Texas National Guard arrives at the East Texas Food Bank

Year-round, when our neighbors are struggling, the East Texas Food Bank is here to help.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, we were already facing a hunger crisis in our community, with more than 241,000 East Texans at risk of hunger. We will continue our mission of fighting hunger and feeding hope during this pandemic and beyond.

We are committed to continuing our vital core work of food distribution during this crisis, as well as providing emergency food boxes to our neighbors in need through drive-thru distributions at schools and other strategic locations; delivering boxes directly to quarantined and homebound seniors; and supplying partner food pantries with boxes throughout East Texas.

That is why we are thankful to have the support of the Texas Army National Guard, who are the official “boots on the ground” at the East Texas Food Bank. The guardsmen will ensure that we continue to safely meet the need for food assistance in our 26-county coverage area. They will help support our production of emergency food boxes and distribution and transportation tasks as long as needed as we responded to this pandemic.

“We understand the importance of the East Texas Food Bank and its mission, and it’s an honor for us to serve them and the citizens of Texas,” said Captain Steve Philpot, Texas National Guard General Support Unit Commander. “We are all proud to be Texans serving Texas.”

The deployment comes after the Smith County Emergency Operations Center submitted a request for the guardsmen to support our work. Our appreciation goes out to Governor Abbott and local elected officials, who partnered with us to make this request a reality.

To the guardsmen working alongside our team, we welcome you into our food banking family.  We know the sacrifice you are making to help ensure our hungry neighbors are fed and could not be more grateful to your families for sharing you with us during this time of high need.