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West Texas Food Bank sees increase in visitors

"We have definitely seen the lines probably double in the last two months. I know we're serving more than we were even in the beginning of the pandemic."

ODESSA, Texas — The West Texas Food Bank has seen a sharp rise in people coming to them for help.

"We have definitely seen the lines probably double in the last two months," said Craig Stoker, Director of Marketing for the food bank. "I know we're serving more than we were even in the beginning of the pandemic."

This comes as some people are having to choose what bills to pay.

"Something like inflation really effects everybody, if you are budgeted down to that last dollar, you really have to make some tough choices if you're going to buy something like bacon, which is up 20%, or put gas in the car," said Stoker.

The West Texas Food Bank is one resource for people who may be struggling, to help them avoid having to make that tough decision.

"We certainly want to be somebody who is providing that extra, that supplemental food that helps keep money in your budget so that you can either pay the babysitter or put gas in the car, or its already been a scorcher already, so there's going to be a lot of high utility bills," said Stoker.

The food bank is also working around the impacts of inflation to keep the community fed.

"We've not been exempt to the pressures of inflation," said Stoker. "Like an average household, we're still going out and buying food to make sure our neighbors have tables full and we're still having to put gas in the trucks. Our transportation costs are up about 34%, and that's really been the biggest hit to our budget in the last six months."

So to keep on track, the food bank is looking for monetary donations, and maybe even more importantly, volunteers.

"We need volunteers pretty much more than we need anything else, so any time you can give to the food bank, whether you have two hours during the week, or we have several weeknights that we're here working, we need that more than you can even imagine," said Stoker.

If you would like to find out more about the West Texas Food Bank, you can visit their website by clicking here.

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