TYLER, Texas (KETK) – September is hunger action month; a time to raise awareness and take action on food insecurity.
The East Texas Food Bank and other nonprofits were at the Smith County Resource Roadshow Thursday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. It took place at New Days Community Church.
The East Texas Food Bank handed out grapes, veggies like cabbage and carrots and fresh milk to the hundreds who showed up.
“Typically how many we serve is somewhere upwards of 600 families for each of these sessions. We usually are able to distribute about 10,000 pounds of produce and dairy,” the chair for the Smith County Food Security Council, Valerie Smith said.
East Texans left with bags full of food feeling grateful, especially during a time when inflation is hurting so many Americans.
“You have to be wise in your spending so that you can stretch your dollar now. Your pay stays the same but everything is increasing,” Tyler resident and food recipient, Cedrick Moore said.
East Texas nonprofits say they are seeing a rise in people reaching out for help.
“Definitely have seen an uptick in people needing to access food pantries over the last few months as gas prices and food prices have gone up and families are just really having to work harder to stretch their budgets,” Smith added.
Tammy Wilkerson joined around 50 other volunteers working the event.
“I am in the resource area bagging up potatoes, so maybe they’ll be making soup for the cold weather ahead,” Wilkerson said.
She said it’s rewarding to help others, and as long as she’s able to she will keep volunteering.
“Being a part of East Texas in a rural area, there is a need and I like to be a help to provide that need,” Wilkerson added.
The resource roadshow also offered free health screenings, WIC enrollment and job support.