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Food insecurity increases demand at local food banks and pantries

The COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain issues and inflation have affected many people with food insecurity.

SAN ANGELO, Texas — As food costs rise because of inflation, many people are being affected by food insecurity, especially college students.

Angelo State University offers students food assistance through its Ram Pantry. Program Coordinator Sabrina Torres has been working with the Multicultural and Student Activities program since 2018. Torres said once the pandemic hit, more students began to stop by for food items. 

“Numbers weren't as high as they are now because of course the pandemic had hit and a lot of things happened in the world right, so we do have an influx of students coming in and using the Ram Pantry as a resource,” Torres said. 

Torres said the pantry usually has between 15 to 20 students a day stop by to pick up food. She said students are very appreciative of the food assistance offered. 

“They are very grateful for this service here at Angelo state because it helps them, and they don't have to worry about struggling with food insecurity in general,” Torres said. 

The COVID-19 pandemic affected many people and as a result, the Concho Valley Regional Food Bank will be hosting a mega food distribution open to the general public. The CVRFB began to do quarterly food distributions as the COVID-19 pandemic began affecting community members. 

“We didn't have the distributions, these distributions that we’re now offering prior to COVID. So, then COVID comes along, and it impacts people’s livelihoods, their finances and we realized then that we needed to do something and so the food distributions began once COVID made its negative impact in our world,” Concho Valley Regional Food Bank Director of Development, Susan Gober said. 

Gober said the CVRFB is prepared to serve between 800-1,000 households during the mega food distribution. CVRFB Executive Director Lee Pipkin said there has been a higher demand to host mega food distributions with the COVID-19 pandemic and supply chain issues. 

“It started really with the COVID type deal. In 2019, we distributed about 2.2 million pounds. In 2021, we distributed over three million pounds each year, so it’s definitely gone up, the effects are still out there, the effects are going to continue to be out there not only for COVID but for the supply chain issues,” Pipkin said. 

The mega food distribution will take place from 10 a.m. to noon, March 26, at ASU’s Foster Field, 1600 University Ave.

The CVRFB is in need of volunteers for their event, for more information visit Conchovalleyfoodbank.org.

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