As summer draws to a close, let’s take a look back at what happened in Hays County this season. School ended and it was great for a bit, but then the floods happened. Some people lost everything they had, but everybody was affected in some way. That’s why the group relief effort was so massive in June, because so many people immediately wanted to help out in some way or another. Volunteers were abundant in number, donations (monetary and goods), came from all over the country, and the rebuilding was going quickly. There were even relief benefits all over the state to help out the Hill Country.
Then July happened, and it’s like people forgot that people still need help. Did you know that many children do not have access to nutritious food in the summer? According to Feeding America, up to 64% of all Hays County students may qualify for free or reduced lunches, and some of these students may have been displaced because of the floods. When they aren’t in school, their families may not be able to afford three well-balanced meals a day. While there are summertime feeding programs for these kids, some either don’t know about them or are unable to utilize them for some reason. The Hays County Food Bank is still here to help out any who may need it, regardless of the season, but we still need your help.
July was the slowest time since February for us when it came to food donations from the community. From May to July we saw a 92.5% decrease. The Hays County Food Bank relies heavily on community donations in order to fulfill our mission of feeding hungry people in Hays County, and with the floods, we have seen a dramatic increase of people in need. At least 434 new individuals have needed our help since Memorial Day.
Since families are coming back to town from vacations, and schools are back in session soon, we propose a fix. Instead of waiting until the end of the year to host a food drive, why not do it now? Why not have a school-year food drive, instead of one that lasts just a few weeks or months. If you have a business, grab a box and be a donation site. Then you can visit us in San Marcos and make a drop-off once a week or month. If you collect over 400 pounds of food, we will even come pick it up for you.
The world works a lot better if we all continue to help each other. We will always be here for the folks who needs us in the area, and we hope you will be too. Don’t make donating an effort only when a crisis happens or it’s the holiday season, make it a habit. Together, we can end hunger in our county.