POSTED: Friday, September 9, 2011 - 4:50pm
UPDATED: Friday, September 9, 2011 - 11:38pm
EL PASO - We don't often think about how many people go hungry; but, it's a big number in the Borderland. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, one out of every four El Pasoans doesn't have enough food to eat. Now, a non-profit group in the area is launching a campaign to change that.
Rosa Gonzalez goes to the Kelly Memorial Food Pantry twice a month.
“They give us cans, cans of milk, chiles, potatoes, onions...it depends on what they have,” said Gonzalez.
She said that's partly how she, her daughter, and her three grandchildren get food. Gonzalez is one of the 215,000 people in El Paso, that's considered "food insecure." That means, she doesn't always get enough to eat.
However, a new food bank known as El Pasoans Fighting Hunger, or EPFH, is hoping to change that. For the last 15 years, a distribution center that stores food in El Paso, was run by the West Texas Food Bank in Odessa. The size of the 4,000-square-foot facility limited the amount of food El Paso was able to store for its hungry population.
Tanny Berg, a local businessman with EPFH said the new independent food bank will make it possible to obtain a big warehouse to process the food, and then send it out to over 100 pantries in the area.
"What I'm looking to do is buy the 180,000-square-foot facility that will be big enough,” said Berg.
The size of new site is good news for Ruben Sanchez, who runs the current distribution center for the West Texas Food Bank in El Paso, which will turn into EPHG.
“The facilities play a big role in being able to house the food, get the food in on a quicker basis and turn it around quicker,” said Sanchez.
EPFH said the amount of food that's given out to the needy isn't enough, but they're hoping the community will get involved, and help get more food out to the people who need it.
“We can make a difference together. The community can help by organizing food drives, canned food drives, and taking the food down to the food bank,” said Berg.
Gonzalez, who relies on this service to feed her family, said she's grateful for anything she can get.
“It doesn't last very long, but every little bit helps,” added Gonzalez.
If you'd like to volunteer or donate money to help fight hunger in El Paso, call the West Texas Food Bank at: (915) 595-1060.