Helping the Hungry in & around Angelina County

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - "We're feeding this area. Not just the county, but surrounding areas that is just hungry," says Linda Smelly, the Executive Director for the Christian Information and Service Center.

"The numbers have increased from about 5,000 to 6,000 a month and the last 3 months we've fed about 10,000 people," people who simply need help feeding their families.

"We have some people come in every week. This is all they eat. They don't have food stamps, some of them."

And food isn't the only thing that people are requesting.  "With the price of gas and food people are coming in like never before," says Smelley.

That's where Love INC comes in.  Executive Director Jerry Spann says they are seeing more clients as well.  "This year we are seeing an increase of 34% over last year.  About 10% of that is new families in Angelina County that need help, just to get started."

So Love INC reaches out to all the agencies that can help with medicine, clothing, gas even utilities.

"Part of the problem is gas. Do I buy food, do I buy gas, do I buy medicine," and they don't want people to have to chose.

"Now we can work with a client, get their background in 3-4 minutes, get right into the need immediately. Which allows us to get them connected to a church, which is our primary purpose, and from there an agency that can help them."

Lucky for Angelina County, directors say our outreach programs are the best.

"There is no other Love INC in the country that is connected with a food bank like here.  In Angelina County, there is literally not a person who has to go to bed hungry, without a place to sleep and without clothing. The three basic needs are taken care of."

So whatever the need, someone is there to help.

"You go home knowing you helped someone get food, get baby diapers or clothes they didn't have. So yeah, you go home and say today I did something for the Lord. And that's what it's all about."

CISC also has free uniforms for area kids and they will soon start their "backpack buddies" program, which feeds kids on the weekends when they aren't at school.

To contact CISC, call 396-634-2857. They are located at 501 S Angelina Ave at Raguet St. in Lufkin, right next to Lufkin Industries.  To contact Love INC, call 936-637-6637 or click here to visit their website.