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In The News 2016

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Shine Your Light campaign meets real needs in East Texas community
The Shine Your Light Community Campaign has left a large footprint in its nine years of existence, giving almost $1.3 million in that time to local nonprofit agencies.
But that large number can mask the specific ways in which this money affects agencies and ultimately people who live in East Texas.
It has meant more food given to people in need. More academic, emotional and spiritual support for children. More educational opportunities for adults. And greater health care assistance to those who need it.
(Read more from Tyler Morning Telegraph)
Longview-area charities face growing needs this holiday season
Some Longview-area charities that provide food, clothing, shelter and other services to residents in need are on pace to raise as much money or more this holiday season than they did in 2015.
However, the charities are struggling to meet a growing need that is aggravated by a slow recovery in the oil and gas industry.
(Read more from Longview News Journal)
Shine Your Light: East Texas Food Bank serves as the link between food and people to combat poverty and hunger
Monday is an important day for Mike Simpson, board president of the Noonday Food Pantry. It’s the day each week he and others from his agency come to Tyler to pick up food for those in need in their community.
“We come to Tyler on Mondays to get our food,” Simpson said. “On Wednesday, we will distribute 5,000 pounds of food to the families in Noonday. During the holidays, we see an increase of those in need.”
The Noonday Food Pantry relies on the East Texas Food Bank to assist 11,000 people in 3,500 households with 180,000 pounds of food annually.
(Read more from Tyler Morning Telegraph)
Shine Your Light Community Campaign to raise money for 10 East Texas nonprofit agencies
The Tyler Morning Telegraph kicks off its ninth annual Shine Your Light Community Campaign on Wednesday.
This year’s campaign, which runs through Dec. 31, gives the community the opportunity to support 10 local nonprofit agencies.  The East Texas Food Bank is one of the chosen nonprofits.
“One of the real joys in life is to help others,” former Tyler Mayor Barbara Bass, a Shine Your Light committee member, said. “The nonprofits we have chosen this year give our neighbors a hand-up and the tools and resources to improve their lives.”
(Read more from Tyler Morning Telegraph)

Buy an ornament, feed the hungry
Christmas is the time of giving. What better way to give than giving the gift of food to those in need?
A Tyler store is selling a Christmas tree ornament and donating money from the sales to help feed the hungry in our area during the holidays.
The Village at Cumberland Park is home to Tyler’s Hallmark store, and they, as most stores, place items you may not know you need right there on the counter. Store Manager Cindy Hardy says in this case, it's ornaments for charity.
(Read more from KLTV 7)
Month-long Whataburger community fundraiser to benefit regional food bank
As we gear up for the holiday season, Whataburger welcomes the East Texas community to join them in the fight against hunger. From Dec. 1–15, customers who make a $1 donation to the East Texas Food Bank at any of the 43 East Texas Whataburger locations will receive a thank you coupon valid for a free Whataburger with the purchase of a medium fry and 32-ounce drink at their next visit.
(Read more from Jacksonville Daily Progress)
Bottling company reopens Hawkins plant, donates $50,000 to East Texas Food Bank
Nestlé Waters North America, the company that distributes Ozarka Spring Water, unveiled Tuesday its fully restored Hawkins bottling plant following a seven-month rebuilding process in the wake of significant tornado damage.
The company commemorated the milestone at a grand re-opening ceremony, which included factory tours and a $50,000 donation to the East Texas Food Bank .
(Read more from Tyler Morning Telegraph)
Ozarka celebrates re-opening by honoring those that helped rebuild after tornado, makes $50,000 donation to ETFB
An East Texas water bottling plant, severely damaged by a tornado seven months ago, celebrated their grand re-opening Tuesday.
The Ozarka plant in Hawkins was damaged by an April tornado that spread through several counties.
The factory manager, Jeff Hall, said it's all thanks to dozens of people in the community that stepped in to help when they needed it the most.
“Well you know obviously there's an immediate impact where various different emergency response people showed up to check for what we needed (to) make sure the factory was safe before we started doing clean up and that sort of thing,”  Hall said.
