Identifying The ProblemIn the State of Texas, 1 in every 4 children lives in poverty and about 15% of the elderly in Southeast Texas live in poverty. In fact, the same statistic is true for our entire country. The nation’s economic crisis has sent the number of Americans who lack enough food skyrocketing. Nationally, about 15 percent of the population is deemed food insecure, meaning they do not have guaranteed access to three meals per day. Locally, that number is even higher in the eight counties we serve. If you would like to learn more, visit the following site about Household Food Security. With numbers so high, it is our duty to fight against the crippling effects of chronic hunger.
Leading The Fight Against Hunger in Southeast Texas.
To eliminate hunger and inadequate nutrition in Southeast Texas.
We’re Making An ImpactYou may be surprised to know that about 12,000 households receive food each month from member agencies of the Southeast Texas Food Bank. We serve the counties of Jefferson, Orange, Hardin, Jasper, Newton, Polk, Sabine, and Tyler. We distribute to approximately 130 nonprofit agencies within these eight counties. Our partner agencies preparing meals provide approximately 90,000 meals to people in need each month. Although our efforts are paying off, your continued support is vital to our ongoing struggle. Thank you for supporting the Southeast Texas Food Bank.
Southeast Texas Food Bank History
The Southeast Texas Food Bank traces its origins to 1991 when it began operations as a satellite distribution organization of the Houston Food Bank. Inhabiting an ill-fitted building that had formerly been a bread factory, the Southeast Texas Food Bank struggled to fulfill its charge to distribute food to low-income residents in seven regional counties, managing a modest distribution of less than 500,000 pounds annually.
In 1999, a series of significant modifications to the building and a renewed focus on developing appropriate infrastructure to increase food distribution operations began. At that time, the Houston Food Bank established a five-year schedule designed to allow the Southeast Texas Food Bank to function with its own charter and an independent affiliation with parent organization Feeding America. By 2002, all the benchmarks in that process had been met, allowing the Southeast Texas Food Bank to become an independent food bank in the Feeding America network, affording it greater opportunities for donations from national food manufacturers and the chance to contract with the Texas Department of Agriculture to distribute USDA commodities.
Subsequently, the Southeast Texas Food Bank’s scale of operations and community impact increased dramatically. The volume of food distributed grew almost ten-fold in the next decade and the number of associated member agencies receiving distributed food doubled.
In 2020, the Food Bank exceeded 10 million pounds of food which translates into over 8 million meals distributed to our community. This output growth was driven in part by the hurricane but also implementing some of the initial steps identified in a 10-year strategic plan through 2025.
This food is distributed to low-income members of the community through our association with more than 100 member social service agencies and 40 qualified schools in our eight-county service territory.