HOUSTON- The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact us beyond the spike in case numbers. The economy is also struggling in a big way as about 2.5 million Texans have filed for unemployment since mid-March.
This has thousand of local families struggling to make ends meet and turning to food pantries to get meals on the table. The Houston Food Bank continues to see an exponential increase in demand.
“It’s been a real adjustment for us trying to deal with this health crisis and the economic crisis at the same time. It’s like a hurricane, only much harder,” explained Brian Greene, the President and CEO of the Houston Food Bank.
The Houston Food bank continues to see between a 130-150% increase in demand because of the pandemic.
“We have never ever in my thirty plus years of food banking seen the need just spike up the way that it did. It’s almost like a curtain dropped on Houston, but also for the rest of the country,” said Greene.
A greater demand means they do need more volunteers, but that has proved to be another challenge for them to face.
“The social distancing has really impacted our ability to how many people can be working at a time in an area. So this space can normally have about 1,000 volunteers, we are limiting it to 200 or less,” explained Greene.
Despite the difficulties, their mission, food for better lives, remains. They will push through as long as this lasts.
“The good news is we know this will end. It’s not going to end as fast as we would like it to end. We are muddling through, we are helping people, we are trying to hopefully get an economy that’s going well, to the point that they don’t need us, but we will be working at this level until that happens,” said Greene.
The Houston Food Bank does need volunteers. You can visit their website if you need help or if you are able to help out.