Facebook votes may help El Paso food bank feed the hungry
Apr 12, 2012 (El Paso Times - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
To vote for El Pasoans Fighting Hunger:
Visit http://goo.gl/p8OZG to vote for El Paso, or go to www.facebook.com/walmart, and click on the Fighting Hunger Together tab. Facebook.com users may vote once per day.
With the click of the "vote" button, you can help the local food bank win up to $1 million to feed the hungry in El Paso.
El Pasoans Fighting Hunger, formerly the West Texas Food Bank of El Paso, is in the running to win up to $1 million through the Wal-Mart Fighting Hunger Together competition on Facebook.
Wal-Mart will donate $1 million to the area with the most votes and $50,000 to the 20 runners-up. Wal-Mart selected 200 food banks across the country with the highest unemployment rates to compete for the donations.
"Vote and vote every day," said Victor Nevarez, vice president of the El Pasoans Fighting Hunger board of directors. "You can vote once every 24 hours. Vote, vote, vote."
The contest began Monday and runs through April 30. Food bank officials said El Paso has fluctuated between seventh and 11th place in the competition the past few days, and they hope El Pasoans will pull off the big win.
"The hope is we can raise awareness in El Paso about the high number of people in our community who go hungry and how much we can do to help," said Ruben Sanchez, executive director of the
El Pasoans Fighting Hunger food bank. "We can show the rest of the nation how El Paso can come together for a good cause."
According to the agency, one of every four El Pasoans are insecure about where their next meal will come from. That translates to about 135,000 children and 85,000 adults who go hungry any given day, Sanchez said.
El Pasoans Fighting Hunger will remain a distribution partner with West Texas Food Bank for about a year before it severs all ties with the organization based
in Odessa. The West Texas Food Bank serves 22 counties, but two-thirds of the need is in El Paso.
That statistic led Feeding America, the nation's largest hunger-relief network and a member of the Texas Food Bank Network, to recommend that El Paso break away from the West Texas Food Bank after an audit of the El Paso food bank.
Nevarez said El Paso had more donors than many other Texas cities, but they were giving less than most.
"We need not only more donors, but for the donors to give more," Nevarez said. He added that monetary donations carry the most leverage, as the money can be used to buy food from the USDA and Feed America at low rates.
"One can feeds one person," he said. "But $1 feeds four to five, or even up to 11 people,
depending on the food."
The local nonprofit organization will become an independent hunger relief agency on July 1 and will serve El Paso, Hudspeth and Culberson counties.
"It should be a seamless switch-over," Sanchez said. "Our partners should not feel any stress when we switch over. All we're trying to do is service more people more efficiently."
The food bank supplies 122 food pantries from Anthony to Tornillo. So far this year, the food bank has distributed nearly 1.17 million pounds of food. Last year, more than 6.5 million pounds of food was distributed in the community.
The food bank is starting a capital campaign to raise money to help pay for a new 185,00-square-foot building in the Lower Valley to better serve the community, Sanchez said. Winning the Wal-Mart competition can go a long way toward that, he added.
"Now is the time for El Paso to step up and show we can do this on our own and do it bigger and better," Sanchez said.
Cindy Ramirez may be reached at email@example.com; 546-6151.
-- What: To begin its capital campaign, the food bank will have a cleanup at its new building in the Lower Valley. Thirty groups of 10 volunteers are needed to get the building ready.
-- When: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. April 28.
-- Where: Plaza Circle, off Loop 375, south of Interstate 10.
-- To sign up: 595-1060.
-- To donate: Monetary donations are needed to retrofit the building and buy freezers and other equipment. Food donations are still being accepted at the food bank at 3727 Shell until the new building is open.
-- Information: elpasoansfightinghunger.org or 595-1060.
-- To vote to feed the hungry in El Paso, visit http://goo.gl/p8OZG
-- You can also log on to facebook.com/walmart and click on the Fighting Hunger Together tab.
-- Facebook users may vote once a day until April 30.
___ (c)2012 the El Paso Times (El Paso, Texas) Visit the El Paso Times (El
Paso, Texas) at www.elpasotimes.com Distributed by MCT Information Services
[ Back To SIP Trunking Home's Homepage ]