Food insecurity in Wichita Falls

With the vision of “hunger-free communities,” the Wichita Falls Area Food Bank is hosting a food drive in honor of National Hunger Awareness Month, Sept. 22-23.

Kincaid said, “with it being hunger awareness month, it’s the time we focus more on hunger and try to get the community more involved. Year to date we are down a small amount in pounds of food, which is why we do things like food drives to help meet the needs of those in our region.”

In the Wichita Falls region 22,560 people are food insecure, meaning they do not know where their next meal will come from. Over the last three years Wichita Falls Area Food Bank has decreased the hunger gap in the region from 9.8 million meals needed annually to 6.9 million meals.

“It’s our neighbor, co-worker, senior citizens, children that to go school with our children, and our veterans that are food insecure,” said Emily Kincaid, marketing and development director for the Wichita Falls Area Food Bank.

Lack of transportation, income, elderly age, and food deserts (areas where quality food is not available) all play a role in the suffering of food insecurity and hunger in the Wichita Falls region.

One in six people in the U.S. are food insecure and 25 percent of them who suffer are children. Wichita Falls Food Bank offers a “Power Pack” service to school children 3-15 years old in need of nutritional food, packing their backpacks and sending them home with a bag of food on Fridays to stop weekend hunger.

Kincaid said, “needs continue to grow with population and there’s no help that’s too small.”

Students can spread awareness and get involved by word of mouth, hosting food drives, monetary donations, and through volunteer opportunities.

Kincaid said, “working here is rewarding because in order to help people in crisis, you witness crisis. I see people’s lives improve everyday and seeing other people want to help is very humbling.”

Participate: Sept. 22, 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. or Sept. 23, 8:30 a.m. to noon.