TYLER, Texas —
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that in 2020, 13.8 million households were food insecure. Food insecurity means at some point during the year, households had difficulty providing enough food due to a lack of money or other resources.
According to Dennis Cullinane, CEO of East Texas Food Bank, East Texas is in a "crisis" ranking in the top 5 for the highest number of food insecurity in the state. 1 in 5 East Texans and 1 in 4 children experience food insecurity. Cullinane added, "It's in your neighborhood. It could be right down your street. You just never know the struggle people have behind that front door."
In Smith County, 39,240 individuals and 14,080 children are food insecure according to the East Texas Food Bank. The average median household income is $56,810 and the average yearly cost for food is $16,991. For a family of 4, that's $67,964 a year; more than the average household income.
Cullinane says, "the wage growth has not kept pace with the rise in cost for food or the cost of living," he continues, "many are one crisis away, one major medical emergency, a car breakdown..."
The East Texas Food Bank works tirelessly day in an day out to achieve their goal: equitable access to nutritious foods.
The food bank is participating in Feeding America's Hunger Action Month all month of September. They also have a drive-thru produce distribution in Longview on Friday, September 10th from 8:00 am to 10:00 am at the Gregg County Fairgrounds.
No ID or paperwork is needed.