The United States and foreign governments are tangled in tariff disputes. While it’s bad news for farmers, it’s good news for food banks like El Pasoans Fighting Hunger.
El Pasoans FIghting Hunger food bank is a local organization that provides food for 200,000 El Paso residents who are food insecure.
At least one in three children and one in four adults in El Paso are hungry.
The organization is booming especially since the number of people they serve grew from 50 percent in 2018.
“We're very privileged here at the food bank to be able to provide the millions of pounds of food necessary to make sure that our kids are fed and stay healthy and strong,” said Susan Goodell, chief executive officer of El Pasoans Fighting Hunger.
The organization also provides free breakfast and lunch for children in more than 180 area schools.
Two thousand low-income adults apart of the Commodity Supplemental Food Program receive food from El Pasoans Fighting Hunger as well.
In 2018 alone the food bank distributed 10.5 million pounds of food and also revamped its mobile pantries with the help of a fleet of new trucks and volunteers.
Now, the organization will experience a boom with something called trade mitigation.
Trade mitigation is a program launched by the USDA in Sept. 2018.
“What was unfortunate for our farmers other countries are no longer willing to buy as much of our farm commodities,” Goodell said. “It has turned into a wonderful thing for our food banks in this country and for El Pasoans Fighting Hunger.”
Through the program, 15 million pounds of meat, dairy and fresh fruits and vegetables will fill the food bank’s warehouse.
The need for storage and volunteers will also grow. Ashleigh Dziarnowski with Americorp has been volunteering for six weeks and said it’s more than just giving away food.
“We get to go out to the food pantries and get to be a part of handing out food and talking to the people in the community and hearing their stories and appreciate where they're coming from - it's wonderful,” Dziarnowski said.
According to Goodell, every dollar donated provides seven healthy meals for someone in need.
To learn more about El Pasoans Fighting Hunger visit their website, elpasoansfightinghunger.org.