(Read and view this story from KLTV 7)
Hormel Foods donates $100K in hams to East Texas Food Bank
Hormel Foods Corp. and Brookshire Grocery Co. are donating $100,000 in Hormel hams to food banks throughout the company’s market area to help feed people in need this holiday season.
The donation equals more than 5,300 hams, 1,600 of which will be distributed in East Texas through local food banks.
(Read more from Tyler Morning Telegraph)
Tyler Pipe makes donation to East Texas Food Bank
Tyler Pipe recently made a $10,000 donation to the East Texas Food Bank to support the "More Space. More Meals" capital campaign. The campaign is a multi-faceted expansion project that will increase the food bank's distribution capacity, improve workplace and food safety, increase community engagement, and promote client empowerment, according to the food bank.
(Read more from Tyler Morning Telegraph)
Helping Hands readies for Thanksgiving
Helping Hands volunteers are in the thick of preparations for Thanksgiving with tons of food headed to Kilgore for qualifying clients.
“We are booking it with these vouchers and getting all our numbers straight,” executive director Ursula Plaisance said last week. “I’ve got to make sure I have enough stuff for everybody’s Thanksgiving meal.”
Serving pre-registered residents-in-need within a six-mile radius of Kilgore, last year the food pantry distributed 235 Thanksgiving baskets, and the charity is expecting an even higher turnout this year considering the ongoing slump in the local economy.
(Read more from Kilgore News Herald)
Record crowd turns out for 'A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Feast'
Clutching jars of peanut butter to donate to the East Texas Food Bank, children and parents and grandparents came to an outdoor showing of the animated television special “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” based on the comic strip Peanuts.
A record crowd of 250 to 300 showed up for the seventh annual “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Feast” to see the movie and to give peanut butter for the needy fed by the food bank.

“We had to come to the ‘Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Feast’ because it’s fun. It’s a tradition and we love coming to Fresh,” said Andrea Brown, who brought her son, Brook.
(Read more from Tyler Morning Telegraph)
John Tyler and Robert E. Lee face off in annual Food Pantry competition
For 26 years students at John Tyler and Robert E. Lee High Schools have been locked in an epic struggle to see which school can help feed the most East Texas families in need.
The students face off each year in the annual Pantry Raid in the days leading up to the Rose City Rivalry football game.
Since 1991 Tyler ISD students have worked together to collect more than a million pounds of food for the East Texas Food Bank.
(Read more from Tyler Morning Telegraph)
ETMC Olympic Center canned food drive benefits East Texas Food Bank
To help fight hunger in East Texas this holiday season, the East Texas Medical Center Olympic Center is partnering with the East Texas Food Bank for a canned food drive Nov. 1-30.
“Roughly 473,000 adults, children and seniors are at risk for hunger in East Texas,"Jeramie Hinojosa, director of the ETMC Olympic Center, said. “Keeping East Texans healthy and fit is part of our mission, so we are excited to partner with the food bank for this important drive.”
(Read more from Tyler Morning Telegraph)
Food pantry continues 'feeding' needs
Even now, more than 22 years after it was first started, God’s Open Hands, Inc., continues to serve the needs of people in the Chandler/Brownsboro area. As Pat Martin, current president of GOH, stated, the organization has two main activities.

“Since it began, God’s Open Hands operates a food pantry and a thrift store – both activities help those who have experience some kind of loss- job, break-up of family or other trying situations,” Martin said.

The food pantry 104 Jones Street, Chandler. It is open every Tuesday from 9am- 1pm, and every second Saturday of the month from 10am to noon, and every fourth Thursday from 10am to noon.
(Read more from Chandler-Brownsboro Statesman)
Marshall food pantry asks for residents’ help stocking shelves after record month
Mission Marshall is familiar with need. The non-profit, at 2109 S. Washington Ave., generally serves about 2,000 people during the holiday season from October to December, usually prefaced by a summer lull.
