AUSTIN (KXAN) —Demand for food has continued to rise during the pandemic, and organizations like Central Texas Food Bank are relying on donations now more than ever.
“We are seeing more people need food for the first time in their lives,” said Mark Jackson, chief development officer of the food bank.
In a normal year, the food bank spends about $100,000 a month buying food for people in need, but with the pandemic — and the need growing — they are spending about $1 million.
“The number one way we are able to help is through monetary donations,” Jackson said.
The pandemic left No Comply Skate Shop owners Elias Bingham and Grant Jensen wondering if they would be able to keep their doors open. They had to shut it down at the beginning of the pandemic and furlough employees, but business picked back up with online sales.
“We weren’t sure if we would make it through (the pandemic) in the beginning, but once it got clear that we were all right, we wanted to look out for the rest of the community,” Bingham said.
The two organized multiple raffles, selling shoes and other items that were in high demand. With tickets going for $25 they would usually bring in between $10,000-$15,000 a raffle. Overall they brought in $100,696, and they donated it to the food bank.
“Feels good to know you can do something to help out,” Jensen said.
Austin Amelio, an Austin-based actor and professional skateboarder sponsored by the shop, says he isn’t surprised to see the owners helping out their community.
“It is incredible, especially right now during these times,” Amelio said. “A lot of people don’t have jobs, and it’s not easy, so I think that is important.”
Amelio plays Dwight in the television shows “The Walking Dead” and “Fear the Walking Dead.”
“I am honestly not surprised,” said Matt Munson, a friend of the shop owners. “Eli and these guys have been doing great things since the beginning.”
Central Texas Food Bank says the donation will provide more than 400,000 meals.