Since the coronavirus outbreak started to change our daily lives, we here at KRIS 6 News have featured a lot of businesses in hopes of helping them keep their doors open.
That same compassion goes for the non-profit organizations in our area who are fighting everyday to stay open.
I talked with one local organization that is staying open to help thousands here in the Coastal Bend from going hungry.
“Let me tell you, Hurricane Harvey trained us and we have some of the distribution down to a science," said Bea Hansen, executive director of the Coastal Bend Food Bank.
Hansen said her organization is receiving more requests because of the uncertain economic condition.
“I am so in awe of our staff and how organized they are and how many people we are reaching," she said. "I know many of them have told us that they have never had to do this before, but they are there because they lost their jobs.”
Over the last few weeks, the local food bank has distributed more than 440,000 pounds of food. That means they've fed more than 23,000 local people.
“We do drive throughs with our mobile pantries and that’s what we did during the hurricane. But now that we have to keep the social distance ... drive-throughs have been perfect.”
Hansen says the drive throughs and other efforts allow the food bank to stretch every donation to the max.
"We always say that one dollar will provide three meals to a family and we base that on the amount of poundage that we distribute for the month," Hansen said. "But we are distributing so much food right now that a dollar goes a lot further - probably six meals.”
It led us at Scripps to realize the importance of the local food bank -- particularly in these uncertain times.
"And it was an easy decision for us to make given what’s happening in the need in the community the families wondering where their next meal might be coming from," Scripps Vice President of Operations Ed Fernandez said.
So we here at KRIS 6 News wanted to donate some dollars of our own -- all to help feed families around the Coastal Bend.
"So on behalf of KRIS 6 News and Scripps Howard Foundation we are presenting the Coastal Bend food bank with this check for $5,000."
The announcement thrilled Hansen and her organization.
"Oh my god we will double that," she said. "You guys are fantastic. Thank you so much!.
"You know, at this point anything that comes our way is going to go straight into food and out in the hands of people. So it is a community that is coming together and organizations like Channel 6 that make a difference and thank you. You touched me."
The entire local Scripps cluster of stations is honored to be able to help the food bank.
"It’s part of what we should be doing as an organization and as a company," Hernandez said. "We're proud that the KRIS 6 team, the KZTV 10 team and KAJA and everybody associated with our organization can be part of giving back to the community as we should."
The gift should enable the food bank to provide at least 30,000 meals for those who need them in the Coastal Bend.