South Plains Food Bank Farm loses produce after flood - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/5/10

South Plains Food Bank Farm loses more than half of produce after flood

By Katie Bauer - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The South Plains Food Bank is in clean-up mode after their farm was completely submerged over the weekend.

For the last 20 years the food bank has maintained a farm that provides fresh produce to those in need and serves as a training ground for kids, but all the rainfall over the weekend flooded this playa lake that ended up destroying more than half of their crop.

"I had kids out here yesterday and they were all pretty upset, this is one of those boo-hoo moments," said farm manager Debbie Clein.

Clein can't help but get upset as she accesses the damage.

"The ones near the far back are nearly completely submerged and all of this cabbage you can see how high the water came up and this is what it does, it just pretty much rots it," said Clein.

Each year, the food bank grows more than $100,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables. Fresh produce that fills food boxes for those in need.

"It's really gratifying when we are over at the food bank and one of our clients gets a food box and they will see all this fresh produce and they will say you know it's been so long since I've had fresh fine ripe tomatoes, just because you don't think about it, but those are fairly high dollar items for a lot of the people that we serve," said South Plains Food Bank Executive Director David Weaver.

But after this weekend's rain, more than half of their produce is destroyed, an estimated $30,000-$40,000, market value.

"We're still accessing what we have and what we don't have," said Weaver.

Weaver says one of the most important things the farm does is provide jobs for kids in need and they learn all the ins and outs of growing their own food.

"You learn lots of lessons out here at the farm, and some of them are good lessons and you develop these work skills but you also learn to deal with adversity and this is certainly an adverse situation," said Weaver.

But perhaps what happened here could be a very important lesson in itself. A fact of life that the kids and staff will get through together.

"It will probably be a week before the mud will be down enough where they can actually walk in it," said Clein.

And while it may take some time, together they'll look towards brighter, and drier days.

"Next season will be a good one, because every season is," said Clein.

Now because of the flooding, Weaver says the food boxes that the food bank provides daily may not have the same amount of fresh fruits and vegetables, but this is just another reminder of how important it is to give.

To donate: http://www.spfb.org/site/c.lgLQIVOyGpF/b.5475427/k.5CCB/South_Plains_Food_Bank.htm

©2010 KCBD NewsChannel 11. All rights reserved.

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