SAN ANGELO, TX – Yesterday morning, Market Street grocery store presented the Concho Valley Regional Food Bank with a donation of 4,455 lbs. of apples to be distributed among the 14 counties that Concho Valley Regional Food Bank services. The United Family, which operates Market Street in San Angelo, started this initiative in partnership with FirstFruits of Washington and their Take a Bite Out of Hunger program.
FirstFruits hosts a yearly campaign in which they track the number of apples sold at Market Street and their affiliates. For a period of three months, they pledge to donate 10 apples for every case purchased by the store. Through an extensive ad campaign FirstFruits promotes their initiative and entices customers to be more involved in giving back to the needy in their community.
“It’s been a really cool deal to be able to take care of our local food banks,” Rich Stein, Produce Manager at Market Street, said. ‘We all love being involved in out communities, and this is just a small way to give back.”
This year, FirstFruits donated over 37,260 lbs. of apples to food banks across Eastern New Mexico and Texas, including cities such as Odessa, Wichita Falls, Lubbock, Amarillo, Abilene and Dallas, Stein explained. The yearly campaign begins usually in January.
Once the apples and other donations have been delivered to the regional food bank, they become available to nonprofit organizations and churches. The organizations can then distribute the food items among those who need them the most. Concho Valley Regional Food Bank receives most of its food through similar initiatives. These initiatives greatly support the mission of the food bank without adding any monetary cost.
“Its people helping people,” Greg Duke, Executive Director of Concho Valley Regional Food Bank, said. “Food banking is one of the purest forms of helping others. The store helps the food bank with the products, we in turn help the agency, the agency [in turn] is helping the client, and we get up tomorrow and do it all over again,” Duke added.
The food bank provides a wide variety of items that help local families cover their basic nutritional needs during times of financial hardship. For the last 32 years, Concho Valley Regional Food Bank has been a part of San Angelo and the surrounding communities.
In previous years, the regional food bank had partnered with Albertsons stores that are also part of the United Family. They conducted what is known as the 'Food Rescue Program'. Albertsons donated little damaged goods that were unacceptable for retail, but completely fine for consumption, to the regional food bank.
There is always a need for donors and donations, no matter how small, Duke explained. Any surplus food that can be donated will be gladly received by the food bank. Anyone interested in donating can visit the food bank at 1313 South Hill Street or call them at (325) 655-3231, Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm.
The food bank also participated in the 3rd Annual San Angelo Gives event this past Tuesday, in which they raised $13, 545 from 29 different donors.