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Canned Goods are Great - But Food Banks Really Need Money

KUT News

Canned food drives are common around the holiday season. But food banks across Texas have placed a few other things a little higher on their wish lists this year.

The Texas Food Bank Network (TFBN) is made up of the state’s 20 food banks. The network says if you’re looking to help this holiday season, a financial gift will go further than an in-kind gift. That’s because food banks can work with corporations and farmers to get more for the money.

"We work with farmers to get them to donate their surplus product. And we can do that by giving them as little as ten cents per pound to help them offset the costs of getting that surplus produce out of the ground and to food banks. We have lots of corporate partnerships with big food retailers. And so we can really turn that dollar or ten dollar contribution into so much more because of the relationships that we have," Celia Cole, TFBN CEO, says.

The TFBN is also asking folks to speak out against possible cuts to programs like food stamps—or SNAP.

“For anyone out there concerned about hungry Texans, concerned about their neighbors in need, we want them to make that concern heard in Washington by calling their elected officials and urging them not to make any cuts to SNAP or other low income programs," Cole says.

Cole says donations are not keeping up with the needs of hungry families across Texas. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says one in five Texas households is at risk of hunger.

"We're seeing more people in need and the donations and other types of support that we have just simply aren't keeping up," Cole says. "So a number of our food banks, particularly the smaller food banks in more rural areas, are really struggling just to get enough food out there to the agencies that they serve."

Laura first joined the KUT team in April 2012. She now works for the statewide program Texas Standard as a reporter and producer. Laura came to KUT from the world of television news. She has worn many different hats as an anchor, reporter and producer at TV stations in Austin, Amarillo and Toledo, OH. Laura is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, a triathlete and enjoys travel, film and a good beer. She enjoys spending time with her husband and pets.
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