It’s been said eating healthy is expensive.
But for some households, a scarce pantry and empty refrigerator equals a harsh reality: Eating is expensive.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines food insecurity as having limited access or resources to nutritious and safe food. Those affected cut or skip meals or buy inexpensive food with little nutritional value. Many of those unhealthy options can lead to obesity.
About 40% of adults in the U.S. are obese; and one-fourth of people with obesity in the U.S. have reported food insecurity.
The borderland has experienced food insecurity for many years, but the need has prevailed during the COVID-19 pandemic, El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank officials said.
Bank officials said.
•In 2020, the food bank distributed a record of 139,700 million pounds of food across the borderland. Before the pandemic, it would dispense some 32.5 million pounds annually.
•The food bank’s primary distribution sites were seeing up to 10,000 families daily at the peak of the pandemic last year.
•More than 1.5 million emergency food boxes were distributed to community members in 2020.
•Today, some 2,400 low-income residents receive weekly food deliveries because of age, disability or COVID-19.
Although Texas businesses have been allowed to open at 100%, the pandemic’s economic impact still weighs heavily on marginalized groups.
The growing number of migrants and refugees coming into the region is another reason the need continues, said Marty Otero, the food bank’s director of communications.
“We lost 44 truckloads of food due to the Texas ice storm, and we still have homebound individuals in desperate need of help,” Otero said.