Hometown Highlight: South Plains Food Bank
The South Plains Food Bank (SPFB), located in Lubbock, Texas, serves communities throughout West Texas by providing a helping hand to those experiencing food insecurity. This community-based organization was formed 38 years ago by Carolyn Lanier and Lodie Kemper who saw an opportunity to help others and make a difference in their community. Since then, the organization has grown and now extends throughout 20 counties in West Texas and employs more than 9,000 volunteers per year.
“We do so much more than just feed people. Our mission statement is to alleviate hunger and give hope to the hungry and we embody that statement in all we do, whether that be through our programs, classes or everyday work,” said SPFB, Communications Manager Morgan Baker.
SPFB offers several programs for volunteers and community members to participate in that give hope and enrich lives. They offer several programs within their Children’s Feeding Programs such as Kids Café which is an after-school feeding program to combat childhood hunger. They also have Summer Feeding, Snack Pack and Holiday Box programs. Additionally, their Mobile Pantry program partners with agencies in 19 of the 20 counties they serve to deliver food boxes to their most rural locations.
“Our food distribution, food box and mobile programs are the most successful programs we offer because it is not uncommon for us to see five or six people outside on senior box days waiting to be served a hot meal. People here know about us and they see the need for our programs,” says Baker.
SPFB funding comes from area donors and food donations. Their donations greatly help them to be able to provide for their community while also helping them keep their programs going and their building maintained so they can continue to serve others.
They look forward to future growth as they have plans to expand their location and offering more volunteer opportunities.
“Expansion would be huge for us; we are the biggest non-profit that serves our local community and 1 out of 4 children are at risk of going to bed hungry across the South Plains region. We typically serve 56,000 people and that has increased by 70% since COVID,” said Baker. “Additionally, we bought another building which is next door to our current location, and it will be a second warehouse for us. It will help keep more food stored and allow us to expand our services to more people which will increase our need for volunteers.”
SPFB encourages anyone in need of assistance to visit them as they are a judgment-free organization and believe that every food box comes with a side serving of hope filled with inspiration and motivation.
Those interested in learning more about SPFB are encouraged to follow their Facebook and Instagram pages for recent updates about their work and subscribe on their website to their monthly newsletter.