite thousands of donations, they are still in need. We've heard time and time again about the food bank's empty shelves, but it's not just those who receive food directly that suffer. There are 165 agencies who depend on the food bank to survive as well.
The Food Bank's Zack Wilson says, "We need help now more than any other year."
Final numbers for the "Together We Can" food drive aren't in yet, but the food bank has set a goal of 100-thousand pounds of food by December 31st. While that seems like a lot, it's the bare minimum they need to scrape by.... And it will only last them about a week.
On average, every month the food bank hands out over four hundred thousand pounds, which is about 310 thousand meals. A good majority of that food goes to organizations that then hand it out to the community.
The Family Support Services Crisis Shelter Manager Melissa Crafton says they use, "Paper items, plates, paper towels, canned goods."
The Chuch at Quail Creek's Executive Pastor Michael Pinkston says,"We hand out food about five to six times a year, and it's around 1600 bags of groceries each time." But when the food bank is low, Pinkston says, "it's a deep concern for the community and it's an especially deep concern for the Church at Quail Creek." It makes helping the community that much harder.
Crafton says, "We have to take money out of our own pockets to buy these items that we were previously getting for free or getting at a reduced cost."
While the demand for food this year is at a five year high, the food bank has not had an above average year since 2005.