Story of Strength: Lubbock volunteers fighting hunger at South Plains Food Bank
LUBBOCK, Texas (KJTV) - The South Plains Food Bank serves West Texas by giving those who experience food insecurity a helping hand. Two of those hands belong to Jorge Ramirez, who is featured in this month’s Story of Strength.
Once Jorge and the other volunteers strap on the neon vest, the action is non-stop.
“We have 19 baskets, and we’ll have 40 to 50 cars out there, so do the math. Nineteen baskets, you’re trying to catch up with the 50 cars out there. So you’re basically - you’re on your toes.”
Jorge (pronounced “George”) has been at the Food Bank for two and a half years, where he also serves as produce room coordinator. Ramirez says the task would be impossible without help from others.
“If it wasn’t for the volunteers that come in here, and they take their time to do it, it’s a big help,” he says. “I’ve been here two and a half years and there’s some volunteers that started right after I did, and they’ve been volunteering as well as I have - the two and a half years, so they can they can literally do the job on their own.”
The Food Bank has seen a 70 percent increase in the need for their services during this last year.
“(We) serve maybe 200 people in the morning, and maybe two 300 in the afternoon.”
For Jorge and the other volunteers, the payoff comes when they see the gratitude from clients driving up.
“Seeing the smile on some of the people out there is just great. You’re doing something for the community. You can see the new people because they’ll well up like they want to cry, and then you’ll see the people that come regularly. The regular people, they’re like family.”
Unfortuately, some of the 70 percent increase includes children.
“If you get a child out there, and you can see on his face if they’re hungry, making sure they get something to eat is the best kind of feeling in the world,” Jorge says. “Everybody needs help at one point in time. No matter who you are, you will need help.”
To donate or voluteer with the South Plains Food Bank, visit the Web site www.spfb.org.
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