Jana Stout addressed the Somervell County Commissioner’s Court during Monday’s regular meeting. She has been a county resident for three years and has worked as the Somervell County Food Bank manger for about two and a half.
Stout said the food bank normally services 85 to 90 households per month. However, they have served more than 100 households in the past two months.
Stout said with the price of gas and groceries on the rise, more and more people need help to supplement their income. The average household that comes to the food bank looking for help contains three people and brings home $600 a month.
“I want you to know we’re doing pretty well,” Stout told the court.
But she did say the bank was completely out of canned soups and beans.
The food bank provides each household with a supply of canned goods, dry goods and frozen items. Stout said local agencies and food drives do help to keep the shelves stocked. Most of their food, however, comes from the Tarrant County food bank. While they do have to purchase that food, it is often cheaper than grocery store prices.
Volunteers must drive to pick up the food and are not reimbursed for traveling expenses.
“The weakest point right now is the facility,” Stout said.
First United Methodist Church provides a rent-free building to the food bank. Stout said they appreciate all the church does to support the bank, but said most of the volunteers “are of a certain age” and sometimes the older building can be difficult to navigate. She said a building with a loading dock and a more accessible front area would go a long way in helping the food bank help area families. Because the bank does not have money, she hopes a building can be donated.
“My chief source of happiness has been the food bank,” Stout said. “Just keep us in mind if these opportunities come up.”