Hunger In the Panhandle


According to the 2014 Hunger in America study, the High Plains Food Bank serves 92,000 people.

That number is from  2010, when the food bank was helping 42,000 individuals.

High Plains Food Bank Executive Director Zack Wilson says "That's 20 percent or nearly one in five people in the Texas Panhandle received assistance through the food bank or through one of our partner agencies over the past twelve months."

The national average on the Feeding America report says one in seven people seek help from food banks.

Wilson says "We knew the need was still high but at the same time it was a little higher than what we expected."

An interesting point in the report shows that 59 percent of people who receive help from food banks have jobs.

Wilson says "It says to us that underemployment here in the Texas Panhandle is a big factor especially when you move out into the rural areas, you know just not making enough to make ends meet."

Wilson also says 85 percent of the people surveyed were buying the more inexpensive food.

Wilson says "If you're having to choose between two things instead of cutting food out completely, then why not get something that's cheap that's 99 cents or something that's frozen or processed. But it goes back to that health issue, it's not necessarily healthy for you."

Something that's unique about this's the first time the number of college students have been included.

Five percent of the 92,000 people are college students.

Four percent of those are full time and once percent are part time.

The High Plains Food Bank currently has food pantries at both West Texas A&M and Amarillo College.

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