SERVINGS HOLIDAY ISSUE 2016
N e w s f r o m t h e E a s t Te x a s F o o d B a n k EastTexasFoodBank.org/GiveHoliday
Thank you for helping us feed our grandchildren I’m Cheryl, and my husband Gilbert and I are grateful to come to this food pantry for help. We’re raising three teenage grandkids and we count on this food to help us have enough. It’s hard to go back to raising kids, but we’re pulling our resources together to take care of them. We moved out here “We’re excited to a couple of years ago get everything when the civil service office at the naval base they give us.” closed down and my —CHERYL husband lost his job. Once that happened, we couldn’t afford to live in that area, so he retired and we came out here. He’s a Vietnam vet, and we were able to get a small house through a VA loan. When we got here, I found out that I had cancer and I haven’t been able to work. Making ends meet on our retirement income is our biggest challenge. Our grocery bill is really high, and by the end of the month, our pantry is pretty empty. When we come to the food distribution, we’re excited to get everything they give us. Nothing goes to waste in our house!
Learning to cook healthy meals I took a Cooking Matters class through East Texas Food Bank and that was really helpful. It taught me to cook differently, using less sodium to prepare healthy meals. They taught us how to grocery shop within our parameters. The whole class really made a big difference for me.
Gilbert and Cheryl rely on the food pantry to have enough to feed themselves and three growing teens.
To the people who support the East Texas Food Bank, God bless you for what you do. Thank you for your gift of generosity. Without you, a lot of us would go hungry. When you realize you don’t have anything for your next meal and your grandchildren are tired of eating rice and beans, getting a basket of food means so much.
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An encouraging word from the CEO
Volunteering with joy
Host a holiday food and fund drive
An encouraging word from the CEO Dear Friend of East Texas Food Bank, The East Texas Food Bank is in full swing with our holiday food distributions. We’re sourcing and distributing the special items so our partner agencies, like the Houston County Share Pantry, can fill holiday meal boxes. We want the families your generosity helps serve to have the resources to enjoy a special meal with their families. We’re also doubling up on the food we put in student backpacks to help them get through their winter Last year we holidays without the fear of distributed a record going hungry.
21.8 million meals, thanks to your generosity.
The holidays are a great time for showing your support by volunteering at our warehouse. During this season of giving, we see many families bringing their children out to volunteer or donating food or funds they’ve worked hard to collect. Seeing families teaching their children to share makes me optimistic for the future. A new generation is being brought up to care for their neighbors in need.
A holiday gift that honors a loved one This holiday season, honor your friend or loved one or celebrate an achievement by giving a special gift to the East Texas Food Bank. Not only will you help fill the plates of struggling families this holiday season, you will also let others know about this important work you support. As an acknowledgment of your gift, the East Texas Food Bank will mail a personalized card to the person you designate. During the Christmas holidays, the card also includes a special cardboard ornament. To make a special tribute gift, please use the enclosed return slip or go online at EastTexasFoodBank.org/GiveHoliday. Thank you for helping us care for those who are struggling with hunger in our community as you honor those you love.
HOLIDAY ISSUE 2016
Your donations help my family have enough to eat—thank you money we have, but it’s not enough to buy food.
Hello. My name is Vivian. This is the first time I’ve come to this pantry. I was just driving by on the street and saw that it was open, so I came in to see if I could get some help with food. They’re real nice people. I really appreciate the help because the price of food is high, and we’ve got to survive some kind of way.
I appreciate all the support There have been a couple of times we’ve had to go hungry, but mostly we get by going to the food pantry. I don’t have a car and our daughter takes the bus to school. But I’m thankful to have a good friend who takes me places. She let me use her car today to go to work and come here to get food.
We have an 11-year-old daughter who goes to school. It’s hard when you’re a parent and you want to buy your child school clothes and supplies, but you just don’t have enough. Things are a struggle for my family right now. My husband is on disability. He used to work on the back of a city garbage truck, but he had a bad accident and lost his whole leg. He’s also diabetic. I work part time sitting with patients at their homes or in a facility. It’s a little paycheck. I pay the bills with whatever
“I really appreciate all the programs the East Texas Food Bank supports to help people like my family.” —VIVIAN
I really appreciate all the programs the East Texas Food Bank supports here in Tyler. They help people like my family who can’t afford enough food. To the people who support East Texas Food Bank—thank you for donating and helping people that really need it. Please don’t ever stop. God bless you for what you’re doing.
A community committed to solutions On the other side of the equation, the need for food assistance is rising in our region. This community problem requires a sustainable solution. We’re seeing more grandparents like Cheryl and her husband who are raising their grandchildren on a fixed income. Recently, we had the opportunity to connect a grandmother to partner agencies who will help her feed eight grandchildren who are in her care.
A great opportunity to serve the community
We would like to thank our
East Texas Food Bank Board of Directors
As more families struggle to provide enough nutritious food, we’re working to increase the amount of food we distribute. Last year we distributed a record 21.8 million meals, thanks to your support.