Not so this year, according to new United Churches of Marshall Food Pantry Director Heather Miller, who said the need in August was so great, it became the most the organization has served in a single month; about 908 families and 3,069 individuals were served.
(Read more from Marshall News Messenger)
Jimmy Olson launches holiday food drive for East Texas Food Bank
immy Olson, of the JJO Radio Morning Show, has launched his 2016 JJO’s holiday food drive benefitting East Texas Food Bank.
Olson will live, eat and sleep in a box in the parking lot of the Wal-Mart Supercenter on South Broadway Avenue until East Texans stop by and donate at least 10,000 pounds of nonperishable food.
(Watch this story now from KYTX CBS19)
Tyler student collecting food for East Texas Food Bank's 'Hunger Action Month'
Jackson Monaghan is a seventh grader at Three Lakes Middle School in Tyler. He is collecting food for September's 'Hunger Action Month' to donate to the East Texas Food Bank.  "It's feels good, it's not only my mom and sister, it's also my friends," Jackson Monaghan said "It makes me sad to think that others are going to sleep hungry." "It makes me really proud, it makes me really proud, but it also touches my heart to see the community and how supportive they have been of his mission." Tiffany Monaghan said.
(Read and watch more from KETK NBC56)
1 in 5 households hungry in East Texas
One in five Gregg County households struggles with hunger, according to federal figures cited in a report that places neighboring counties in similar straits.
Texas as a whole did slightly better.
The federal report broadcast statewide this week by Feeding Texas, a nonprofit network of 21 food banks, shows one in six households statewide "faced hunger or engaged in coping mechanisms to avoid it" from 2013 through 2015.
(Read more from Longview News-Journal)
Class teaches clients how to cook wisely on a budget
Eating healthy is tough, but especially on a budget.
But sometimes, small tweaks can transform a meal from indulgent to healthy. That's what Londetta Donnell learned this week in a cooking class, where she made tacos, substituting turkey for hamburger meat - cutting the fat but not skimping on the taste. 
“I learned how to make food right, and I am having a good time,” Donnell said of the class hosted by St. Vincent de Paul Society in collaboration with the East Texas Food Bank.
(Read more from Tyler Morning Telegraph)
East Texas Food Bank sends supplies, staff to Louisiana for flood relief
The East Texas Food Bank sent two trucks of bottled water and pre-packaged meals along with three staff members to the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank to help those affected by the recent floods. In addition to damaging more than 40,000 homes in that area, the flooding affected the Baton Rouge food bank's warehouse and transportation fleet, according to an East Texas Food Bank news release. 
Volunteers taking truckloads of food to flooded Baton Rouge food bank

More East Texans are responding to the call for help for the flood victims in Louisiana.
The Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank lost at least 500,000 pounds of food in the flood. With 10 parishes that were depending on that food, local volunteers jumped in the driver’s seat to make sure those in need get the meals they were counting on.
“They just asked me if I wanted to go to Baton Rouge and I said, 'Sure, I’m ready,' ” Product Recovery Assistant Sam Cordaro said.
The 170,000 square foot facility has been condensed by flood waters to just 18,000 square feet.
“It’s a little heartbreaking. There are a lot of people down there that need help,” Cordaro said.
Cordaro and Manuel Gomez are just two of the three drivers from the East Texas Food Bank headed into the devastated area.
(Read more from KLTV 7) (Watch this story now)

Community rises to food charity's challenge
There’s been a greater demand for food at Helping Hands this year, and donations are keeping the supply on track – as local needs persist and grow, the Martin Street food pantry is expanding its efforts in a variety of ways.
Comparing June 2016 to 2015, the charity has been tracking a steady increase in its client base this year, and it’s providing more food per family-in-need. Meanwhile, the agency’s total food intake from East Texas Food Bank showed a 270 percent increase the first half of the year, and other contributions are increasing as well.
According to executive director Julie Dickeson, the nonprofit’s clientele has increased 14 percent compared to the same time last year.
