Giving Food to Families

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The Brazos Valley Food bank has been working to alleviate hunger in the Brazos Valley for more than twenty years. The food bank works with various food donors, volunteers, and hunger-relief organizations.

"We work with partnered agencies in the surrounding counties, and collect food, distribute it to them, and then give it to those who are hungry," said Theresa Mangapora, the Executive Director of the Brazos Valley Food Bank.

The food coming into the food bank comes from all over the state, and sometimes even other parts of the country, however, all the food collected at the food bank stays in the Brazos Valley.

"I think it takes the entire community to help feed our neighbors in need," said Mangapora.

According to Mangapora, without the help of donors, partner agencies, and volunteers, there would be no food to give out.

There are only seven people who actually work at the food bank, while the rest are volunteers.

"We give close to two million pounds of food a year, so we probably log about 19,000 volunteer hours, which is equivalent to about eight more people here."

Two volunteers, a husband and wife team, have been donating their time to the food bank for 19 years.

"We volunteer two days a week over here," said volunteer, Clarence Vitopil.

Clarence's wife, Viola said, "We go to Albertson's and HEB and pick up the day old bread and sweets and bring it to the food bank."

Last year, the KBTX Food For Families Drive raised more than $53,000, something the food bank depends on year round.

"We get probably about 270,000 pounds total from food drives. 200,000 of that comes from Food For Families. So in one day, 200,000 pounds of food is collected by this community for this community."

The Food For Families Food Drive is this Thursday, December 7th at the Brazos Center from 5:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. There are also drop-off locations at The Kimbrough Center in Madisonville and Mid-South Synergy in Navasota.