THE HOLIDAY SEASON IS FAST APPROACHING
The Holiday Season is drawing near and the month of November has not only brought cold weather but also the reminder that many families are going without food. For this upcoming Thanksgiving, I ask that you give back by being charitable to and helping those who are less fortunate and very much in need this year. District 32 is served by two important food banks; the Food Bank of Corpus Christi which serves eleven coastal counties which include Aransas, Nueces and San Patricio, and the Food Bank of the Golden Crescent which provides for Calhoun County. The food banks are two of the 19 food banks located throughout the state that make up the Texas Food Bank Network. The network provides food to charities and services organizations in all 254 counties in Texas.
The Texas Food Bank Network member organizations provide emergency food for an estimated 2,064,300 different people annually. The food banks are an extremely important source of food, accounting for 80% of the food used by pantries, 47% of the food provided by kitchens, and 45% of the food served by shelters. It is important to remember that the individuals that need help from the food banks come from a broad cross-section of households. The Texas Hunger Study Report outlines that 36% of households requiring assistance include at least one employed adult and that 33% had to choose between paying for food and paying for medicine or medical care.
There are many ways that you can help feed the hungry not just this Holiday Season but year-around. You can donate either food or money to the food banks or even coordinate a food/fund drive.
Here are some helpful tips to organizing your own food/fund drive:
• Plan Ahead.
Determine a leadership committee who will be responsible for planning your event. Remember that coordination of a successful event should not fall on the shoulders of just one person, but a team of dedicated volunteers who believe in the cause.
• Set an Attainable Goal.
Decide how many pounds of food or dollars you’d like to collect. A good rule of thumb: set a goal for each participant and multiply this number by your total head count.
• Organize a Kick-Off Event.
Invite participants, potential sponsors and even the local news media. Your local food bank may have supplies available to assist in fundraising, such as barrels for collection of non-perishable food items and brochures about their mission.
• Keep It Fun and Simple.
Have a pizza party for participants and consider gathering prizes from local merchants to use as incentives. Create challenges among individuals or teams. Display daily or weekly totals in highly visible areas to encourage participation.
If you would like to donate food, the food banks are always in need of nutritious, non-perishable foods such as: meals in a can (stew, chili, soup), tuna / canned meat, peanut butter, canned foods with pop-top lids, low sugar cereals, 100% fruit juices in single serving boxes, canned fruit packed in juice, and canned vegetables (low salt). The food banks can be located at:
Food Bank of Corpus Christi Food Bank of the Golden Crescent
826 Krill Street 3809 E. Rio Grande
Corpus Christi, TX 78408 Victoria, TX 77901
While food donations are welcome and appreciated, the most cost-effective and convenient way to give is to make a monetary donation on-line. Both the Food Bank of Corpus Christi and the Food Bank of the Golden Crescent are able to accept credit card donations by way of their websites:
www.foodbankofcorpuschristi.org (Aransas, Nueces, San Patricio Counties)
www.victoriafoodbank.org (Calhoun County)
Every dollar donated translates into 16 lbs. of food. Monetary donations give each food bank the flexibility to put resources towards specific food areas that may be more depleted than others.
If you have questions regarding the giving opportunities mentioned in this article, please do not hesitate to call my Capitol or District Office. As always, my offices are available at any time to assist with questions, concerns or comments (Capitol Office, 512-463-0672; District Office, 361-949-4603).