Brazos Valley Food Bank addressing COVID-19 related food insecurities with ‘GotEM’ program

Published: Jun. 23, 2021 at 5:57 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) -The Brazos Valley Food Bank (BVFB) is working to meet the needs of everyone in our area dealing with food insecurities.

To put that in perspective, more than 40,000 people in Brazos County alone are food insecure. For example, one out of five seniors in our community is struggling with food insecurities.

Some populations are harder to reach than others but new programs like ‘GotEM’ and partnering agencies are filling that gap. Elder Aid Director Carol Jones says they see it first hand.

“We have tenants that are living off of $600 a month, so you can imagine what it’s like to pay your rent, pay for your medication, your doctor’s bills, and then to pay for your food,” said Jones.

To make that decision easier they provide the food bank with Senior Bags, delivering them weekly to their clients.

“There are choices that have to be made and I think that because we have the food bank they’re able to give us the food to give to them it just makes it that much easier on them,” said Jones.

Jones says among other obstacles, transportation is a problem for many on top of extra burdens brought on by the pandemic.

“We noticed that many of them, even before COVID and all this they don’t like to go out. They might not have transportation,” said Jones.

BVFB Programs Manager, Shannon Avila says they’re working to address those needs with the new ‘GotEM’ program.

“There’s that core population, a small section of the population who still isn’t being reached by the programs and by our partner agencies,” said Avila. “The idea of Got’EM is to find those individuals who are not being reached in other ways, particularly in the wake of a national pandemic.”

Participants in the ‘GotEM’ program are referred by partnering agencies that meet certain requirements. A box of food is delivered weekly to 50 clients in Bryan and College Station.

“It’s really for people who have been impacted by COVID who are food insecure and lack access to food resources so it’s kind of the final frontier to reach those in need,” said Avila.

Donations made this week during the Summer Hunger Food Drive directly impact programs like these.

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