Volunteering Shortage in Texas Panhandle

It's a matter of economics.

At the High Plains Food Bank, supplies are running low, while the demand keeps growing. And it's costing more to keep volunteers at their service.

"We are really in need of sustainable volunteers not just throughout the rest of this month, but into the new year," said Zack Wilson, from the High Plains Food Bank.

On an average week, the food bank helps feed more than 13,500 people in our area. But with a steady decline in volunteers and food donations, these numbers could change.

"The only way we can do that, because of dwindling food donations, is with the residents of the Texas Panhandle coming together and helping us by donating their time through volunteering," Wilson said.

The food bank says the holiday season was the highlight of the year. They had a great showing in volunteers. Still, 2008 was the worst year in the food bank's history.

But the economy is having a different effect on a neighboring non-profit organization.

"We are at our peak right now," said Shala Cabbiness, volunteer coordinator at Faith City Ministries. "It seems like the harder it gets out there, the more [volunteers] want to bring themselves in here and give to God and these kids."

For some, the people that benefit the most are not at the receiving end of things.

"You know, so many come in and their hands are cold or they don't have blankets and we're just able to hand them to them. And there's nothing that will bless you more than them going 'Thank you,'" Cabbiness said.

These are two words that make volunteering priceless.

If you would like lend a helping hand, both organizations could use your help. Contact the High Plains Food Bank at (806) 374-8562 or Faith City Ministries at (806) 373-6402.