Houston Food Bank in need of help

HOUSTON The Houston Food Bank says in its near three-decade history, it's never seen this many people asking for help.

Volunteers are leaning over laptops, working the phone bank for the Houston Food Bank; they take call after call from countless ZIP codes throughout the Houston area.

The callers are down on their luck this Christmas season.

"A couple was like oh I just got laid off and I feel bad because my children aren't going to have a good Christmas, and I'm so thankful for this food and I'm not even worried about presents. I'm just thankful we have food to eat on that day," high school volunteer Bella Olguin said.

During these trying economic times, the numbers are up for the Houston Food Bank. People seeking help from non-profits are at an all-time high.

"About half of our agencies are seeing 25 percent, 50 percent increases; that's huge, especially if you're a small agency," said Betsy Ballard with the Houston Food Bank. "The Houston Food Bank is distributing more food than ever, and we are very challenged in keeping up with that many."

Last year, the agency distributed 65 million pounds of food to 18 counties in the greater Houston area. It's a number the food bank expects to exceed this year because of the calls that keep coming into volunteers who donated their time as a way to share their holidays.

"For me, I get a lot more out of giving than receiving," volunteer Steve Schneider said.

The Houston Food Bank thinks it will distribute 70 million pounds of food to the greater Houston area this year.

ABC13's Share Your Holidays food drive is Friday, December 10 from 6am to 6pm at collection sites around the greater Houston area

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