What a difference 365 days make in our nation, state, and area! The year 2020 brought so many changes, and the year literally reshaped our environment in a matter of weeks. The arrival of COVID-19 changed the way we will look and react to everything around us.
For the High Plains Food Bank, all of this began changing the week after Spring Break 2020 ended. When schools did not return to in-person classrooms, we saw a tremendous increase in need. Shortly thereafter, when our economy declined after lockdowns, we saw nearly 20 times the requests for assistance that we saw just weeks before. The amount of households served jumped from 8,900 to over 11,000 households in a matter of three months! In addition, the strain on the supply chain put us in a very difficult place and exposed needs that we have never seen.
However, this year you helped in a tremendous way. We began to see a dramatic increase in support from you, our friends and donors. After Memorial Day 2020, we began to purchase a considerable amount of food to help meet the increasing need. Thanks to your support, we purchased over 1.5 million pounds of food in 2020! In addition, we secured over 4.5 million pounds of donated food. At one point over the summer, we were providing over 1.2 million pounds of food a month to help those in need.
Once the food hit our doors, we distributed it to our 29-county service area. The number of households served decreased from the peak of COVID but remained high: nearly 10,000 households a month. In both June and November, we distributed over 1 million pounds of food over the course of a month. We continued to operate mobile food pantries in our rural areas, and we supplied many “pop-up” food pantries throughout the Amarillo area.
I know that we have all heard the term “new normal” that is used when describing our current environment. However, I believe that hunger should never be “normal” – no matter the circumstances. I know you believe this too! Thank you for your tremendous support in 2020 that helped us serve many more neighbors that ever before!
put food on the table for a family in need $1 = 13 MEALS