“A lot of them are new clients, folks that we’ve never seen before. It’s strictly due to the oilfield: the depressed economy and other areas. It affects not just the oilfield workers but everybody in Kilgore,” she explained. Reporting on the charity’s progress last month, “Since January 1, we’ve provided 6,070 baskets of assistance to 2,831 disadvantaged Kilgore-area residents,” a 14 percent increase in overall assistance as well.
(Read more from Kilgore News Herald)
Summer food struggle real for some Anderson County families
With the arrival of summer, some families find themselves struggling to put enough food on the table.
During the school year, low-income and poverty-level families can count on schools to provide a healthy breakfast and lunch through the free- and reduced-lunch programs. However, three months out of the year, children are home all day, requiring caregivers to provide three meals and snacks to keep their bellies full.
Anderson County is fortunate to have the help of the East Texas Food Bank and the volunteers and nonprofit services of six local food banks to help provide for these children and their families.
(Read more from Palestine News Herald)
Fighting hunger in children over the summer

Almost a quarter of East Texas kids don't know where their next meal is coming from according the East Texas Food bank.
That is an alarming number that the group said is why they are trying to feed more kids as the summer food program heads into it's second month this year. If it was not for the trays of pizza, oranges, and milk, the kids lining-up on queen street in Tyler may go hungry. Charlotte Roberson is a volunteer at a serving location for the summer food program. 
"It just makes me feel good because we're doing something to benefit them, some of the kids don't have anything to eat for lunch or breakfast at home," Roberson said.
(Read more from KLTV 7)

Fast food chain donates $6.9K to East Texas Food Bank
The success of a new fast food mobile app has led to the donation of thousands of dollars to the East Texas Food Bank. 
Wednesday, several East Texas area Chick-fil-A operators presented a check for $6,914 to the food bank, following the launch of their new mobile app. 
All of the proceeds collected from the use of that app, from June 6 to June 11, at the Tyler, Longview, Lufkin, and Nacogdoches Chick-fil-A locations were donated.
(Read more from KLTV 7)
Junior League of Tyler funds weekend backpack program to feed hungry children
Dozens of kids who gathered at City Park on Friday briefly interrupted their time splashing and playing on a water slide to lineup for lunch.
Workers handed the kids lunches and bags filled with nutrioutious foods to take home with them for the weekend. The meals are provided through the East Texas Food Bank and the Junior League of Tyler's summer backpack program, which provides food for children to eat on the weekends during the summer.
The program makes food available at 13 sites.  The backpacks the kids take home are filled with kid-friendly items such as soup, peanut butter, granola bars, fruit, juice and shelf-stable milk.
Junior League of Tyler provided $25,000 for the weekend program, enough for more than 500 children to participate each weekend this summer.
(Read more from Tyler Morning Telegraph
Food Bank, Junior League provide food backpacks for East Texas children
More than one in four Smith County kids are at risk for hunger, according to one study. But one program intends to change that.
Along with their usual meals, Tyler kids in the summer food program received an extra bag today filled with food to get them through the weekend.It's all thanks to a partnership between the East Texas Food Bank and Junior League of Tyler.
(Read more from KYTX CBS19)
Summer Lunch program expands to the weekends in Tyler
The East Texas Food Bank and the Junior League of Tyler are making sure children have enough to eat on the weekends. The Summer Backpack program kicked off today at City Park on Queen Street in Tyler.
The East Texas Food Bank is helping fill young tummies through the summer months while school is out, but what about the weekends? Jennifer Walsh, President of the Junior League of Tyler, has the answer, and food for the weekend.
“Every week it’s a little different. It’s sustainable milk and all kinds of shelf-life food that’ll last over the weekend,” Walsh said.
(Read more from KLTV 7)
East Texas Food Bank to kick off Summer Backpack Program on Friday

The East Texas Food Bank and Junior League of Tyler are partnering up for their Summer Backpack Program.
The official kick off of the program will take place at noon on Friday at City Park, 200 W. Queen St.
The program will take place at 13 sites throughout the summer. Each Friday children will receive a bag of food for the weekend filled with nutritious, kid friendly items.  The program is possible through a $25,000 donation from the Junior League of Tyler.
