East Texas food pantries stress importance of donations - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

East Texas food pantries stress importance of donations

KTRE staff KTRE staff
KTRE staff KTRE staff

Many East Texans find relief from hunger at Harvest House, a helping hand ministry of North Street Church of Christ in Nacogdoches.

Those looking for help in the Pineywoods are part of an estimated 1.7 million Texas households that were food insecure last year, according to a recent report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“A lot of people out here don't have adequate money come into the house to where they have to pay their bills first, so they don't have money left over to buy adequate food for their children,” said Harvest House client Kellie Thornton.

Twenty-five percent of Nacogdoches County's population is below the poverty level. Harvest House director David Fears meets the challenge to keep adequate supplies for food insecure households. 

“We serve close to 5,200 total people per year,” Fears said.

Harvest House is not the only food pantry seeing rising numbers. Nacogdoches Helping Other People Eat is also seeing food demands rise.

"Our pantry is a small pantry, but we feed about 1,900 people a month,” said Denise Lee, Executive Director of Nacogdoches H.O.P.E.

For these pantries, KTRE's Pineywoods Fair Food Drive is a Godsend. The drive is the second largest drive for the charities.

“We depend very much on these donations from people in the community,” Lee said.

“We have to either buy or we get donations and this saves us lots of money and helps us out tremendously,” Fears said.

The CEO of Feeding Texas states, "To solve this problem we need to create more opportunities for struggling families to earn a living wage, and increase our investment in programs designed to supplement lower earnings."

The annual KTRE Food Drive at the Pineywoods Fair will be Wednesday night from 4 p.m.-10 p.m. For every three cans brought to the KTRE Mobile Studio, fair-goers will receive a voucher for $5 off of a wristband that allows for unlimited carnival rides.
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