Advocate Editorial Board opinion: More money means more meals for needy

By the Advocate Editorial Board
April 10, 2013 at 6:01 p.m.
Updated April 9, 2013 at 11:10 p.m.

When was the last time you ate? For most of us, the answer is only a few minutes or hours ago, but for others, it could be significantly longer. According the the U.S. Department of Agriculture, one in six Americans do now know where they will get food for their next meal.

That's why groups such as the Food Bank of the Golden Crescent are so important. According to the website, the Food Bank works with nearly 100 organizations in an 11-county area to distribute food that can feed more than 20,000 people every month.

That is an impressive level of outreach, and we are glad to have such a caring organization serving our area. But how does the Food Bank get the funding to buy all this food? According to Operations Director Ruben Velasquez, funding and food items are contributed through both private and federal grants and donations from private citizens and businesses. One of the biggest donators of items is H-E-B, which sends two tractor-trailers of food and nonfood items every month.

Now, residents of the Crossroads have a chance to help the Food Bank get a grant for $40,000 from Wal-Mart. The international retail giant plans to distribute $3 million between 100 Food Banks across the country in its "Fighting Hunger" competition. Residents can vote for their Food Bank of choice to help determine which groups will receive the funds. The Food Bank can provide eight meals for every dollar donated. That means this money could supply up to 320,000 meals.

We encourage members of the Crossroads to go to the Food Bank of the Golden Crescent website and click on the link to vote for the contest.

The Food Bank plans to use the majority of the money from the grant to purchase food, Velasquez said. A small portion might be allocated to pay for maintenance and operation costs, but there are other grants that help cover those needs. The Food Bank would like to put the money toward the Backpack Program for kids at risk of food insecurity. Children receive a bag of food, which helps them get through weekends or holidays when the school is not providing free or reduced-priced lunches.

We are excited to see the Food Bank of the Golden Crescent has the chance to receive an extra $40,000 on top of all the support it already receives from area agencies, businesses and citizens. We encourage our readers to show their support by voting for the Food Bank. If we can bring that money to the Crossroads, we can help feed those in need of a hand up during a tough time.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.



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