Food Bank Seeing Uptick in Hungry West Texas Families - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Food Bank Seeing Uptick in Hungry West Texas Families

By Alicia Neaves
NewsWest 9

PERMIAN BASIN - Colder temperatures in the Basin means more families go hungry.

As we know, colder temperatures often mean a spike in our utility bill because we turn our heaters on. But for many families that live paycheck to paycheck, they face the ultimatum: Do I want a warm house? Or do I want to eat? Or do my children need jackets? Or do they need food?

"We don't want a mom, a single mother, to go without a meal because she's gonna buy a jacket so that they can go to school," Executive Director of the West Texas Food Bank, Libby Campbell, said.

Colder temperatures are forcing some West Texas families to seek help earlier than expected, as the West Texas Food Bank is seeing an uptick in those in need of emergency boxes.

"Weather is cold. It's even a bit colder than it was last year. It happened a bit earlier. People are seeing that reflect in their statements and they're having to pay bills, having to buy jackets for their kids that maybe they weren't ready to purchase yet. So people are coming in and asking for help," Campbell said.

Although the food bank is stocked with food, they took a huge blow in October after losing 30,000 pounds of peanut butter due to the cancellation of that USDA truck to the Basin. Peanut butter is one of the biggest staples for the elderly and single parent population in the Basin during the winter.

"Our elderly population will actually make decisions about turning on their heat, or buying food. We don't want somebody to have to make that decision or decide that they're not going to purchase their medicine," Campbell said.

For those with jobs primarily outdoors, they are taking a hit as well, as those jobs are dropping slightly until the Spring.

The food bank is working tirelessly to sort through all the food donated this holiday season to get it quickly to hungry West Texas families. But they can't do it without some help.

"We actually clean the cans, check the expiration dates, make sure it's not on a national recall list. So we need that volunteer work force to get it done," Campbell said.

If you'd like to help volunteer - it could be a great idea for service hours if you need them - call the food bank and ask for the volunteer coordinator at 580-6333.
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