Donating cash and healthy non-perishables helps the Food Bank help others

BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - Often when we picture a food bank or a food drive, we still imagine cans fruit cocktail, plastic pudding cups, and boxes of mac and cheese.

But that's not all the Brazos Valley Food Bank is offering these days. In fact, it's not even most of it.

The refrigerator at BVFB is a rainbow of fresh produce just hours away from distribution.

“We have a huge variety here,” said Ebony Knight, distribution manager at BVFB.

Programs manager Shannon Avila says their motto is “Making the healthy choice the easy choice.”

And Knight and Avila’s team walks the talk. Thirty-eight percent of what the food bank distributes is fresh produce.

“That’s where the nutrition is,” Knight said. “It's in those fresh items.”

Some of the fresh produce is donated from local grocery stores.

“That product still has a shelf life,” Knight said, “it's just not something that you might pay full price for.”

Some of it is purchased from other resources for less than 10 cents a pound. While the cost is a tiny fraction of what it would cost in the grocery store, it’s the exact same amount of nutrients.

“Vitamins you get from what fruits and vegetables…help your body grow,” said Avila.

Donating dollars helps BVFB most directly because the food bank can use the cash to buy fresh produce. However, there are also non-perishable items that are considered nutritious by federal food bank standards.

Consider donating the following at the KBTX Food for Families Food Drive on Dec. 4:

- Canned fruit with no sugar added
- Canned vegetables with no salt added
- Canned fish or chicken
- Peanut butter
- Shelf-stable dairy items

“Any food is good, but nutritious food is better,” said Avila.

Details on the 2019 KBTX Food for Families Food Drive is below:

The holidays are a time when family and friends come together. As the family of KBTX prepares for the holidays, we invite you and your family to join us Wednesday, December 4th at the Brazos Center in Bryan for the 24th annual Food for Families Food Drive.

During this event we will broadcast live throughout the day as we work to alleviate hunger in the Brazos Valley. Shop any of your local grocery stores using the list below as a guide to help you support this incredible effort that benefits the mobile pantry operated by the Brazos Valley Food Bank, your local non-profit organization “seeking to eliminate hunger by the distribution of food and grocery products through a network of nonprofit organization while providing education and community awareness on issues of hunger.” Together we can make a difference.

Additional drop sites are located at the Kimbro Center, 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Navasota Valley Electric Coop in Franklin, 6:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., Hearne Railroad Depot in Hearne, 6:00a.m. – 7:00p.m., St. Mary’s, Lady of the Lourdes Catholic Church Hall in Caldwell, 6:00a.m – 7:00p.m. and Mid-South Synergy in Navasota from 6:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.

To your family, from our family at KBTX-TV, HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Items Needed


(Please Remember, Non-perishables only! No homemade or perishable items will be accepted.)

Beans (canned or dried)
Vegetables (canned)
Canned Meats
Cereal (family size)
Cereal (individual size)
Cereal Bars
Chili
Coffee
Diapers (child & adult)
Flour
Fruits (canned)
Mac n’ Cheese
Fruit cups (shelf stable)
Granola Bars
Jam/Jelly
Juice Boxes (individual size)
Ketchup & Mustard
Vienna Sausages (poptop)
Oatmeal
Paper Towel
Peanut Butter
Pudding (shelf stable)
Rice Ravioli
Pasta
Sugar
Soup (regular and pop top)
Toilet Paper
Tuna (regular and pop top)
Tuna/Chicken Salad kits
Bottled Water

2018 Totals

Overall Total
177,869 pounds
$144,457

Brazos Center
133,216 pounds
*$102,861

Burleson County
12,764 pounds
$26,168

Robertson County
3,134 pounds
$1600

Madison County
13,755 pounds
$5828

Grimes County
15,000 pounds
$8000