Food Bank Looking to Improve

POSTED: Tuesday, August 3, 2010 - 11:55am

UPDATED: Wednesday, August 4, 2010 - 1:22pm

El Paso- It's dead last in Texas.  The El Paso County Food Bank only provides 15 pounds of food per person in poverty.

That's good enough to make El Paso the worst county in the state.  Reason number one is not enough helping hands.

"Our agencies are many times handcuffed by volunteer hours.  The lack of volunteers that they have, or the hours that volunteers are available to work," says Lee Pipkin, the Interim Director of the West Texas Food Bank.

The Food Bank's current warehouse is too small.  Which means that reason number two is a space issue.

While it may look big, the warehouse isn't large enough to hold all the food it needs to store.  The Food Bank says it has a plan.

It starts with a new building on Commerce Street.

"It's a 40,000 square foot warehouse that will be able to support the 12 million pounds a year that we need to do as a food bank," says Ruben Sanchez, the General Manager of the El Paso branch of the West Texas Food Bank.

12 million pounds is the Food Bank's yearly distribution goal and the start of planned improvements.  The Food Bank wants to increase awareness as well.

Because community participation is the ultimate solution, and the agency's biggest challenge right now.

"Our problem here in El Paso is no one understands what a Food Bank does," says Sanchez.  "People need to understand that we're feeding hungry people that work everyday."

"There's people that are hungry day in and day out and they have to provide for the needs of their children."

The Food Bank says it will continue to fight hunger, but can't do it without you. 

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