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Food Bank donation delivers 40,000 helpings of hope

December 1, 2018

Thousands of families across Southeast Texas who may have gone hungry or simply had a bowl of cereal for Christmas dinner will celebrate the holidays with a turkey or ham, courtesy of H-E-B and the Southeast Texas Food Bank.

The donation of 16 pallets of the seasonal favorites is part of the largest holiday food donation in H-E-B’s history, the company said.

“We ended up getting about 14,000 pounds of ham and turkey, so that, generally speaking, will probably serve about 40,000 mouths during the holiday season,” said Daniel Maher, executive director of the food bank. “That’s very tangible and very meaningful.”

The Food Bank had already spent nearly $200,000 on protein for the holiday season to serve Hardin, Jasper, Jefferson, Newton, Orange, Polk, Sabine and Tyler counties this year. Friday’s presentation will stretch the organization’s dollars even further.

“This certainly ranks up there as one of the largest food donations we’ve received during a year,” Maher said. “To get a truckload, especially of something with this cost value, is a rare food donation. … This is a way to really boost what we are able to put out into the community at no cost to us.”

In Texas, 1 in 6 households and 1 in 4 children are at risk of hunger. Through its H-E-B Food Bank Assistance Program, the Texas-based grocer and retailer last year donated more than 33.2 million pounds of food to Texas and Mexico food banks, the equivalent of more than 24 million meals, a news release said.

This year’s holiday distribution includes 225,000 pounds of meat donated to eight food banks across the state.

“H-E-B is committed to supporting our communities and helping families in need with the necessary resources to avoid hunger so they can enjoy the holiday season,” executive Winell Herron said through a spokeswoman.

Maher said Friday’s gift will allow the Southeast Texas Food Bank to spend more on fresh fruit and produce.

“It actually puts more poundage out and creates a complementary diet to go with this protein,” he said.

The Food Bank will distribute the bounty through 100 partner agencies across the eight-county area.

Maher said it will benefit “many mouths and families.”

haley.bruyn@beaumontenterprise.com

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