BASTROP, Texas (KXAN) — Those working to combat hunger in Central Texas are seeing a rise in food insecurity in rural areas.
The Bastrop County Emergency Food Pantry has been hit hard this year, seeing a 30% increase in calls for food and support services. The pantry has served a record number of people in a six-month period.
Along with the increase in demand, the pantry is also dealing with a 50% reduction in the food supply from sources like the Central Texas Food Bank.
“When the pandemic was going on, there was a lot of resources that were pushed out into communities to help folks during that time. Since then, those resources are no longer available,” said Tresha Silva, executive director of the food pantry. “There was extra COVID SNAP benefits that folks were able to get so that was additional food income for them, and that all ended during the winter.”
The pantry’s mission is to serve Bastrop County residents who are going through periods of transition by providing emergency food assistance, education and support.
The pantry recently had to purchase thousands of dollars worth of staple foods in order to keep shelves stocked and doors open. But organizers say this isn’t sustainable moving forward.
“We have a ‘Wish List Wednesday’ every week that talks about the items we need the most in our organization that we’re having the hardest time to get,” Silva said. “Also on our website, there’s an ongoing list of items that we’re always in need of.”
If you’d like to make a food or financial donation, check the pantry’s website. Cash or checks can also be sent via the mail to 806 Fayette St., Bastrop, TX 78602 or to P.O. Box 953, Bastrop, TX 78602.