By: Jackie Kingston
September 28, 2021
Food shouldn’t be an impossible choice.
For more than 40 low-income seniors at the Marabella apartment complex in Amarillo, thanks to the High Plains Food Bank, it isn’t.
“It’s just been a godsend that they’ve been able to bring the food and I can ensure that nobody here is going to go hungry” Portfolio Resident Services Coordinator for the Good Neighbor Program, Nikki Garcia said.
Garcia adds, “The ladies here also are great about helping each other out. We have a food pantry. So any of the products that they feel they’re not going to use, they’ll bring it down and put it in the food pantry. So if somebody runs low, all they have to do is come grab something in the food pantry. I never have to worry because of the High Plains Food Bank, that my seniors we’re gonna go without a meal because there’s always something here for them to grab and have for dinner.”
Three years ago, Garcia heard about another food bank helping seniors in another town with meals and a food pantry, so she asked the High Plains Food Bank for help for her seniors at the apartment complex where she works.
The Food Bank now delivers hot meals every Tuesday and Thursday and provides boxes of sustaining food items once a month, through the FDA’s Commodity Supplemental Food Program.
Garcia says the food boxes provide more than just sustenance, “Many of them would just try to get by with tv dinners and processed food and they wouldn’t have all the healthy meals that we get through the commodity boxes and through the Kid’s Cafe.”
The CSFP boxes also provide recipes for meals that the recipients can make out of the food they get. Which gives them another opportunity to learn. “A lot of my seniors have told me ‘Hey, I’ve learned to be a healthier cook than I was previously,’” Garcia said.
While the COVID-19 pandemic created challenges Garcia says no one went hungry.
“The High Plains Food Bank has been a miracle through the pandemic. They helped all my residents at all my apartments to make sure that they had food through the whole pandemic. You know, for the seniors, it’s especially hard because so many of them can’t get out. And then they were afraid also just to go out and to go shopping. And the High Plains Food Bank has provided commodity boxes every month for my residents in need at all my apartments” Garcia said.
To donate to the High Plains Food Bank, click here.