(Read more from Tyler Morning Telegraph)

Record number of volunteers turn out for Day of Caring
A record 500 volunteers gathered at First Christian Church Friday morning for breakfast to fuel up for a day of serving the Tyler community. These volunteers gathered as part of the 23rd annual United Way of Smith County Day of Caring.
Intent on serving local nonprofit agencies, the volunteers mobilized their efforts at 31 sites across the Tyler community, each site representing a nonprofit with specific needs.
(Read more from Tyler Morning Telegraph)
East Texas Food Bank launches summer food program Tuesday at Tyler's City Park
Alondra Villa, 7, stood at the front of a long line of children waiting for lunch. The scene could have been any lunch on any school day, but this was summer break and it was outside under a pavilion at Tyler’s City Park.
“Four minutes,” a child called out as they waited for the food to be served.
“How many seconds now?” another child asked a few minutes later.
When the serving began, the line moved quickly. Children received a hot meal of a hamburger and French fries along with cold chocolate milk and a pear.
(Read more from Tyler Paper)
East Texas Food Bank's Summer Food Program begins
With school out for the summer, thousands of East Texas Kids will be looking for a healthy meal. Beginning June 7, the East Texas Food Bank's Summer Food Program is ready to help.
This program provides free meals to children at more than 60 sites throughout East Texas. The meals help kids in low-income areas get the nutrition they need to learn, play and grow throughout the summer months.
"A lot of the families that we serve, that's a very, very important part of their budget," said Dennis Cullinane, CEO of the East Texas Food Bank. "This program has been really vital in filling the gap between school meals and Summertime."
(Read more from KYTX CBS19)
East Texas Food Bank brings back free lunch
Now that school is out, some East Texas children may not have enough to eat. Low-income families sometimes depend on the school lunch program to keep the kids fed.
129,000 meals: That’s a whole bunch of lunch. That was last year. The East Texas Food Bank hopes to top that this year with their Summer Food Program, and Artee Harper, Churchill at Longview Apartments Manager, is trying to help.
“This is our first year participating, so we’re expecting a good outcome. We have lots of kids here and activities planned for them also,” Harper said.
(Read more from KLTV 7)
East Texas Food Bank kicks off summer food program
Summer is here and parks are filled with children playing.  The East Texas Food Bank launched its'' summer food program at City Park in Tyler on Tuesday.
"During the school year these children have access to free lunch and free breakfast if they take advantage of that, and when school's out, those meals go away and the kids still have to eat," says East Texas Food Bank CEO Dennis Cullinane.
That's where they come in, providing hot meals mixed with fruits and vegetables.
(Read more from KETK NBC 56)
East Texas Food Bank launches free Summer Food Program on Tuesday
The East Texas Food Bank’s Summer Food Program will kick off at 11:45 a.m. Tuesday at Tyler’s City Park, 200 W. Queen St.
The program provides free, nutritious meals to children at more than 60 locations across East Texas. The program is open to all children ages 1 to 18.
In addition, meals and snacks are available to people with disabilities who are older than 18, but participate in school programs for students who are mentally or physically disabled.
(Read more from Tyler Morning Telegraph)
East Texas Chick-fil-A customers can avoid waiting in line, get free sandwich and help East Texas Food Bank
Chick-fil-A customers now can avoid standing in lines, if they use the company's new mobile app to place orders. Customers who download the app also will receive a Chick-fil-A spicy or grilled sandwich for free.
From June 6 to June 11, 100 percent of sales on orders placed through the app at restaurants in Longview, Tyler, Lufkin and Nacogdoches will go to the East Texas Food Bank.
“We constantly look for ways to improve and enhance our customer’s experience, and we constantly look for local organizations committed to improving and enhancing our community - we’re delighted we can do both with the East Texas Food Band and the launch of our mobile app,” Ikey Eason, owner of Chick-fil-A on Troup Highway in Tyler said in a news release through the East Texas Food Bank.
