Brazos Valley Food Bank helps out during natural disasters

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BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX)- In a time of disaster, the Brazos Valley Food Bank makes sure our neighbors are taken care of.

"The weekend of [Hurricane Harvey], starting Monday, it wasn't even just calls it was people stopping by that had just come to the area or right after it had gotten really bad," said Theresa Mangapora, the Executive Director of the Brazos Valley Food Bank.

As soon as the rain started to pour and flood the streets of Houston, Mangapora received a call from a man who evacuated.

"He said 'I have fifty dollars to my name, I'm here with my family and my pets and I don't think we're going to make it through the weekend with food'," said Mangapora. During Hurricane Harvey, Mangapora says the food bank served more than 300 families in the Brazos Valley.

"We gave them family boxes and the family boxes were two kinds; one if you were staying with friends and family because there were a lot of folks like that, but there were also families that were in hotels and didn't have a kitchen in their hotel, so totally different kinds of food," said Mangapora.

But Harvey wasn't the only disaster that Mangapora has experienced within in the last 12 years of working at the Food Bank. In 2011, wildfires destroyed several acres in Grimes County, leaving many people without food.

"During the horrible fires, we had no idea how we were going to help or what our plan was, but we ended up finding someone that would let us do a food pantry out in a rural part in Grimes County on his property-- people were coming to visit there just to restock until the insurance money or whatever they needed to get back on their feet," said Mangapora.

With a new building, more space and even more volunteers, Mangapora said in a time of disaster, the food bank will be more ready than ever.

"We're going to be even better equipped than in the past because of our building and because of the networks we have with volunteers," said Mangapora.

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