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Harris County proposing deal for extra 11 million meals at Houston Food Bank

Commissioner Rodney Ellis says the food bank has given out 25% more food during the pandemic and they need more funding to keep up.

HOUSTON — Harris County Commissioners are proposing funding that would add 11.7 million meals provided by the Houston Food Bank

If approved, Judge Lina Hidalgo says the deal would renew the county’s contract with the Food Bank. The non-profit has received extra funding and workers from Harris County throughout the pandemic.

"Our hope is, as the economy continues to recover, the demand for the Food Bank will go down,” Judge Hidalgo says. “But for now, we'll continue to support this, to support direct financial assistance, small business assistance, and so many other programs to help our community recover."

The latest proposal would add $3.9 million to the Food Bank's budget to feed people in need. And under the contract’s labor agreement, residents of Harris County could work with the organization and get paid by the county.

Precinct 1 Commissioner Rodney Ellis said the Food Bank has received $15.8 million total since Summer 2020.

The extra funds have allowed them to make at least 47 million more meals. Ellis said the Houston Food Bank has given out 25% more meals in the last year as people work to recover from the COVID pandemic and the winter storm from February. 

“At the height of the demand in Summer 2020, the Houston Food Bank provided 28 million pounds of food per month,” Ellis said. "In a crisis like this and Winter Storm Uri, it’s needed. Distribution has surged to 26 million pounds per month.”