(Read more from Tyler Paper)
Local ‘Money Camps’ teach children basics of money management skills
A series of “money camps” will be offered for youths to help better understand finances.
With topics like “Saving the Day” and “Ready, Set, Goal,” the camps are geared for two main audiences: Those in kindergarten through fifth grade (or who are 10 years old) and those attending middle or high school, said Peggy Lustig, regional literacy director Gateway to American Opportunities, which is a part of Circle of 10, Inc.
“The Money Camps teach children basic money management skills,” she said, noting this year, the program is funded by area banks, including Austin Bank, Capital One Bank, Southside Bank and Texas National Bank.
(Read more from Jacksonville Daily Progress)
Several Nacogdoches organizations gearing up for summer feeding programs
Nacogdoches Medical Center is accepting boxed cereal donations through June 10th. Similar collections are happening at Tenet Healthcare companies across the nation.   This one program and others set to launch next week will help East Texans who are struggling with food insecurity.Nacogdoches Medical Center CEO Jeff Patterson pushed a basket full of dry cereal he bought for the Healthy Over Hungry Cereal Drive. 
"I did happen to choose my favorites versus maybe some of the healthier options,” Patterson said.
No matter. The goal is to make sure East Texas children start the day with a meal. Tenet views a child going hungry as a serious long-term public health issue.
(Read and watch more from KTRE 9)
Local Chick-fil-A restaurants use new mobile app launch to help East Texas Food Bank
Local Chick-fil-A restaurants are promoting the restaurant's new mobile app launch with a twist: 100 percent of proceeds from users who download and place an order through the app from June 6-11 will be donated to the East Texas Food Bank.
“We constantly look for ways to improve and enhance our customers experience, and we constantly look for local organizations committed to improving and enhancing our community – we’re delighted we can do both with the East Texas Food Bank and the launch of our mobile app,” said Ikey Eason, owner of Chick-fil-A on Troup Highway in Tyler.
(Read more from KYTX CBS19)
NMC Health Network to Host Healthy Over Hungry Cereal Drive
NMC Health Network is leading a community effort to provide area children and adults struggling with hunger a healthy breakfast this summer.  The Healthy over Hungry Cereal Drive benefits The East Texas Food Bank, a member of the Feeding America network, and will be held June 3rd through June 10th.
“We recognize the impact hunger has on health and nutrition, and our staff is eager to make a difference,” said Jeff Patterson, chief executive officer of the network.  “Through this drive we hope to help the many in our community struggling with food insecurity by starting their day with a nutritious breakfast.”
(Read more from Shelby County Today)
Tyson donates 100k to East Texas Food Bank
Tyson dropped off a truckload of chicken products and a $100,000 check to the East Texas Food Bank Wednesday morning.
The funds will be used to help the East Texas Food Bank's "More Space, More Meals" expansion project. 
The donated food will help provide more than 35,000 meals to those in need across all of East Texas. 
(Read more from KLTV 7)
Students, organizations honored at UT Tyler's annual awards banquet
Student leaders and organizations at The University of Texas at Tyler were recognized during the 10th annual Student Leadership and Service Awards Banquet, Ona Tolliver, assistant vice president and dean of students, announced.
UT Tyler students, faculty and staff submitted nominees, and a selection committee consisting of faculty and staff chose winners.  The UT Tyler Department of Student Life and Leadership sponsors the awards reception.
The East Texas Food Bank is a proud receipient of this year's Partnership Award: Community Partner.
(Read more from Tyler Morning Telegraph)
Many in Henderson County are ‘food-challenged’
Though Henderson County residents spend millions on food at local restaurants and grocery stores, an annual study from a group called Feeding America reports thousands in the county are food insecure.
According to the study, every county in the nation has citizens who fall into the “food-insecure” category.  In the case of Henderson County, the number is 15,390, out of a population of almost 80,000.
Food insecurity is the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s measure of lack of access, at times, to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members.
