The Retail Store Donation Program is a strategic initiative that enables the Southeast Texas Food Bank to increase our emergency food distribution by collecting food from participating grocers that would otherwise be thrown away. These goods are then distributed to our agencies in our 8-county wide service area.
Our School Tools program provides school supplies to 32 elementary schools in Southeast Texas that have a large percentage of low-income students. Our free store allows teachers at those schools to access the supplies once a month during the school year. The teachers in turn distribute the supplies to the children whose families cannot provide them. This program helps keep low-income children motivated in the learning environment and excited about classroom activities. Not having adequate supplies can embarrass children and set them on a course of a dislike of school. Our goal is to ensure these children have the tools they need to succeed early in the educational process.
Texas Second Chance is a partnership between the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and Texas Food Banks. The program is designed to give inmates a “second chance” to be a productive member of our community. Inmates from the Larry Gist State Jail volunteer at the Food Bank Monday through Friday, working in all areas of our distribution operations.
The Southeast Texas Food Bank BackPack Program provides sacks of kid-friendly, healthy snack food to some of the neediest children in the rural areas of Southeast Texas.
We are located in six counties – Hardin, Jasper, Sabine, Tyler, Polk and Newton – and deliver to 20 schools to serve over 1000 children. The supplemental food that these children receive each week may help offset or reverse some of the developmental delays caused by even mild malnutrition that is associated with poverty.
The Mobile Pantry Program is a direct service to reach those who are struggling to access the help they need. With this program the Food Bank brings the pantry to the neighborhood. We partner with an agency or organization that wants to help, but does not have the ability to operate a regular pantry. This innovative program has improved nutrition in rural areas where fresh produce and basic food items are often hard to come by.
The Southeast Texas Food Bank has teamed up with the Lamar University Dietetic Internship to offer child nutrition education classes to schools in some of our most rural counties. In the class, the intern makes a presentation during the PE classes. The fun, interactive presentation includes useful information for kids on healthy eating, games and prizes, and sometimes even a healthy snack! Apples and peanut butter are always a hit.
Kids Cafe is an after-school feeding program that provides a hot meal to kids in a safe, positive environment. Southeast Texas Food Bank partners with existing after-school programs that provide tutoring and enrichment to serve hot meals three days each week to the kids.