Hunger hurts our kids’ futures

HAM Blog_ChildHunger

A child’s chance for a bright tomorrow starts with getting enough food to eat today. Did you know that over 85,000 East Texas children – 1 in every 4 kids – may not know where they will get their next meal?

Kids who don’t get enough to eat — especially during their first three years — begin life at a serious disadvantage. When they’re hungry, children are more likely to be hospitalized and will face higher risks of health conditions like anemia and asthma. As they grow up, kids struggling to get enough to eat are more likely to have problems in school and other social situations.

The East Texas Food Bank works to fight hunger for children through year-round programs.
  • On the weekends, our BackPack Program provides easy to open food that doesn’t require any cooking.
  • After school, the Kids Café program provides healthy snacks and meals.
  • During the summer, the Summer Food Program provides healthy breakfast and lunch meals.
  • At home, our Food Pantry Partners and Benefits Assistance Program provide meals for the whole family.

Feeding children facing hunger is a main priority for the East Texas Food Bank, but we can’t do it without your help. September is Hunger Action Month and we need everyone helping us fight hunger.

No action is too smail to help! By learning about hunger, committing to help and speaking up you can help us fight hunger. Click here to see how you can “take action” for the children in your community now.

Winter Storm Recovery Resources

As East Texans begin the recovery process from the winter storm last week, the East Texas Food Bank is hard at work providing support and food for our partner agency network through our 26 county service area. Below, we have gathered some resources for those who are looking for assistance during this time.

Finding Help

Food Pantries and Feeding Program

Click the “Find Food” button at the top of any page on our website to be directed to our locator at the bottom of the screen. Select your county or input you city and state to see a list of food pantries in your area. **NOTE: Some pantries may have limited hours or be closed due to effect from the storm. Please contact your local pantry for current information.**

Drive-Thru Food Distributions

The East Texas Food Bank is continuing drive-thru distributions in Tyler, Longview and Lufkin for the next few months. These are open to the public, with no ID or paperwork necessary. Click here to see the latest dates.

Help Applying for Assistance Programs

The East Texas Food Bank Benefits Assistance Team can help you apply for benefits such as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) & Children’s Medicaid, Medicaid for Pregnant Women, Healthy Texas Women and Medicare Savings Program. To request benefits information and assistance, click here and fill out the form at the bottom of the page. One of our Benefits Assistance Specialist will contact you about your request.

SNAP Benefits Update

Due to the storm, SNAP households that lost food during the storm can request replacement SNAP benefits. To do this, clients need to call 2-1-1 (option 5) during business hours (M-F, 9-6) to request replacement benefits. 2-1-1 will accept their verbal statement attesting to their loss. Clients can request up to 100% of their monthly benefit depending on how much food was lost. For additional ways to request benefits and other updates. click here.

HHSC also got approval of a Hot Foods Waiver for all current SNAP recipients. This will allow households to purchase hot and already prepared foods at SNAP-approved retailers. This will help people who can’t cook due to power outages, storm damage and lack of water.

Giving Help

With help from our volunteers, donors and advocates, we work hard to fight hunger in East Texas—in times of crisis and all year long. If you are healthy and able to volunteer, you can find upcoming shifts when you click here. For those able to give a gift during this time, your generosity can make an immediate impact.

September is Hunger Action Month

Food insecurity is a reality for 1 in 4 East Texans, including 1 in 3 children today.  To help fight hunger, the East Texas Food Bank is participating in Feeding America’s nationwide Hunger Action Month campaign during the month of September. Hunger Action Month is designed to mobilize the public to take action on the issue of hunger. Everyone can be a hunger hero and no action is too small!

Be a Hunger Hero


For every $1 that is donated to the East Texas Food Bank, we can provide up to 8 meals for children, families and seniors that struggle with hunger. Make a gift now and consider setting up a monthly donation to help us fight hunger all year!

Host a Virtual Food Drive

Any person, business or organization can host a virtual food drive with their own unique page to raise funds for the East Texas Food Bank. Virtual food drives raise dollars instead of cans, which helps the East Texas Food Bank provide even more food for the families we serve. Sign up to host a Virtual Food Drive.


The East Texas Food Bank relies on volunteers to help us fulfill our mission. We welcome all volunteers over the age of 8, and have a variety of volunteer opportunities available for individuals, families and groups! Find out more about volunteering.

Connect and share on social media

You can use the power of your social network to help us reach even more people and inform them of the work we do every day to help end hunger in East Texas. Be sure to follow us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

Sign up for our emails

Keep up with the latest news and updates from the East Texas Food Bank by signing up for emails.

Hunger is a crisis in East Texas that will take the whole communities’ support to fight. While the fight against hunger is ongoing- together, we can feed hope for our neighbors in need!