(Read more from Athens Daily Review)
Darrin Morris Band ready to deepen Durango's Canyon
Darrin Morris Band will headline Friday Night, May 6, Durango’s Canyon, Mt. Enterprise TX, at the Third Annual
Uncle Lucius Family ReULion fundraiser concert benefitting, in part, the East Texas Food Bank. The opening acts
will start at 5:00 p.m.
(Read more from The Gilmer Mirror)
$3 million capital campaign to fund expansion of East Texas Food Bank in light of growing regional need
In the next 10 years, the East Texas Food Bank plans to nearly double the number of meals it provides to people in order to meet the needs in this region.
But, in order to do that, the nonprofit must expand and reorganize its facilities to support the increase and that is why officials announced a $3 million capital campaign on Tuesday. About half of the funds already have been raised.
With the funds raised through its “More Space. More Meals” expansion campaign, the food bank would make changes that would allow for greater storage of and distribution of food in its 26-county service area.
(Read more from Tyler Morning Telegraph)
East Texas Food Bank planning expansion to meet growing hunger needs
It’s a state of emergency for the East Texas Food Bank. Nearly 500,000 East Texans are at risk of hunger and officials say the need for food is steadily rising across the 26 county service area.
Now, the food bank is planning some renovations that may help feed hungry East Texans.
“From 2010 to 2014 that need has grown from about 426,000 people eligible to 473,000 which is pretty significant growth,” said CEO, Dennis Cullinane.
(Read more from KLTV 7)  (Watch video of this story now)
East Texas Food Bank kicks off More Space, More Meals project
The East Texas Food Bank is kicking off a project called More Space, More Meals. The point is to help the 473,000 East Texans at risk of hunger.
The PATH food bank is busy. Parents like Erica Maxfield are here picking up food for the week.
“What would you do without it? Probably go hungry,” Maxfield said.
Maxfield is one of PATH’s many clients. The services there have helped her get off the streets.She's been homeless on and off for the last 6 years. These days, she comes to path about once a month so her children have enough to eat.
(Read more from KYTX CBS19)  (Watch video of this story now)
Huntington food bank hosts first produce drop for community
Residents in Huntington were given the opportunity to get free produce today from the East Texas Food Bank.
The fresh produce drop is a collaborated effort between the the East Texas Food Bank, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension office, Zavalla Grace Gospel Food Pantry, and the Christian Information & Service Center.
"We have pockets of food deserts in our county," Shanelle Stewart with the Angelina County and Cities health District said. "People do not have access to healthy foods. We have a grant through the national WIC Association. Our goal is to bring these communities healthy foods."
(Read more from KTRE 9)  (Watch video of this story now)
"Oasis Day" at the Brook Hill School
Students at The Brook Hill School went out across East Texas to serve the surrounding communities Thursday, March 24, for the school’s annual OASIS Day. Students volunteered their time to help out at local churches, nursing homes, organizations, and food banks, allowing students to follow in Christ’s example.
(Read more from Bullard Banner News)
Campus fraternities, sororities celebrate Greek Week
The University’s Greek community will be celebrating their annual Greek Week with a mix of tradition and school spirit. The week will bring together all of the University’s Greek Life in celebration of the Greek community.Greek Week, held every spring, is a week of educational and entertaining activities.
(Read more from The Patriot Talon)
Radio host trying to collect 10,000 lbs. of food
Jimmy Olson, radio host and president and CEO of JJO Radio, will live inside of a PODS storage container in front of Wal-Mart, 6801 South Broadway Ave., until he raises 10,000 lbs. of food for the East Texas Food Bank. Olson said during this time of the year many people don’t think about the importance of donating to those in need as much as they might during the holiday season.
(Read more from Tyler Morning Telegraph)
Local radio host hopes to raise 10K pounds of food for East Texas Food Bank

The East Texas Food Bank provides more than 18 million meals a year to East Texans, but right now the organization is struggling to keep up with demand.
One local radio host is trying to help the non-profit by collecting 10 thousand pounds of food and he needs your help.
“It is a huge undertaking but a massive need,” Jammin’ Jimmy Olson said.
Olson says when he heard that 456 thousand East Texans are at risk of hunger with many of them being children and seniors, he knew he had to do something.
