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South Plains Food Bank extends operating hours to accommodate work schedules

Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 2:58 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - More people are facing food insecurity now than ever before. That’s according to the director of communications for the South Plains Food Bank, Morgan Baker.

To help people beyond just a nine to five, the food bank will now open at 8:30 a.m. and close at 5:45 p.m.

Baker says this is usually the busiest time of the year for the food bank, but because of inflation and the price of gas rising, this year it’s worse.

“Those parents are having to provide an extra 10 meals a week per child. So, if you have two children, that’s an extra 20 meals a week you’re having to provide to your family,” Baker said. “If you’re already struggling and maybe on the verge of food insecurity, that can send you right over the edge.”

Baker says a lot of people are coming to the food bank for the first time. He wants to emphasize that asking for help is never something to be ashamed of because everyone has economic struggles.

“It’s nothing to be embarrassed of to need help,” Baker said. “Everybody at different points in their lives goes through different things and for some people, that’s food insecurity.”

A lot of the people they help are from rural communities. With the rising price of gas, Baker wants to remind people that the food bank comes to you in those communities.

“We actually have a mobile pantry service that goes out into their community and provides those services to them without them having to drive from, let’s say Muleshoe to Lubbock in order to get a food box,” Baker said.

While they were deciding how to better serve the rural communities, they came up with the idea to be open longer.

“Why don’t we just stay open longer for them,” Baker said. “Why don’t we just start that way and make sure that people actually have access to us beyond a nine to five.”

He says this makes more sense for the people they serve because if you do have to work a nine to five, the new hours work with your schedule. Baker says they have already seen a positive effect.

“In just the first two weeks alone like an extra 700, 800 people that we typically wouldn’t have, and that’s just because they have better access to us because the time works better for them,” Baker said.

To keep the shelves stocked, it’s important for the food bank to receive donations so they can stay in operation.

“You think about the fact that a grocery store, if they are experiencing higher gas prices or supply chain issues, then it is really easy for them to pass that along to the consumer,” Baker said. “We can’t do that, double of what our food costs is still zero.”

They started these new hours two weeks ago and they don’t plan to change them back until at least Labor Day. Baker says they are still in discussion about that and the extended hours may continue.

If you’d like to donate, or if you need to get help, visit the South Plains Food Bank online at www.spfb.org.

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