Houston Food Bank helps fight Texas' record-level food insecurity

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The need for food across southeast Texas continues to be at near-record demand.

Houston Food Bank CEO Brian Greene spoke with Eyewitness News on Monday about their ability to help during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a study conducted by the Census Bureau, food insecurity in Texas was at about 14 percent. Now, it has almost doubled.

"It's important to recognize food insecurity isn't just food insecurity. It's a reflection of households that are struggling financially overall," said Greene. "The super long lines, we're just not seeing those. We were running well over a million pounds a day. We're running now around 900,000 pounds a day, which is still way above where we were pre-COVID."

From March 9 to the end of May, the food bank distributed more than 60 million pounds of food to the needy.

Among the groups helping to get the food to those who need it is Get Shift Done. The non-profit helps out-of-work hospitality workers by providing paid shifts to help with food distribution.

Patrick Brandt, with the group, said the demand is beyond their expectations.

"We've gone further than we ever expected. We thought this was going to be a 10 to 12 week," said Brandt. "That seems silly now when you look in the rear view mirror. I do think the need is still there. It's still very acute for the people it is impacting."

Food is not the only thing the food bank is helping families with.

"What we're really doing is helping them to be able to pay their rent, utility bills. It's all tied together," said Greene.

If you need food for your family, visit the Houston Food Bank's website. They can help connect you to resources in your community.
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