Project GotEM: A Brazos Valley Food Bank program to end next summer

“Community support is so important to what we do here.”
KBTX News 3 at Ten EXTENDED(Recurring)
Published: Dec. 3, 2022 at 9:32 PM CST
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) -A Brazos Valley Food Bank program dedicated to helping people access food, no matter their disability, may go away soon.

Project GotEM started during the pandemic, but its set to come to an end next summer. This special program was created during the pandemic to reach those with no way to physically get to a food pantry. The home delivery service makes sure people have nutritious, shelf-stable foods.

Shannon Avila, programs director with The Brazos Valley Food Bank said there will always need to be a way to reach folks who can’t access the established “brick-and-mortar network”.

“They’re not accessing our networks because of a host of other reasons... physical limitations and things like that. And that’s who the program was structured originally to serve,” said Avila.

The program is still growing, but Project GotEM funding is expected to run out next summer.

“What we were hoping to learn from Project GotEM, during the course of this, is understanding what folks are falling through the cracks,” said Avila. “What folks aren’t able to access our network and why?”

Now, the food bank’s team is making sure those using the program are being directed to other resources.

“That can look like working with a senior serving organization to get a senior bag or applying for SNAP or accessing WIC,” said Avila.

According to Avila, the Brazos Valley Food Bank and its partners rely on generosity to feed a special community. She also stressed that Project GotEM should run out of funding in June 2023 but with the community’s support, there’s still hope.

“Community support is so important to what we do here. Our mission is to unite our communities, to nourish our neighbors in need,” said Avila. “And communities are very intentionally built into that because we have to have our community’s support. Whether that be working at partners, donating funds, donating food, donating time... all of those things together help make our network strong.”