PHARR, Texas (KVEO) — The need for emergency food assistance has grown nine-fold, and every week the Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) is feeding 142,000 people.
The Food Bank of the RGV says hunger in the region is no longer just a lower-class problem, saying it is now also a middle-class problem.
September is Hunger Action Month and is a critical time for fundraising efforts for the food bank. Since the pandemic began, the food bank has been lending a helping hand, distributing 23 million pounds of food. Now this month they could use the community’s helping hand.
Hunger Action Month is a 30-day campaign, to raise awareness around food insecurity, and to encourage and inspire the community to join the food bank in making sure no one goes hungry.
The food bank has a downloadable calendar, filled with ways to help. Officials say the community has helped out tremendously, including several restaurants, which are featuring a hunger action menu, where a portion of the proceeds of the items you order will go to the food bank.
Some of those restaurants you can visit include Delgado Collective, House Wine & Bistro and Salt. Walk-On’s is also featuring a special cocktail, the Eddie’s Sangria, also where a portion of the sales will be donated to the food bank.
“There [are] so many ways for people to get involved to be part of our mission, as I said to donate, volunteer, advocate, and to really get engaged and activate and help spread the word so that no one has to go to bed hungry,” says Stuart Haniff, CEO, Food Bank RGV.
Now September is normally a big fundraising month for the food bank but because of COVID-19, they have had to cancel events like their Empty Bowls, 10-Man Jam and golf tournaments. These cancellations have led to a 33 percent drop in corporate donations.
However officials say they are trying to fill that gap, and they hope the generous community will see the need is as great as ever.
Haniff says with the holidays just around the corner about one-third in the community will struggle to put food on the table. He adds 40 percent of those receiving assistance, have never had to ask for help before.
Also throughout the month of September, Tito’s Handmade Vodka will be matching donations up to $10,000.
If you would like to donate or for more ways to help you can click here.