The poverty rate in Central Texas is double the national average and accounts for over 30% of the population. 1 in 4 children under the age of 5 does not know where their next meal is coming from. The Shepherd’s Heart is an organization that exists to meet the poverty and hunger problem in Central Texas. In 2018, The Shepherd’s Heart food pantry feed almost 30,000 families with over 2.1 million pounds of food. The pantry sees about 2500 families per month.
COVID-19’s devastating impact
Like all of us, The Shepherd’s Heart is not immune to the impact of COVID-19. Pre-pandemic food donations were primarily from larger grocery stores in the Central Texas area which relied on a network of volunteers to coordinate. Any gaps were filled through funds from Things from the Heart Resale and donations from local residents. Because of COVID-19, Shelter-in-Place orders, and CDC guidelines many of these resources have disappeared overnight while the demand has increased.
STRATA Trust company was able to assist The Shepherd’s Heart get through the holiday season with monetary donations.
“Your help will make a huge difference for families looking for help in these difficult times. Without the help we provide many children and many seniors would be going hungry.” – Executive Director, Robert Gager
The statistics are staggering
In Robert Gager’s thank you note he shared statistics from a recent study The Shepherd’s Heart conducted…
• 52% of our clients eat less, to make their food stretch, or so others can eat.
• 30% skip meals so they will have money for medicine or other necessities.
• 38% worry about not having food.
• 21% have sold or pawned items in order to eat.
• 34% of the people coming to the pantry are over the age of 60
• 61% of the people coming for help are new or have just started coming to the pantry this year.
• 45% of our clients have jobs that do not pay enough
Thank you to the staff and volunteers of The Shepherd’s Heart for your tireless efforts. Meeting the hunger and poverty problem in Central Texas is a huge undertaking and we couldn’t be more proud to support you in your efforts.