East Texas Food Bank Asks Community to Take Action to End Hunger

Feeding America Network Food Banks Unite for Hunger Action Month Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

TYLER, TEXAS– Hunger impacts people in every corner of the country, including 282,530 East Texans, 105,850 of which are children. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of East Texans facing hunger increased five percent and the number of children increased 10 percent.  It’s now nearly one in four East Texans, including one in three children, that are at risk of hunger.

That’s why the East Texas Food Bank joins Feeding America food banks nationwide this September to support Hunger Action Month and inspire our community to take action and bring attention to the reality of hunger in America. This year’s campaign comes at a critical time when the COVID-19 pandemic has hurt thousands of East Texans living paycheck to paycheck.

East Texas Food Bank Chief Executive Officer Dennis Cullinane said that hunger does not discriminate and whether we realize it or not, we all probably know someone who has been affected by hunger.

“Hunger existed in East Texas long before the pandemic hit and now more of our neighbors – kids in our children’s classes, the barista at the local coffee shop and our working-class neighbors– are struggling to put food on the table today. That means Hunger Action Month is more important than ever. Everyone can have a role in the fight against hunger and no action is too small,” Cullinane said.

The East Texas Food Bank has multiple safe ways the community can help fight hunger right here in East Texas:

  • Donate– For every one dollar that is donated to the East Texas Food Bank, ETFB can provide up to eight meals for children, families and seniors that struggle with hunger.
  • 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 they serve.
  • Volunteer- The East Texas Food Bank relies on volunteers to help us fulfill its mission. ETFB welcomes all volunteers over the age of eight, and have a variety of volunteer opportunities available for individuals, families and small groups. Shifts are limited with multiple safety practices to keep the volunteers safe from COVID-19.
  • Connect– Engage with the East Texas Food Bank on social media and share its messaging to educate your network about the issue of hunger in East Texas and encourage others to join the fight against hunger with you.

The full details can be found at EastTexasFoodBank.org/ACTION.

“We need your help now more than ever,” said Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America. “Hunger in this country existed long before COVID-19, but the pandemic has thrust more and more of our neighbors into food insecurity, and food banks are responding to a sustained, increased demand. With support of the community, together we can end hunger one helping at a time.”

September marks the thirteenth year the Feeding America network has organized this annual call to action. To learn more about the East Texas Food Bank and other ways you can get involved in Hunger Action Month, please visit EastTexasFoodBank.org/ACTION. You can also join the conversation by posting photos or stories to social media with #HungerActionMonth and @ETFoodBank.

“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,” Cullinane said.