Houston Food Bank expands outreach during the pandemic


HOUSTONTexas (KIAH)  Like many organizations, the Houston Food Bank made some shifts in its approach to helping the community during the pandemic.

In the course of the ongoing crisis, food bank officials say the unemployment rate grew exponentially leading to a more desperate need for emergency food assistance.

Houston has 1.1 million food-insecure households. The food bank now serves 800,000 families. That’s more than 50 percent more households than they previously fed.

Nicole Lander, Chief Impact Officer for Houston Food Bank says, “People are getting back to work but the overwhelming need of our underserved communities still remains the same.”

Lander says food insecurity rates are lower than they were 18 months ago. The pandemic caused the number of messages, website clicks, and phone calls to go up. which means more people are seeking help.

“I think the overall awareness of our work improved exponentially because they could literally see us putting food in people’s cars,” said Lander.

According to Lander, the organization’s commitment is to provide nutritious food to anyone looking for their next meal. However, the bottom line is they want households to be fed.

“Much like how you saw a grocery store modify their curb-side, their home delivery, Houston Food Bank did that also. We wanted to make sure people who are in vulnerable situations maybe lack transportation or daycare. Or maybe they have a co-mobility or disease where they can’t leave. We also started doing curbside pick up at our on-site delivery center,” said Lander.

With a higher demand for food right now, the Houston Food Bank is constantly in need of volunteers. Lander says if you can’t give money, give time.

There are so many ways to contribute to the Houston Food Bank. To name a few, giving food, time, and monetary donations. One dollar equals three meals.

For more information visit HoustonFoodBank.org.

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