‘TIS THE SEASON FOR GIVING (PART II)
As we approach the Christmas holidays, I am using this column to raise awareness for charitable causes that are helping those in our area who are vulnerable, less fortunate and in need. In last week’s article, I highlighted ways in which you can give a gift to a child in need. There are more than 50 drop-off locations throughout the Coastal Bend where unwrapped toys are being collected for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve’s “Toys for Tots” program. Also, The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) is collecting gifts for children in the state’s foster care system. For more information on how and where to donate a gift, please don’t hesitate to call either my Capitol or District office for more information.
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 and Victoria Counties. 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.
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 and Victoria Counties)
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.
For those of you who would like to help but may not have the ability to make a monetary or food donation, volunteers are always needed. In Texas 89% of pantries, 80% of kitchens and 76% of shelters use volunteers. In fact 65% of pantries have no paid staff at all. So if you would like to volunteer during this holiday season, I highly encourage you to contact your local charities and see how you can help.
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).