NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — A local food bank is providing relief to millions of Texans without heat and water due to recent winter storms.
Friday, volunteers at Midwest Food Bank packed boxes full of groceries to be shipped to Dallas-Fort Worth.
The Salvation Army asked for 4,000 family food boxes to be sent to its Arlington, Texas location in wake of devastating ice storms. Normal’s Midwest Food Bank was asked to pitch in and give back.
Midwest Food Bank has been providing help to people nationwide since Hurricane Katrina in 2004. Executive Director of Midwest Food Bank Bloomington-Normal, Tara Ingham, said they can have food and aid on the road in little as 24 hours.
“We are a first responder partner with the Salvation Army,” Ingham said. “What that means is that we are ready when they call to provide food and disaster relief where they see fit and they feel it’s needed the most.”
For the last week, millions of people across the state of Texas have been left without water, gas and electric following ice storms.
Ingham said right now people in Texas are in dire need of the essentials with stores limited in supplies.
“These family food boxes will feed a family of four to five people for about four days; it’s got non-perishable food inside, things like toilet paper, paper towels; just to get a family up and running after a major crisis like what our friends in Texas are going through right now,” Ingham said. “It is feeding a substantial amount of people that right now, have no access to food.”
Friday, Feb. 19, about 20 volunteers took the day off work to pack and stack the boxes being shipped to Texas. Steve Pruett is the lead volunteer at Midwest Food Bank and said the work volunteers do is, in many ways, lifesaving.
“Without places like us being able to help people in need; they have no food down there at the grocery stores, so this is just critically important today (Friday),” Pruett said.
The effort started Thursday afternoon and so far Pruett said there is overwhelming support for the project.
“We’ve actually had so many people volunteer that they’ve had to turn some people away for other groups, so it’s been great,” Pruett said. “I just think it’s a great feeling to know that you can give back to your community and really that’s what it’s all about. We’re blessed to have a lot wealth in this community that can get out and help, whether it be financial or with resources like this, so its been great.”
Volunteer spots are full, but Midwest Food Bank said it’s still in need of monetary donations.
To donate to Midwest Food Bank visit its website and click on donate or text @MFB to 52014.