San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

August 8th, 2011
Texas State class helps hungry families




A group of Texas State students recently delivered 162 pounds of food to the Hays County Food Bank. The donations gathered by the students were among 1,511 pounds of goods brought to the food bank the last week of July.

Students in the Writing for Public Relations course promoted the food drive with a “Get Off Your Cans” theme. Texas State senior lecturer Charles Kaufman, who teaches the course, has used the food drive for the past three years as a way to make a positive contribution to the community while instructing students about social and traditional media.

“Students reach Facebook friends and Twitter followers quickly and often, but equally important, if not more effective, are direct relationships individuals have through face-to-face networking,” Kaufman said.

Texas Roadhouse at Exit 204 on Interstate 35 gave the food drive a large boost with its employee donations. The food drive served as an incentive to pantry-cleaning for students whose apartment leases expired at the end of the month.

“It’s wonderful that our class could be part of something so helpful to our community this summer,” said Lindsey West, one of Kaufman’s students.

Though Texas State students are among many San Marcos residents who volunteer at the Hays County Food Bank, more than 90 percent of the food bank’s volunteers are on community service duty as assigned by the court system, said Hays County Food Bank Executive Director Jerry Gracy.

“Volunteers are the heart and soul of the food bank,” said Hays County Food Bank Client Services Coordinator Heather Giles. “Without them we couldn’t feed the community.”

The Hays County Food Bank feeds an average of 600 families a week. The families range from two to 11 people.

“I really enjoy my job,” said Nicole George, a summer intern at the food bank. “It makes me feel good to know that even though I am working, I’m helping out the community as well. It’s been a great experience.”

Giles said donations drop significantly during the summer. Giles said donations this summer are less than previous summers, while demand has increases compared to last year.

Year-to-date figures show 225,595 pounds raised this year, compared to 266,505 pounds of food last year. A total of 83 pounds of food can feed one family of four for an entire week.

Four H-E-B stores in the county are the largest donors of food items, particularly in the summer. San Marcos churches, schools and businesses, including the Tanger and Premium Outlets, also donate to the food bank throughout the year.

The Hays County Food Bank accepts nonperishable food items year round. Bring items to the Hays County Food Bank at 220 Herndon Street from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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