September 15, 2008 – San Marcos, Texas. “The phone started ringing this morning,” reports Pat Tessaro, Community Relations Coordinator for the Hays County Area Food Bank. “We are getting requests for food from evacuees staying in our area, but sadly, our shelves are bare!”
The Food Bank is sending an appeal to the community to help restock their shelves with food. Supplies were low to begin with because the jump in gas and grocery prices meant a 20% increase in the number of people seeking help in 2008. Now requests from evacuees from Hurricane Ike have begun pouring in, creating a crisis at the Food Bank.
“Even though San Marcos is not a designated shelter location, many people are seeking refuge from Ike in local motels and with relatives that live here,” reports Tessaro. “Evacuees who have access to a kitchen are being referred to our regularly scheduled food distributions Monday through Friday. But for those staying in hotels with no ability to cook a meal, we are making special bags filled with easy to prepare items.”
“Unfortunately, many families will be staying here for a while, especially the ones from the Galveston area,” notes Tessaro. Any evacuee sheltering in Hays County can get help with food as long as needed. That includes those in motels and those staying with relatives. People can call the Food Bank at 512-392-8300 for information on how and where to get help.
Donations of food and money are needed to meet this demand for food. Donations can be made online at www.HaysFoodBank.org or by mailing a check to Hays County Area Food Bank, 220 Herndon Street, San Marcos, TX 78666. Food items needed include peanut butter, pop-top meats, soups, vegetables and fruits, granola bars, crackers, and bottled water. Donations can be dropped by the office during regular office hours, Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.
The mission of the Food Bank to feed hungry people in Hays County. The local nonprofit has a significant impact upon the quality of life for low-income people in the community. In 2007, they distributed over $850,000 of food throughout their service area at no charge. People receiving food include seniors living on a fixed income, working families with children, the sick and disabled, and people suffering from hard times.
Tessaro explains, “We help people in San Marcos, Kyle, Buda, Uhland, Wimberley, and Martindale each week. We also work with local organizations that serve low-income residents of our area. Last year, the Food Bank passed along over $300,000 worth of food at no charge to social service agencies, churches, local shelters, home health agencies, schools, etc.”
From Hays County Food Bank
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