LUBBOCK, Texas – South Plains Food Bank administrators said they have seen a dramatic increase in people applying for food vouchers during the pandemic.
Jenifer Smith, Chief Operations Officer at SPFB said they have had so much of an influx that they are serving around 200 people a day just through their drive-thru.
She said just this past month they have gotten a shipment of 1.1 million pounds of food in comparison to 700 thousand pounds they received around the same time last year.
“We have really reduced the number of volunteers into our building and our staff is working really hard to bring all that food in and then turn it around and get it all out,” Smith said.
She said due to the influx in requests, all hands are on deck so it’s not unusual to see their CEO or CFO helping disperse the food. She said her team is anticipating more people due to evictions taking place.
“We know that our homeless population is going to increase,” she said. “If a client does not have access to a refrigerator, or a stove, what’s going to happen to them? So we have increased our our homeless box, or as we like to call, our non-residential box.”
Vanessa Morelion, Director of Development at SPFB said their staff has been working rigorously to aid the hundreds of people who have applied and that it’s worth it.
“I think about it and being in another person’s shoes and not being able to provide for my son and so that helps me wake up as well,” she said “Every day I’m doing this for a mother like me, a family like mine.”
Due to COVID-19, the South Plains Food Bank is not doing traditional food drives. However, to view their virtual food bank, click here.