Pandemic causing spike in food insecurity

One of the effects of COVID-19 pandemic is a rise in food insecurity.

As a result, East Texas non-profits like the East Texas Food Bank have held distribution events to help feed those in need during this uncertain time.

Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, the CEO of the non-profit Feeding America, visited Tyler Friday for a distribution event. She says the East Texas Food Bank is a model organization for other food banks around the country.
(Read and watch from KYTX CBS19)

Weekly drive-thru distributions continue

In response to COVID-19, the East Texas Food Bank is holding a weekly drive-thru emergency food box distribution. We will be distributing emergency food boxes and fresh items (such as milk, produce and meat when available). The distributions will be at the East Texas State Fairgrounds every Friday from 10 am-12pm (while supplies last through the end of May.

The boxes are an added layer on top of the 21.3 million meals ETFB distributes every year. The boxes contain shelf-stable groceries such as dried beans, rice, pasta and canned meat, fruits and vegetables. Each box will provide items for 16 meals.

To receive a free box, community members just need to provide their name and address. There are no eligibility requirements or identification needed. It’s a drive-thru distribution, so please stay in your car and follow the traffic control guidance from the Tyler PD.

Multiple households can ride together. Each adult in the car will need to provide their name and address for the separate households. To pick up a box for someone who isn’t present, they will need to provide a written note with their household name, address, name of the person picking up the food for them and their signature.

Any family seeking food assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic can click “Find Food” at the top of this page to find the closest resources near them.

If you want to financially support our work, please give at

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En respuesta a COVID-19, el East Texas Food Bank está haciendo una distribución semanal de cajas de alimentos de emergencia. La ETFB distribuirá cajas de alimentos de emergencia y artículos frescos (como leche, productos y carne, cuando estén disponibles). Las distribuciones serán en el recinto ferial del East Texas todos los viernes de 10 am-12pm (mientras duren los suministros).

Las cajas son una capa añadida enlaciendo los 21,3 millones de comidas que ETFB distribuye cada año. Las cajas contienen alimentos estables en estanterías, como frijoles secos, arroz, pasta y carne enlatada, frutas y verduras. Cada caja incluye artículos para 16 comidas.

Para recibir una caja gratuita, los miembros de la comunidad solo necesitan proporcionar su nombre y dirección. No se necesitan requisitos de elegibilidad ni identificación. Es una distribución, así que por favor quédese en su auto y siga las instrucciones de control de tráfico de la policía de Tyler.

Varios hogares pueden viajar juntos. Cada adulto en el coche tendrá que proporcionar su nombre y dirección para los hogares separados. Para recoger una caja para alguien que no está presente, tendrá que presentar una nota escrita con su nombre de familia, dirección, nombre de la persona que recoge la comida para ellos y su firma.

Cualquier familia que busque ayuda alimentaria durante la pandemia COVID-19 puede visitar y hacer clic en “encontrar alimentos” para obtener información sobre los recursos alimentarios más cercanos.

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.

TLL Temple Foundation, East Texas Food bank distribute food in Lufkin

The TLL Temple Foundation and the East Texas Food Bank partnered up again for the second week to help people in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last week the two non-profits distributed 670 boxes which fed around 1,100 meals. On Tuesday the group handed out between 1,800 and 2,000 boxes. Pilgrim’s Pride also donated 20,000 pounds of frozen chicken to distribute as well.
(Read and watch this story from KTRE)

East Texas Food Bank sets emergency food box distribution, launches senior box delivery

The East Texas Food Bank will be hosting an emergency food box distribution, and launching a delivery program to get food boxes to seniors.

The ETFB will host an emergency food box distribution from 10 a.m. to noon (or while supplies last) on Friday, April 3 at the East Texas State Fairgrounds, 2112 W. Front St.

The ETFB also is launching a food box delivery program for low income seniors over 60 years old that are homebound or quarantined and at risk of hunger.
(Read more from Tyler Paper)