The West Texas Food Bank has expanded our salvage and reclamation efforts in recent years. Our drivers and trucks visit 23 grocery stores several times a week to pick up donated product that would otherwise be thrown away. H-E-B delivers 30,000 pounds of donated product twice a month to our Odessa warehouse, and United Markets delivers once every two months. Our food procurement department is in constant contact with produce growers in the area and smaller grocery stores to acquire product that would otherwise be discarded.
The West Texas Food Bank, through its membership in Feeding America, can access and obtain USDA products as well as products from major food corporations at no cost or significantly reduced costs because of the volume being purchased. At times we must purchase much more food from a distant wholesaler because of USDA cutbacks, and greater efficiencies in food manufacturing that is reducing surpluses that were formerly donated to food banks. If the food bank with its affiliation to Feeding America was not in place to negotiate cheaper prices on food and provide this savings to many of our partners, they would have to expend many more funds, and may not even be in the charity food distribution business at all. West Texas would be a very hungry place indeed.