The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Southern slugfest
May 23, 2024
Advertisement
Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
Advertisement
A fighter jet squadron flies over during the National Anthem before Texas A&M’s game against Arkansas at Olsen Field on Saturday, May 18, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Bryan-College Station Regional participants announced
Ian Curtis, Sports Writer • May 27, 2024

For the second time in three seasons, No. 3 national seed Texas A&M baseball will host the Bryan-College Station Regional, where it’ll...

Advertisement
Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
Advertisement
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Brazos Valley Food Bank looks to alleviate food insecurity

Brazos+Valley+Food+Bank
Photo by Courtesy
Brazos Valley Food Bank

The Brazos Valley Food Bank helps feed those suffering from food insecurity in six different counties. 
While the food bank is located in Brazos County, it also serves residents in Burleson, Grimes, Madison, Robertson and Washington counties. According to the Feeding America website, 15.1 percent of Brazos County residents faced food insecurity in 2018, which amounts to 33,200 individuals.
Brazos Valley Food Bank executive director Theresa Mangapora said individuals or families at risk of food insecurity may not know where they will get every meal. Families may be considered at risk for a variety of reasons.
“It may be more so that it happens toward the end of every month because they get paid once a month, and then [their] money is a little tighter,” Mangapora said. “Or an extra expense came up unexpected in that month, and something had to give.” 
Mangapora said the food bank receives food from various sources, including public food drives, the United States Department of Agriculture, grocery stores and items the food bank purchases itself. The food bank then distributes the goods to agencies in the six counties it serves.
“People don’t come to us to get the food,” Mangapora said. “They are going to go to their neighborhood food pantry, but the food pantries get the food from us. They place orders to us online.”
Sorting and preparing the food for delivery takes much work, which is where volunteers come in.
Terry Rowan, a veteran and retired banker, spends four days a week at the food bank serving as a volunteer leader. Rowan said the primary task for volunteers is sorting.
“The [items from HEB or donations] come in the form of either food or non-food items,” Rowan said. “We would sort those…by product, and then we make up pallets of the product, and those go into the warehouse. Then when the agencies…put in place orders, the orders are pulled off those pallets to fill the orders.”
Volunteers can also work outside of the warehouse, helping with the garden or mobile food pantries, Mangapora said.
“We have a garden on-site, so we do have people that are helping with maintaining the garden,” Mangapora said. “We also have what are called mobile food pantries, where we take food to more isolated areas in our service area. We’ll set up at fairgrounds, and people drive-through and get food.”
The Brazos Valley Food Bank did not escape the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although they were considered essential and never closed, Mangapora said the pandemic had a detrimental impact on the food pantry at first.
“When COVID-19 hit, the food supply was a mess, and we didn’t have a lot of money,” Mangapora said. “But now, this many months later, there’s all kinds of foundations, corporations and even federal grants that are available to help reimburse [us] for the COVID-19 expenses.”
Mangapora said the food bank supports those infected with COVID-19 through a special service that adjusts to the unique circumstances of those quarantining.
“We’re actually delivering what are called Q-kits,” Mangapora said. “These are seven days’ worth of shelf-stable food for people that have COVID-19 that are quarantined, can’t leave their house and do not have enough food in their house.” 
The pandemic has also limited the number of volunteers the food bank can have helping at one time, Rowan said.
“We used to have fairly large groups come, maybe 25 people,” Rowan said. “Now we’re limited to 10 per shift.” 
Despite this setback, the food bank has continued its operations. Rowan said part of the reason he volunteers at the food bank is to see first-hand the difference he is making in people’s lives.
“For me, it’s gratifying to see the appreciation all these people have for what we’re doing for them,” Rowan said. “That’s what makes it all worthwhile — when you see the look on these people’s faces that you know, without you, [would] go hungry.”
For more information about the Brazos Valley Food Bank’s work and how to volunteer, visit the Brazos Valley Food Bank website.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Battalion

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas A&M University - College Station. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Battalion

Comments (0)

All The Battalion Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *