Whataburger selling ornaments, food drive on December 12th to benefit ETFB

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Join participating Whataburger locations and help fight hunger in East Texas. From November 29th to December 12th, make a $1 ornament purchase and help provide meals for East Texas children, families and seniors who don’t know where their next meal will come from. On Tuesday. December 12th visit a participating location with two cans of nonperishable items and receive a free Whataburger from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Participating Whataburger locations include Tyler, Chapel Hill, Henderson, Kilgore, Liberty City, Gilmer, Lindale, Chandler, Mineola, Bullard, Whitehouse and Pittsburg.

East Texas Food Bank to offer new Mobile Pantry in Gilmer

The East Texas Food Bank (ETFB) will offer a new drive-through Mobile Pantry on the second Tuesday of every month with fresh produce in Gilmer in Upshur County, from 4-5:30 p.m., beginning November 14, at the Church at West Mountain, located at 6259 U.S. Highway 271 South.

“Upshur County has a great need for food assistance as 16.3% of the residents, (6,650 people), including 2,060 children, are food insecure according to the latest data from Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap,” said David Emerson, CEO of the East Texas Food Bank. “Studies show a direct link to good nutrition and health outcomes so the ability to offer more vegetables and fruits will greatly benefit the residents.”

The East Texas Food Bank currently has three partner agencies that operate food pantries in Upshur County in Diana, Gilmer and Ore City and a mobile produce distribution in Gladewater. The drive-through Mobile Pantry is open to anyone needing food and there are no ID requirements.

Volunteers can call the church directly to help at 903-734-3775.

CHRISTUS Health Awards Nearly $3 Million to Nonprofit Organizations including ETFB


CHRISTUS Health is proud to announce distribution of nearly $3 million to 42 non-profit organizations, collaboratives and coalitions across Texas, Louisiana, and New Mexico through the CHRISTUS Community Impact Fund (CCIF).

Ten organizations in Northeast Texas received funds totaling $800,000.

CCIF was launched in 2011 and is a CHRISTUS-wide system initiative that supports programs led by local organizations that respond to the needs of the community and improve its health and well-being. More than $18 million has been invested in communities served by CHRISTUS Health.

“As an anchor institution in the community, we can play a role in convening and collaborating with local organizations to support their programs that help improve the health and well-being of the community,” said Jessica Guerra, CHRISTUS program manager for community benefits.

Selected organizations receive the funds for programs that address critical social determinants of health in the communities they serve. Priority issues include housing instability, food insecurity, transportation needs, medication assistance and access to services.

  • From the CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Health System: Children’s Advocacy Center of Smith County, For the Silent and PATH received $250,000.
  • From the CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Health System: Buckner Children and Family Services, East Texas Food Bank, Newgate Mission and Twelve Way Foundation received $275,000.
  • From the CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System: Community Healthcore, Harvest Regional Foodbank and Haven Homes received $275,000.

CHRISTUS Community Impact Fund will open the next application process Sept, 18.

Longview Resource Center Branch of the East Texas Food Bank to open in October

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The East Texas Food Bank (ETFB) Longview Resource Center will open in October as part of ETFB’s overall strategic plan aimed at expanding programs, distributing more food and serving more people.

The Longview center is located near Interstate 20 at 2900 Signal Hill Drive in the heart of several high-need neighborhoods where 28% of residents, nearly 20,000 people, currently live below the federal poverty line.

“We are committed to addressing the issues of hunger and eliminating barriers in Gregg County,” said David Emerson, CEO of the East Texas Food Bank. “We estimate that ETFB will provide 936,000 meals annually at the Longview location.”

The Longview branch will include a “Healthy Food Pantry” to provide nutritious food through a client-choice distribution model. The center will be open four days a week including evenings and Saturday mornings to increase access to food assistance. The Benefits Assistance Program will help clients apply for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and other social services. Medical screenings will be offered through healthcare providers.

“The food pantry is meant to serve households at or below the emergency food income guidelines,” said Tim Butler, Chief Development Officer. “For example, a family of four would qualify to receive food if they make less than $55,500 per year. Other people who qualify to receive assistance are those experiencing a crisis such as a house fire, tornado, or extreme medical bills.”
According to “Map the Meal Gap”, an annual study conducted by Feeding America, an estimated 15% of Gregg County residents are food insecure and at risk of hunger, including almost 22% of children.

“With the current high food costs and living expenses, many families are struggling to make ends meet, and some people are seeking food assistance for the first time,” said Tabitha Johnson, Longview Resource Center Branch Manager. “Unfortunately, many East Texans have little or no access to fresh produce and other healthy food options. We hope they will take that first step in coming to our pantry so we can help them with their food needs.”

While the facility was under construction, ETFB’s Longview Resource Center distributed food the past year through one of our partner agencies at the First United Methodist Church Beacon Center with generous support from CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Health System.

“We have been a part of the Longview community for a long time but excited to finally have this branch location to complement our partners,” said Emerson.

ETFB has 13 partner agencies in Gregg County. You can find a list of them at EastTexasFoodBank.org, click on Find Food at the top of the page, and enter the county you live in for the nearest location to your residence.

The Longview Resource Center will open in mid-October. For more information on how you can volunteer, donate or hours, or to see if you qualify to receive food assistance according to the emergency food income guidelines, please visit LRCpantry.org

The East Texas Food Bank Announces New Chief Development Officer

Tim Header

The East Texas Food Bank (ETFB) announced today that Tim Butler is the new Chief Development Officer.

Tim joined the East Texas Food Bank in August 2012 as the Volunteer Coordinator, coming from a management position at FRESH by Brookshire’s. He also served as manager in the Child Hunger Programs Department, and became the Chief Impact Officer in 2017.

“I have had the opportunity, with my current role, to work with many of the foundations that award ETFB grants to make sure they are implemented with the best stewardship for what the donor intended,” said Butler. “I look forward to meeting more of the people in our community who help support ETFB so we can continue our strong relationships and partnerships across the region that help us fight hunger in 26 counties in East Texas.”

From an early age, Tim has been involved in missions across the globe with Youth With a Mission (YWAM). He grew up in Lindale and married his high school sweetheart Jannah. He has a strong desire to help people in need, and is grateful to be part of an organization that makes such a big difference in the community.

Tim earned his Bachelor’s in Business Administration from The University of Texas at Tyler.