by Victor Lopez
WEST TEXAS-- With such a large service area to cover, the West Texas Food Bank has its hands full trying to meet the needs of so many people. With more of them asking for help, the rising prices are taking their toll on the food bank as well.
With 22 counties in West Texas and over 180 agencies providing service, the West Texas Food Bank is there to lend a helping hand.
According to Operations Specialist Elizabeth Wallace, "Now the people who normally have gone to able to buy their own groceries with their own budgeting for it, they're unable to do so now. They depend highly on the staple foods that the food bank can provide."
All the agencies that work with the Food Bank have seen an increase in the number of people they're helping.
Wallace explains, "They have seen an increase in people, although their numbers may not show it, because they are limited in budget and food, they can help only so many. But they have seen the differences in faces."
Wallace tells NewsWest 9, if you qualify for most government assistance, the Food Bank can help you too, "If you qualify for food stamps, HUD, Social Security, Disability, you qualify automatically."
But with the rising cost of fuel, they may not be able to help as many people as they could, "Transportation has hindered us quite a bit from being able to bring in excess food, as we've found. We have national donors all across the nation, that assist us with this donated food. Unfortunately, transportation costs have limited us as to how many we can accept."
Wallace went on to say that The West Texas Food Bank is a faith-based organization. That means, no one will be turned away if they come and ask for help, "If they come to the Food Bank and they ask for help, they need help. It's not a grand feeling to come ask for help if you don't need it. We assume that if they come and ask for it, they need it."