During the holidays, we're reminded it's better to give than to receive, but not if you're the Brazos Food Bank.
With the holidays approaching, food is going out faster than it is coming in. And a reduction in government commodities makes matters even worse.
"This is high quality food that we usually have on hand and right now our inventory is almost exhausted as far as USDA commodities, particularly in high proteins," said executive director of Brazos Food Bank Bill Thomas.
Thomas said his Houston supplier told him the shortage is because the USDA is still sending food to Florida hurricane victims.
The national USDA office could not confirm how much food the food bank receives. But, Thomas said the USDA supply accounts for 30% of the inventory and this month he will receive nothing.
"These are unusual times and during unusual times you do unusual things," said Thomas.
That's why the food bank, which normally relies on donations, is having to buy food and pay to transport surplus from outside food banks.
"We're also asking folks if they would help us with the financial costs we're facing in buying food and paying for the transportation of food that's coming to us from outside this area," said Thomas.
Bryan Church of Christ is one of more than 40 agencies that rely on the food bank. Agency workers said the holidays are around the corner...a time when families need the most help.
"This time of year so many people are out of work and have small children and their children need the food," said one church volunteer.
So even though the holidays aren't here yet, food bank employees are hoping this year the giving season will start early.