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Newswest 9 | Midland, Texas | newswest9.com

West Texas Food Bank prepared to make emergency food runs to outside counties

Last week a Terlingua distribution partner had to close their doors because of COVID-19, so the food bank loaded up enough boxes of food to feed 280 families.

ODESSA, Texas — The West Texas Food Bank made an emergency food run to Terlingua last week after a distribution partner had to close their doors because of COVID-19.

Since March, cars have been lining up to get their trunks filled with boxes of food. 

"Every month since then our numbers have gone up," said Craig Stoker, Director of Marketing and Communications at the West Texas Food Bank. 

With everything shut down, and oil prices still lower than usual, more people than ever are needing food assistance. 

Making the Food Bank even more important than before. 

"One of the things we've seen kind of throughout the whole COVID crisis is our partner agencies are typically run by retirees and that age demographic seems to be the hardest hit by COVID," said Stoker. 

When their staff needs to social distance, some locations don't have enough people to keep their doors open, something that recently happened at the Terlingua Distribution Center.

After an employee that worked at the Crisis Center in Presidio came in contact with an employee from the Terlingua Crisis Center, they made the decision to shut it down. 

"We've had to do that in Midland and Odessa... Big Spring so its a common occurrence," said Stoker.

Even with closed doors, the community still needs help so the food bank loaded up enough boxes of food to feed the 280 families they distributed to using their mobile food pantry truck. 

Going to places like Terlingua requires the West Texas Food Bank to plan and ahead and be prepared- so they can respond even on short notice. 

"Working to stay ahead of what the need is we have been so fortunate to have the national guard here since may they have been in the warehouse to work on the pantry boxes so that we can stay ahead of any need even in an emergency situation," said Stoker. 

Last month the West Texas Food Bank distributed 1.2 million pounds of food, which is nearly double what was distributed in June of last year. 

June is the busiest month of the year for the food bank, but Stoker expects the number of people in need to continue to steadily increase while the pandemic continues. 

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