Texas food banks are mobilizing as Hurricane Harvey aims for the coast near Corpus Christi. Food banks are an important asset during hurricanes, as they provide relief to families and residents who have lost access to food and water during the disaster. When a disaster is too big for one food bank to handle, such as is anticipated with Harvey, Feeding Texas steps in to coordinate with the state and other providers so that relief comes quick.
Right now, food banks are currently staging their inventory and manpower in anticipation of the need that will arise after the storm. Food banks are also working to assist local Red Cross shelters with food and other day to day items.
Here's important information on how you can help or receive aid:
To get help for yourself or community, call 2-1-1 or your local food bank immediately following the disaster to learn about public food distributions and open agencies.
Once a federal disaster area is declared, Texas will also have the option to activate “D-SNAP,” a federally-funded program that provides food relief through EBT debit cards. However, community leaders in affected areas have to activate the program. They can do that by petitioning Texas Health & Human Services Commission at 877-787-8999.
To help out, contact your closest food bank— that would be the Houston Food Bank, y'all. More food banks are also listed below. From there, they will let you know how you can volunteer or donate following the disaster. Food banks are urging folks to donate money, as it can be done safely from your home and doesn't require any manpower to sort through.
If you want to give food, these food banks encourage you to consider staples: Pop-top (canned) meat and fish, powdered milk, cereal, canned fruit, fruit cups, peanut butter and jelly. Cleaning supplies such as bleach and paper towels will also be accepted. In addition to donating at food bank facilities, local grocers may provide collection points for donations.
Here is the contact information for all local food banks:
Houston Food Bank
Galveston Food Bank
Food Bank of the Golden Crescent (Victoria)
Corpus Christi Food Bank
Southeast Texas Food Bank (Beaumont)
Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley (Pharr)
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Brazos Valley Food Bank (Bryan)
Central Texas Food Bank (Austin)
San Antonio Food Bank
For more information on all of these food banks head to feedingtexas.org.