Your investment in the East Texas Food Bank is at the heart of our ability to find solutions for the problem of hunger in the 26 counties we serve. Your gifts are helping families like Vivian’s and Cheryl’s, as well as many others, to know what it means to have a community caring for them this holiday season. Thank you for your gift of compassion.
Rosemary Jones, Secretary
John Gaston, Immediate Past Chair
Dennis J. Cullinane, CEO
Jim Daughtry Gregg Davis, Chair-Elect Rick Ellis
Kim Lewis Lisa Lujan Cathy Schreiber, Treasurer Mark Scirto Michael W. Stevens, Chair
When Nikki Evans graduated from high school, she volunteered one day at Lanes Chapel Methodist Church food pantry, one of our partner agencies. She hasn’t stopped helping since. In fact, she even arranges her college class schedule to fit in with her volunteering schedule. “It’s a great opportunity to serve God and the community around us,” says Nikki. “One week, I had a final, and someone coming in for food prayed for me. It’s a real blessing. We’re doing something for them and they’re doing something for us, and everyone comes out ahead.” Working the intake computer, Nikki sees a lot of families with children who are struggling to get by on a small income. Those are the ones who really tug at her
heart. It surprised her to discover how much need there was in a community close to home. “Now I see people differently,” she says. “When I see people walking on the street, I start wondering, ‘What’s their situation? What can I do for them?’ It’s opened my eyes to people’s needs. I’m just more willing to help.” The East Texas Food Bank is working with over 200 agencies to help distribute the nutritious food and holiday meals that your donations provide. What a difference this makes to families who are struggling during this holiday season. “People come in and they say ‘thank you so much!’” says Nikki. “Something so little can be a big thing for them. There’s just a really big joy in being able to do something like this.”
“There’s just a really big joy in being able to do something like this.” —NIKKI
Host a holiday food and fund drive
Providing holiday meals and more— thanks to you!
Give the gift of food this holiday season by helping us stock up our warehouse with non-perishable items. There are several ways to help:
At the Houston County Share food pantry in Crockett, Texas, the lines for food get longer during the holidays. Families who come in for a monthly food box also get a turkey or ham to help with a holiday meal. “We’re just amazingly busy November and December,” says Cliff Coldiron, director of the pantry. “There are a lot of hungry folks in this community, and they’re “There are a lot of trying to piece together hungry folks out in a holiday meal.”
Donate food items: Donate your items at a food drive happening in your area by visiting our website to find “food drives happening now” or drop off your donation at our main distribution center in Tyler during normal business hours. Host a Drive: Individuals, businesses and organizations can sign up to hold a food drive by completing a “food drive request” at least two weeks in advance. Items needed most: • Canned meat or fish (ham, Spam, pork, tuna, salmon) • Canned vegetables, fruits or juice (no glass containers) • Canned or packaged meats (mac and cheese, chili, stews, soups, pasta) • Peanut butter and hot and cold cereal.
this community, and
With a 26 percent poverty they’re trying to piece rate here in Crockett, the food pantry serves 600 together a holiday families a month and meal.” —CLIFF COLDIRON delivers food boxes to about 100 seniors. Ninety percent of their food comes through the East Texas Food Bank, including special distributions of fresh fruits and vegetables that are open to all families twice a month. “Growing up, we always had a turkey at Thanksgiving. It’s an American tradition,” says Cliff. “There are some people that don’t have it. Not because it’s not a tradition, but because they can’t afford it. This is just a way we can share what we’ve all done for many years and that’s have a holiday meal.”
Items should be non-perishables in unopened packages. Foods cannot be in glass containers and must be within the expiration dates listed on the package. For more information about our food and fund drives, visit our website at EastTexasFoodBank.org/GetInvolved/GiveFood or please contact Rosemary McClain at rmcclain@EastTexasFoodBank.org.
This holiday season, you can make a real difference in the lives of these families. To help fill plates this holiday season, please give using the reply form or visit us online at EastTexasFoodBank.org/GiveHoliday. Thank you for giving the gift of food to our East Texas neighbors in need.
MY HOLIDAY GIFT—$1 provides food for 8 meals YES, Dennis, I want to provide the gift of food for East Texas children, families and seniors who are struggling this holiday season.
To charge your gift by phone, call 800.815.FOOD.
Enclosed is my gift of: □ $150 □ $100 □ $50 □ $25 □ Other $______
Please charge my gift on my credit card: □ VISA □ MC □ AMEX □ DISC
m I want to become a Meal-A-Day donor with a monthly gift of $_________. My first gift is enclosed.
NAME ON ACCOUNT
ADDRESS CITY STATE ZIP
Please make your check payable to:
EAST TEXAS FOOD BANK 3201 Robertson Road Tyler, TX 75701-2532
TELEPHONE NUMBER SIGNATURE
Give online at EastTexasFoodBank.org/GiveHoliday Your donation is tax-deductible as permitted by law. The East Texas Food Bank will send you a receipt in gratitude for your kindness to the individuals and families in East Texas who rely on us for food.