Making (Food) Bank!: How the Food Bank of the RGV Keeps a Community Fed and How You Can Help

By Calypso

7/11/2022

There are few things in life as unifying as the appreciation of eating well. Be it a quick snack from the pantry or an elaborate feast patched together from every building block of the food pyramid, a good meal goes a long way. We need it to keep ourselves going and we prefer it to satisfy our particular cravings. While many of us are fortunate enough to consider a trip to the grocery store or a restaurant an uneventful given, there are just as many for whom getting enough to eat is an ongoing struggle.

The Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley does its part to help. But providing nutritious food for South Texans in need is only one part of what they provide for the community at large. Today we’re taking a deeper look at the Food Bank of the RGV, what they do, what Lacks does with them, and how you can lend a hand.

History

The Food Bank of Rio Grande Valley has been at work for nearly 40 years. Over the course of that time, it has grown to be one of the largest charities in all of South Texas, providing food for the counties of Cameron, Hidalgo, and Willacy. Most recently, it saw a 195% increase in demand for its services during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020—and still continued to feed and educate those in need. In all straits, the Food Bank of the RGV has held true to its mission to improve the lives of people it assists with good food, nutrition education, and access to community services.

What the Food Bank of the RGV Does

While the first thing that comes to mind when we think of a food bank is, ‘distributing food,’ the Food Bank of the RGV isn’t just a meal dispenser. Providing food to its surrounding counties is the top priority, of course! But it also handles a multitude of other services via its many programs. These include:

  • Food distribution by mobile delivery and/or direct drive thru via their pantry
  • Offering classes on food safety, nutrition, healthy meal prep, budgeting, and working with SNAP-Ed
  • Guidance through the application processes for SNAP, Medicaid, CHIP, TANF, and the Healthy Texas Women’s Program
  • Providing elementary schools with needed supplies via its program, School Tools, working in conjunction with The Kids in Need Foundation

Lacks’ Work with Food Bank of the RGV

 Lacks has been donating to the Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley for years. Whether it's in monetary donations or on-the-ground help with volunteer hands helping distribute the food, Lacks Furniture is always excited to support a foundation that gives so much to the communities we love. Most recently, a donation from our Aaronson Foundation has contributed to a full remodeling of the Food Bank's lobby, with an official ribbon-cutting ceremony on the way to display the new look. 

What You Can Do

The Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley is an amazing place—and one that always welcomes helping hands!

  • Donate: Be it online or by mail, monetary donations are the biggest help in providing carefully selected nutritious food for distributing.
  • Food Drive: A classic way to gather extra non-perishable goods via the general public, businesses, and organizations.
  •  Volunteer: Hands-on volunteers are always in demand to pack and distribute food to the community.
  • Advocate: Your voice is just as helpful as your hands. Especially when it comes to letting the needs of the pantry and the people who depend on it be known to government officials who can offer relief.
  • Stay Updated: There’s always a new event on the way. Check out their calendar to see which ones you might want to join in!
  • Support in Times of High Need: Whatever you decide is the best way to help out, there are certain times of the year which need the most attention. The summer months are often a high demand period, as school lunches are no longer provided for families with children. The holiday period is likewise in a crunch, leaving less of the usual grocery store staples to pick from. If you're undecided about when to chip in, either of these seasons are a good choice!

Conclusion

All our thanks goes out to the Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley and the outstanding people who keep it running. If you’re interested in learning more about the Food Bank of the RGV or just ways to help keep our communities fed, check out the links below!

Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley

Feeding America

Feeding America: Find Your Local Food Bank

FRAC: Food Research and Action Center