From Your Pantry to the Food Pantry - Donations Help Fight Hunger

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This Wednesday you'll have the chance to help fight hunger in the Brazos Valley, during the 17th annual Food for Families Food Drive.

We're hoping to collect thousands of pounds of food in Bryan, Madisonville and Navasota.

As we get closer to Wednesday, we're sharing stories about battling hunger in our community. People who donate to food drives often ask where the food goes after they drop it off.

The short answer? Back into pantries of friends and neighbors in our community.

Paper bags get filled with canned goods, rice, pasta and a box of cereal. A modest selection, but one that fills.

"I depend on this food to help feed my children and my fiance and myself everyday," says Bryan resident Elisa Pitts.

"If it wasn't for places like this, I don't know what I would do."

The homemade carts used by volunteers are simple and effective, built for a purpose. They carry out food to people who need it most. Everyday hundreds of people flock to food pantries like the one I visited in Downtown Bryan.

They pick up enough food to get through the next few days. It's a process that repeats.

"We see a lot of the working poor," says Billie Elmendorf, a volunteer at the pantry.

"People that you know aren't able to feed their children. We have a lot of widows and widowers and old people that have worked all their lives and now cannot afford to feed themselves," Elmendorf continues.

Its proof that hunger affects every segment in our community and why donating has a major impact.

Food items are collected at local drives and events then brought to the Food Bank. There, they are sorted by volunteers, sanitized and organized by food group, then put into boxes.

Once a food pantry runs low, an order is put together and trucked out.

"It's a blessing, it really is," admits Pitts.

She relies heavily on the food she gets from the pantry to help feed her family.

"If it weren't for these people I'd really be up a creek without a paddle and a boat," she laughs.

"Me and anyone else that is up here and takes advantage of these services probably don't have any other way of coming up with the money for food that we need to take care of our families," says Pitts.

Volunteers at the food pantry know that some days the food they hand out is barely enough.

But it's something.