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Central Texas Food Bank seeing demand equivalent to pandemic levels

The food bank serves 250,000 people per month.

AUSTIN, Texas — Leaders with the Central Texas Food Bank said more people in the community are needing help.

“The level we are seeing right now is equivalent to pandemic level,” said Sarai Vatske, president and CEO of the Central Texas Food Bank.

The bank works with around 250 partner agencies to distribute food in 21 counties.

"Right now, we are serving about 250,000 people per month. And we are seeing that the frequency with which they rely on our services is increasing as well," Vatski said. 

Victor Espino is one of the people getting assistance.

"I don't make enough to pay my bills and buy food and everything," he said.

He said the assistance is much needed, as his rent price has gone up along with food prices.

Vatske said more people are needing help, especially over the last few months.

"The increased need's really due to a perfect storm. I mean, not only with inflation are there needs, but also the cost of living. So, the same way you go to the grocery store and the cost of food increases," she said.

The food bank said it is working hard to continue to distribute food, especially during the holidays, including giving away thousands of turkeys.

"There is nothing like coming together for a warm meal around the holiday table, so we have made an investment in purchasing additional food," Vatske said.

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