(Read more from KYTX CBS19)  (Watch video of this story)

Brown Elementary students are food bank helpers
While many of their classmates were in bed, sleeping in late on a Saturday morning, several Brown Elementary Student Council members were up and out to help serve at the East Texas Food Bank.
Brown Elementary is one of the area schools that participates in the backpack program that provides weekend food, placed in a special backpack, for kids who may need help having good meals at home over the weekend.
(Read more from Tri County Leader)
CBS 19 reporter Michael Aaron's $5 a day challenge highlights hunger in East Texas
 CBS19 reporter Michael Aaron has completed his $5 challenge – eating off five bucks for the last five days.
He came in under-budget the first four days and entered day five with $12.30. Below, you’ll find Michael’s journal from Day 5, which includes restaurant savings tips. He also shares a life-lesson picked up on the week-long journey and his takeaways from the experience.
(Read and watch this story from KYTX CBS19)
Food pantry returns to Overton
The volunteers of God’s Helping Hands food drive will host another free giveaway next week.
Set for 10 a.m. to noon Tuesday, Feb. 16, the East Texas Food Bank’s Mobile Pantry Program drop is once again set at 707 E. Bradford St. in Overton.
More and more people are dropping by the Our Lady Queen of Angels location, co-organizer David Smith says, to take part in the joint effort with New Home Missionary Baptist Church.
(Read more from Kilgore News Herald)
Free produce distribution sees third year in Marshall
This month marks the three-year anniversary for the bi-monthly produce distribution, which is a collaborative effort between Mission Marshall and East Texas Food Bank, helping local residents receive the nutrition they need.
"It's three years this month," Misty Scott, executive director of Mission Marshall, said Friday as hundreds turned out for the distribution, held on the parking lot of Meadowbrook Funeral Home, which is the event's new home site.
(Read more from Marshall News Messenger)
New food program provides fresh boost to needy families
As part of a larger program with Tyler's East Texas Food Bank, Wal-Mart has started donating perishable and nonperishable food items to Longview Community Ministries — something the nonprofit agency's executive director said is a big deal for area needy families.
The program began in mid-January as part of the national Feeding America program, focused on securing donations from national grocery retailers, packers and growers, and donating products to member food banks, including the East Texas Food Bank, said Robin Fruia, LCM executive director.
(Read more from Longview News-Journal)
Catholic Charities East Texas Fights Hunger
Catholic Charities East Texas presented a check for $20,000 to the East Texas Food Bank to help support the Mobile Pantry Program.  The program directly distributes food to clients in seven communities where the need is high and an East Texas Food Bank partner agency does not currently exist.
Ice Bowl Disc Golf Tournament to raise money for the East Texas Food Bank
The Tyler Parks and Recreation Department invites players of all levels to fling a disc for the East Texas Food Bank during the 2015 Ice Bowl Disc Golf Tournament.
The tournament will be held on Saturday, Jan. 16 at Lindsey Park, 1255 Spur 364 West.
Registration forms are available at the Parks Department office, 2000 W. Front St., or online at www.TylerParksandRec.com under the blue “Events and Programs” tab.
Whataburger fundraisers yield over $37,000 for East Texas Food Bank
Whataburger donated more than $37,000 to the East Texas Food Bank on Thursday. The fast food chain’s customers helped raise the funds during the past month through the Oh Whata Night Community fundraiser at 41 Whataburger locations and a two-week paper ornament sale, according to a company news release.
In addition, nine Whataburger locations put on food drives and collected more than 12,000 pounds of food.
(Read more from Tyler Morning Telegraph)
Study looking for long-term solution to food insecurity
Thousands of East Texans spend days not knowing where their next meal is coming from.  Food insecurity numbers for several counties show the problem may be getting worse.  The percentage of East Texans living with food insecurity has triggered a study of areas where healthy options are scarce.  While the project is looking for a long-term solution, food pantries are fighting hunger on the front lines.     (Watch this story from KLTV ABC7)
(Read more from KLTV ABC7)

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