TYLER, Texas (KETK)- September is Hunger Action Month and KETK is teaming up with Feeding America.

On Wednesday, KETK spoke to volunteers at the East Texas Food Bank about why giving back to our neighbors is important.

In East Texas, more than 260,000 families need help from the food bank and 85,000 children are among those affected by food insecurity, according to Dennis Cullinane, the CEO of the East Texas Food Bank.

However, some community members are hoping to decrease this number and give back.

“We’re really striving to make sure 40% of them is fresh produce. All of the shelf products that we have are really reviewed to make sure they are low sodium,” said Cullinane.

The organization wants to provide healthier options so people are not impacted by diet related diseases.

“It’s the foundation of our community, I mean our community is not going to thrive in the long term if we don’t have people that are coming up in the next couple of decades that aren’t healthy.”

Food insecurity affects many different families.

“Hunger isn’t just for poor people. It’s through all the socioeconomic status(es). This has been especially true with COVID. People who have never been hungry before are now hungry,” said Rosann Blood, a veteran volunteer at the food bank.

The East Texas Food Bank said they would not be able to help others without the support of volunteers.

Blood started volunteering in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina devastated Louisiana and other areas in the United States.

Since then, she has encouraged her family to also get involved.

Blood’s eight children and 20 grandchildren are now volunteers

She said it has brought them all closer together, and they are helping their community and the East Texas Food Bank that relies on volunteers to continue.

Cullinane mentioned the food bank now serves 29 million meals each year.

KETK is holding a virtual food drive with the East Texas Food Bank. To donate, go to this link.

For more information on Hunger Action Month, visit this website.