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HOUSTON -- This week's edition of Neighborhood Eats looks at the persistent problem of hunger in Houston.

Houston Food Bank officials said they serve about one million of the people who live in southeast Texas, which contains about 6 million people.

One agency, which receives food from the Houston Food Bank, is The Beacon located at 1212 Prairie at San Jacinto in downtown. They feed a hot lunch to as many as 600 people daily.

Many of the diners are homeless, but some have a place to live and a job, but need help also.

Oh, it helps a lot, said diner John August. On the average you can spend up to $100 a week on just going to lunch.

Experts said the face of the hungry is changing.

It could be someone checking you out in line at the dry cleaners, said Paula McKenzie, Director of Major Gifts at the Houston Food Bank. Half of our clients are actually working.

When you see how many people come through our doors, and how thankful they are, said Charly Weldon, Executive Director of The Beacon, nine out of 10 times when they walk through our door and I ask them, 'How are you?' They answer, 'I'm Blessed.'

For seven years, The Beacon has provided a free lunch that is 100-percent made from scratch.

It's healthier and it's cost effective, Weldon said. We get it down to about $1.25 per meal.

Even the bread is made from scratch at The Beacon.

More information:

www.BEACONhomeless.org
houstonfoodbank.org

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