Last year, WTFB distributed an astounding 5.3 million pounds of food, which totaled 4.4 million nutritious meals for children, families, and seniors. We primarily distribute food through our Partner Agencies and Mobile Food Pantry, which allows us to efficiently distribute food to those at risk for hunger in our community.
Partner Agency Food Distribution
WTFB works closely with over 75 Partner Agencies, including food pantries, soup kitchens, churches, shelters, and other organizations to fight hunger in West Texas. These partnerships are vital in making sure that food gets to those who need it most. In 2014, 86 percent of food distribution by WTFB was allocated to Partner Agencies. Click here to view a complete list of our Partner Agencies.
Mobile Food Pantry
Unfortunately, not all communities have Partner Agencies. WTFB serves these communities with a Mobile Food Pantry, a dry/refrigerated vehicle that distributes food to those in need. Often, it is food that traditional pantries do not normally accept. In 2014, the Mobile Pantry program distributed more than 750,000 pounds of food.
But, thanks to partnerships with H-E-B, Albertsons, Sam’s, WalMart, Family Dollar, and Target, the West Texas Food Bank received nearly 1.7 million pounds of food that otherwise would have been discarded. These donations from our retail partners consist of high-quality, protein-rich items such as meats, produce, deli foods and baked goods. This food is not only used by our Partner Agencies, but is also included in the emergency boxes distributed each year by the WTFB.
Brown Bag Meal
The purpose of the Brown Bag Meal program is to provide a weekend hot meal to the homeless population and those in need. Brown Bag meal preparation will take place in the BHP Community Kitchen, and meals will be distributed to the community. This program can partner with existing community organizations that are already providing shelter, but no meal, to the homeless population. WTFB estimates that this community outreach program distributes 5,000 to 10,000 meals annually, during its piloting phase.
Fresh Produce Program
The West Texas Food Bank strives to provide high quality, nutritious food, including fresh produce. Because access to fresh vegetables and fruit is limited in the counties served by the WTFB, distribution has traditionally included only canned and other shelf-stable food.
This trend is changing. The WTFB is excited to announce that we have been transporting fresh produce from the Rio Grande since the summer of 2015 to, not only our service area in the Permian Basin, but also to other food banks in our region. Fresh produce is a vital part of a healthy diet and good nutrition. We are proud to partner with the agencies that have made this program possible, and look forward to providing a significant amount of fresh produce to our hungry West Texans.