Food Bank Of The Golden Crescent New Facility Now Open
The Food Bank of the Golden Crescent’s new home is getting visitors
VICTORIA, Texas There will be two open houses. The first one happened on Friday for city leadersthen Saturday the community open house ceremony from 8 am to noon. Food Bank of the Golden Crescent president and C.E.O. Robin Cadle says not only will this allow for bigger volunteer group.. but gives them an opportunity to reach more people more efficiently.The new facility will double the size of their current one, doubles their warehouse capacity, and triples their refrigeration capacity.
We can get so much more food and we can also get so many more volunteers in to help package the food and repack it and help ship it. Its a win win. said Robin Cadle.
The grand opening of the new Food Bank of the Golden Crescent, at 801 south Laurent, ceremony is also a celebration of hunger action month. The food bank moved into its new location on September 6th.
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Food Bank Of The Golden Crescent
The Food Bank of the Golden Crescent is the support system for over 100 agencies in our 11 county service area of Calhoun, Colorado, DeWitt, Goliad, Gonzales, Jackson, Lavaca, Matagorda, Refugio, Wharton and Victoria.
Our Kids Backpack program provides children with nourishing meals during the weekend, the mobile food pantries reach rural communities where there are no agencies to serve at-risk populations, our social service assistance helps our neighbors in need in securing the benefits they may qualify for, SNAP nutritional education for children, families and senior groups is an effort to arm them with information to make better food choices, and the Farmers Market program is an opportunity for the food bank to establish a working relationship with local farmers and growers, while providing access to fresh produce not only to the general public but to those we serve.
Where Does The Food Come From
Most of the food at the Food Bank of the Golden Crescent is rescued, Cadle said.
Rescue food that is approaching a best by date not an expiration date or is not selling well and is donated to the food bank by a store.
We pick up at all the stores in our area, and of course, theres 11 counties, Cadle said. So if theres an H-E-B or Walmart or Sams, we pick up and rescue that food.
Additionally, H-E-B sends two 53-foot trailers full of rescued food to the food bank each month, she said.
The food bank has to process all of the rescued food to ensure it is edible, cans arent dented, bags arent punctured and more before organizing food items into categories, Cadle said. This is a time and labor intensive process that is made more difficult by a lack of space combined with increased amounts of food to process.
Rescued food from retail partners, along with food donated from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Texas Department of Agriculture, make up 65% of all funding at Victorias food bank.
The food bank hasnt felt the effects of supply chain challenges, Cadle said. While it does take sometimes six months for the organization to get food it orders in, its not a huge challenge because the organization already has to place food orders a year in advance.
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Food Bank Finds New Home Amid Continuing High Operations
The shelves at the Food Bank of the Golden Crescent in Victoria are filled with pallets of food that stretch to the ceiling. The warehouse is operating at capacity, and has been for some time.
When I first came here , our shelves were not full, said Robin Cadle, CEO of the food bank.
The amount of meals the food bank distributes nearly doubled when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and the nonprofit has continued to feed the Crossroads while operating out of a building that can barely support it. While the food bank sees no end in sight for increased operations, the nonprofit continues to meet demand and has even found a new home that could ease its stresses.
The end of pandemic-era benefits combined with inflation has contributed to increased need for food banks, said Celia Cole, CEO of Feeding Texas, a network of food banks that the Food Bank of the Golden Crescent is part of.
At Victorias food bank, that need continues to be met, though the small size of their building makes it difficult to do so, Cadle said.
Luckily, she said, in the coming months they will move into a building that is double the size of their current one, which will make processing and distributing food a much smoother process.
Benefits ending and inflation increasing cause stress
Its alarming that a higher need for food bank services continues while pandemic-related assistance ceases, Cole said.
Cadle echoed those sentiments.
Families And Struggles Alike: Everyone Deserves To Eat
Meet Anne Lee, farmer, mother, and devoted wife. Its no surprise that family farmers within America have had a tough time since before the pandemic. In fact, most farmers have had to sell milk for less than the cost to actually produce itthis has been an ongoing problem since 2015. Anne Lees family was caught in a downward spiral in 2019 as the money they were making from dairy cows wasnt nearly enough to keep food on their table and for the first time, they realized they would need a little extra help. Anne and her family decided to turn to a local food pantry.
My moms voice kept going through my head, Anne shares. Take the helping hand when you need it and give back when you dont. The pantry changed everything for us. The pantry was able to help Anne and her husband feed themselves and their three children.
As they didnt have to worry about food during this time, they shifted their focus to changing operations on their farm, and with the introduction of their butcher shop to the farm, they have now been able to support themselves without any help for the first time in over a year. Anne shares, We wouldnt be where we are today without the pantry. The least we can do is give back to say thanks.
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The Food Bank Of The Golden Crescent
Our mission is “helping heal the hurt of hunger.” Serving eleven counties in Texas which include Calhoun, Colorado, DeWitt, Goliad, Gonzales, Jackson, Lavaca, Matagorda, Refugio, Victoria, and Wharton. All of these counties are included in the Presidential Declared Disaster zone and will be facing months of recovery.
Children, adults as well as many senior citizens are facing food insecurity issues due to Hurricane Harvey. The Food Bank has increased our distribution to those in need by helping provide access to food and supplies to children, adults and families in our eleven county service area.
Please know that your generosity and support will help create stability and hope for our hungry neighbors, who are now facing the devastation from the high winds and rising waters. Your support is a critical component as we begin the road to recovery for our neighbors in need. This catastrophic event touched the lives of many in our service area, which covers nearly 11,000 square miles and every county we serve is included in the declared disaster area.
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What We Do
The Community Food Bank of Victoria opened its doors on May 16, 1986. A local community activist, Amelia Funari, recognized a need for a local Food Bank after driving to Corpus to obtain food for her youth program. She approached Eddie Garcia with H-E-B Food Stores, who agreed to provide donations, and Second Harvest , the nations largest network of food banks, who provided assistance to guide the small operation into a full-fledged organization.
During the first year, the Community Food Bank distributed a modest 6,800 pounds of food to 25 social service agencies in 7 counties. In 2007, the name of the organization was changed to better reflect its service to over 100 agencies in 11 counties.
Today, the Food Bank of the Golden Crescent has distributed nearly 50 million pounds of food valued at $70 million dollars. The Food Bank receives donations from H-E-B, Walmart, Sams Club, Target, Walgreens, and other national retailers, as well as local growers and community members, and distributes the food to the needy through its network of member agencies and direct service programs like the Mobile Pantry Program and the Kids’ Backpack Program.
According to a Feeding America study, food banks are by far the single most important source of food for most service agencies, accounting for 74% of the food used by food pantries, 49% for soup kitchens, and 42% for shelters.
Who We Are
WHO WE SERVE
More than 20,000 individuals receive food assistance through the Food Banks 112 member agencies in the 11 counties of the Golden Crescent every month .
8% of these individuals are infants and toddlers under 5 years of age.
36.4% are children under the age of 18.
10% are elderly .
5% receive Temporary Assistance for needy families and 7% receive general assistance.
68% survive on incomes below the federal poverty level.
Many of our clients report having to make the difficult choice between food and other basic necessities, such as paying for utilities or heating fuel, rent or mortgage, medicine or medical care.
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