AUSTIN (KXAN) — Food insecurity continues to hit Central Texas during the pandemic.
The Central Texas Food Bank reports distributing 7 million pounds of food during the month of October, which is about double the pre-pandemic demand. The numbers continue to climb into Thanksgiving and Christmas.
“Monday, we did a distribution that typically is 800 to 900 households, but we served 1,400 households,” said President of the Central Texas Food Bank Derrick Chubbs.
While the 2020 holiday season is certainly like no other, Chubbs says the increasing demand has been building long before the holidays and shows no sign of letting up. Recently, volunteers have even been seeing a 200 to 500% increase in new clients at some distribution locations.
“This doesn’t go away after the holidays,” said Chubbs. “I’m more interested the long-term procurement, making sure this doesn’t turn into a six-month event where we were able to meet needs, then everything just fell off.”
Chubbs expects the demand to continue into 2021, and he’s hoping to keep the supply momentum going. Before the pandemic, the food bank would spend $100,000 a month, but in the last few months it has spent 10 times that number.
It’s a challenge for the food bank and for those in need.
“The looks on our clients faces when we see that they would rather be anywhere else than asking for food,” said Chubbs. “We are trying to have our clients maintain their dignity and respect in one of the most difficult times in our nation’s history.”
If you or someone you know needs food, you can view dates and times of mobile food pantries and mass distribution events here.
Tuesday is also the last day to triple your Thanksgiving donation. A company called PIMCO is matching gifts up to $10,000.