Hunger Action Month

Hunger Action Month

With September being Hunger Action Month, the Southeast Texas Food Bank will celebrate its 25th year on Thursday, Sept. 8, at 6 p.m., with an event at the MCM Eleganté in Beaumont that will also honor local “Hunger Heroes,” followed by its fifth annual “Will Golf For Food” golf tournament on Friday, Sept. 9, at Bayou Din Golf Club. 

One individual and three community hunger fighting agencies will be recognized as long-standing partners with the Food Bank in its efforts to reduce hunger in Southeast Texas. 

Honored for individual philanthropy is local attorney Wayne A. Reaud, Chairman of the Beaumont Foundation and the Reaud Charitable Foundation. Also honored will be Nutrition & Services for Seniors and Some Other Place in Beaumont, and the Hospitality Center in Port Arthur.

“The scale of Mr. Reaud’s philanthropic support of hunger reduction is unmatched locally,” said Southeast Texas Food Bank Executive Director Dan Maher. “He is being recognized for this unique philanthropic commitment to hunger reduction and the personal commitment he has shown to numerous hunger relief causes through his generosity.”

One of the three organizations being honored, the Hospitality Center operated by Catholic Charities of Southeast Texas in Port Arthur and founded in 1987, is a daily meal site serving a hot lunch 365 days a year to the homeless and others who are economically challenged by providing more than 40,000 meals annually to those in need.

Since 1983, Nutrition & Services for Seniors has been at the forefront of the Southeast Texas community’s concern for the nutritional needs of its seniors. Throughout Jefferson and Hardin counties, the organization provides congregate meals, home delivered meals, transportation, nutrition education and information and referral to thousands of seniors, giving them the opportunity to remain independent in their own homes.  

Based near some of the largest pockets of homeless population in Beaumont, Some Other Place has been an ecumenical mission in urban ministry since 1968. An emergency pantry has been a featured resource of Some Other Place since its founding, and since the mid-1980’s, it has had a soup kitchen in operation but has since expanded into a seven day a week operation, serving more than 100,000 meals annually. 

“The community agencies are being honored for their long standing and enduring commitment to hunger relief,” said Maher. “As the Southeast Texas Food Bank marks the privilege of serving this community for 25 years in the work of hunger relief, we want to pay tribute to community partners who have exemplified that mission to us throughout those years by their tireless efforts in a similar mission.”

Proceeds from these two fundraising efforts will help the Food Bank and its 125 partner agencies expand their capacity for food distribution to low-income residents in the eight counties served by the Food Bank. Annually, the Food Bank’s hunger reduction activities impact about 100,000 people in our region.

“We are excited to mark 25 years of service to this community,” said Maher. “It has been a privilege for all of us associated with the Food Bank’s history to assist in the fight against hunger. There are many people who deserve recognition for the rich history of the Food Bank and marking a milestone anniversary like this is a great time to highlight a few of them and to urge the community to help us continue our service for the next generation of Southeast Texans.” 

Hunger exists in every county in the United States, affecting 48 million Americans including 15 million children. Locally, the Southeast Texas Food Bank reports that nearly 12,000 households receive food each month from member agencies. The Food Bank serves the counties of Jefferson, Orange, Hardin, Jasper, Newton, Polk, Sabine, and Tyler and distributes to approximately 130 nonprofit agencies within these eight counties. Partnering agencies provide approximately 90,000 meals to people in need each month.

With numbers so high, the Food Bank has established several programs to help eliminate hunger and inadequate nutrition in Southeast Texas including the Retail Store Donation Program; School Tools, which provides school supplies at 30 elementary schools with a large percentage of low-income students; the Emergency Food Assistance Program; the Backpack Program, which provides sacks of kid-friendly, healthy meals to some of the neediest children in the rural areas of Southeast Texas; and the Mobile Pantry Program, a direct service bringing the pantry to neighborhoods by partnering with community agencies and organizations, which has helped improved nutrition in rural areas where fresh produce and basic food items are often hard to come by. AndZ the Food Bank also teams up with the Lamar University Dietetic Internship to offer child nutrition education classes to schools.

“It has been a privilege for all of us associated with the Food Bank’s history to assist in the fight against hunger,” Maher said. “There are many people who deserve recognition for the rich history of the Food Bank and marking a milestone anniversary like this is a great time to highlight a few of them and to urge the community to help us continue our service for the next generation of Southeast Texans. For us to fulfill our mission of distributing food as widely as possible, we need strong community partners who share that sense of duty to the hungry in our community.”

Ticket prices for the fundraiser are $125 per seat or $1,000 for a table of eight. Tickets can be purchased online at setxfoodbank.org or by calling (409) 839-8777.

For those wanting to participate in the golf tournament, entry fee is $125 per golfer or $500 for a four-person team. Teams of four participate in a scramble format with two tee times, 8 a.m. and 1 p.m., on Friday, Sept. 9, at Bayou Din. 

shadow