EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank said it will have to temporarily shut down a third site due to a loss in Texas National Guard troops.
On Tuesday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott surged Texas National Guard troops to the border to help with border security, such as arresting those who illegally cross the border, and to help construct border barriers.
EPFHFB CEO Susan Goodell told our media partner El Paso Matters that the food bank is heavily reliant on the National Guard to help out volunteers.
“At this time, the food bank, due to the loss in National Guard, we do not have the manpower to keep five mega distribution sites running,” Goodell said. “We can find the food, we can get that food into El Paso on the back of traffic trailers, but without the manpower to distribute it, frankly this community is in trouble.”
El Paso is the only food bank in Texas that is at risk of losing all of its guard support. Goodell added that they have already lost 20 National Guard members and expect to lose a total of 90 by the end of August.
“We’re now losing the National Guard. We have a two-week period where we will not have them, and even when they come back to us in two weeks, they will be half the size they’ve been in the past,” she said.
Goodell told KTSM 9 News that there has been a decrease in volunteers ever since the pandemic and encourages El Pasoans to volunteer.
The El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank is the only food bank serving the El Paso area and is the third-largest food bank in the world.