Growing Number of Hungry Children in the Basin, Kids Found Dumpster Diving for Food

By Jen Kastner
NewsWest 9

ODESSA- Odessa's Faith Temple Fellowship is seeing a growing number of children going hungry. They've actually witnessed kids digging through dumpsters in search of any scraps of food they can find.

Veronica Parra is a single mom. She works full-time and has three young boys to feed everyday.

"I was looking for apartments but I just couldn't afford to get into the apartments that were [in Odessa] and I just found The Village Place and there was a vacancy so I was able to get in," Parra said.

The Village Place is a low-income apartment complex in Odessa. As grateful as she is to have a roof over her head, she still has to pinch every penny to survive. When Faith Temple Fellowship provided food for her boys this weekend, she was relieved.

"I won't have to buy lunch and I won't have to go home and cook lunch," Parra said.

Every Saturday, volunteers with Faith Temple Fellowship come to The Village Place to feed hundreds of residents. Pastor Donny Kyker has seen a growing number of families with young kids who are going hungry.

"Housing is just crazy and people are paying so much for housing right now that they're having to cut costs," Kyker said.

The Fellowship has seen children dumpster diving for food right next to the The Village Place.

"That's one of the reasons why we chose to take on this big apartment complex," Kyker said.

More than a dozen other churches help the Fellowship with the feeding program but they're still hurting for donations.

"There are mouths here today that probably won't get fed because we don't have enough food. Each family probably has seven to eight kids. It's really overwhelming to see these children and that's where the biggest need is and they're our number one priority," Kyker said.

Volunteer James Lee used to be homeless. "I actually slept here on these benches [by the apartments] for many nights."

The fellowship took him in and helped him get back on his feet. Now he's giving back to the community by helping feed these families.

"I love seeing the smiles on their faces. Seeing them happy is what makes me happy," Lee said.

Faith Temple Fellowship is desperate for help. If you can donate food or money or if you'd like to volunteer your time, please visit or (432) 272-3362/(432) 559-9165.