With Thanksgiving just days away turkey donations are hitting an all time low at Wichita Falls Area Food Bank. Charities and food banks nationwide also report that donations have plummeted. Newschannel 6 was at Wichita Falls Area Food Bank and we are told the rough economy is to blame.
Wendell Griffin, Operations Manager at Wichita Falls Area Food Bank tells us they have received a total of eight donated turkeys this year for Thanksgiving. They saw the same numbers last year. Griffin tells us with people's pocket books still feeling the pinch, they have to rely on purchased goods to feed Texoma families in need.
Griffin comments, "All the food banks are feeling the pinch right now." The Wichita Falls Area Food Bank freezers are almost empty. All that remains in them are just a handful of donated turkeys ready to be delivered. Griffin says, "The economy, that's always a big factor. The cost of the turkey is not cheap by any means, so people donating turkeys happens not so much."
Wendell Griffin says they have anticipated this years dropping numbers. The Wichita Falls Area Food Bank has purchased 500 turkeys and those are already all gone. The 145 agencies the food bank serves are in need of more food. Griffin comments, "Their numbers have been going up just like ours. Every year they come and get more food. We see the numbers from them and the numbers of people they're serving just getting bigger."
This year the Wichita Falls Area Food Bank is on track to distribute four million pounds of food to Texoma families. But their biggest fear is looking down the road. "Not having enough food to feed everybody. That's always our biggest concern. That's why we have to purchase food so we can meet the need."
Meeting the need and feeding others is something Griffin and the rest of the staff do all year round. "It's not just the holidays when people need the food it's throughout the year. It's an on going thing but most people do think about it during the holidays."
Wendell Griffin says they will usually see more donated turkeys come in after Thanksgiving. The Wichita Falls Area Food Bank is looking to get about 100 donated turkeys. Those turkeys along with hams will go towards feeding families over the Christmas holidays.
The Wichita Falls Area Food Bank tells Newschannel 6 if you or your family is in need of some help over the holidays you can call the Texas 211 Service Help line. They can connect you to your local food pantry.