AUSTIN (KXAN) — Concerns over food insecurity loom large amid the pandemic.
More people are reaching out for help, and food banks are giving out more food than they ever have before.
“We are starting to see the numbers increase and we certainly expect that to remain the same through the holidays and into next year,” said Derrick Chubbs, CEO of the Central Texas Food Bank.
With no signs of slowing down, Chubbs says food distribution is continuing to rise as the pandemic continues and will do so even after Thanksgiving.
“We are adjusting to the pandemic and whatever direction it takes, whatever the volumes are, the shutdowns are we are having to adjust what makes it somewhat difficult,” Chubbs said.
In October, they distributed 7 million pounds of food, up almost double from what they were handing out pre-pandemic, and spending is also up.
“Pre-COVID we would spend about $100,000 a month purchasing food over the last few months we have spent ten times that so we are in excess of a million a month,” Chubbs said.
As more people are becoming food insecure, the need is rising, but can the Central Texas Food Bank continue to serve those who need help? For now, yes, but after the holiday the need for donations will continue.
“Just our ability logistically to manage this, if it continues to grow. That in and of itself could create some challenges for us which is why we are exploring several different avenues in terms of how we get more creative from a distribution model,” Chubbs said.
While the cupboard isn’t bare now they will rely on donations like never before, trying to help as many as they can through these difficult times.
“My concern is what happens over the next 12 to 18 months,” Chubbs said.
Distribution numbers for November have not been released yet, but Chubbs expects the numbers to be more than October.